Page 189 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2006

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such conditions as senility, intellectual disability, mental disease, brain damage and severe personality disorder. The amendments will mean that when offenders come before the courts and the Mental Health Tribunal becomes involved the issue for determination will be whether they suffer from a mental impairment and what that means for the allegations before the court by application of definitions designed specifically for the criminal justice system.

The government committed to commence the Criminal Code definition of mental impairment to apply to criminal trials. The bill also commences division 2.3.2 of the code relating to lack of capacity—mental impairment and criminal responsibility. Application of this division was delayed to enable consideration to be given to amendments to existing legislation to ensure conformity with the general principles in the code.

In addition to this the affected provisions have also been reviewed to ensure consistency with the Criminal Code 2002. This government’s commitment to the ongoing Criminal Code project and the eventual harmonisation of all ACT legislation with the code to bring offences and related provisions into line with the general principles of criminal responsibility contained in chapter 2 of the code is well evidenced, with the most recent harmonisation bill being passed by the Assembly just recently.

Recently concerns have been raised about some perceived ambiguity in the transitional provisions made by amendments enacted by the Crimes Amendment Act 2005. To put this matter beyond doubt the relevant transitional provisions have been revised and re-enacted to make it clear that the government’s intention is to ensure that all decisions made that a person is unfit to plead are reviewable pursuant to section 68 of the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994.

This bill, together with the other initiatives developed by the model and the broader review of the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994 and corresponding sections of the Crimes Act 1900 being jointly conducted by my department and the department of health, will allow us to take a comprehensive and systemic approach to forensic mental health care and custody and move us forward in the improvement of the care of mental health patients who come into contact with the criminal justice system. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.

Motor Sport (Public Safety) Bill 2006

Mr Quinlan, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (10.40): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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