Page 3779 - Week 10 - Thursday, 27 August 2009

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Thursday, 27 August 2009

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Report 2

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.01): Pursuant to the order of the Assembly of 10 February 2009, I present the following report:

Report 2—Inquiry into the Crimes (Murder) Amendment Bill 2008, dated 26 August 2009, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings

I move:

That the report be noted.

Before I comment on the report, I would like to thank my committee colleagues, Ms Porter and Ms Hunter, and the staff of the committee office, including the committee secretary Hanna Jaireth, Andrew Dib, who assisted the inquiry secretary, Chiew Yee Lim from the library, Glenn Ryall, who was seconded from the Senate for some time, and Lydia Chung.

This was a very difficult report and I say quite candidly, Mr Speaker, that it was a very difficult report for three non-lawyers to come to terms with because of the subject matter and because of the gravity of the issues that we were dealing with. Because of that, the committee took the work of this inquiry very seriously indeed. I would also like to thank those members of the public who contributed to this report by their submissions and their giving of evidence.

What we found, Mr Speaker, was the great diversity of views there is in the community on this issue. There is no one community view. As a result of this, this committee has made a number of recommendations, one of which that goes directly to the bill but others which relate to issues associated with the evidence that we heard and collected and our own deliberations.

As I have said, this is a difficult issue. There is a higher level of contrasting opinion. From the perspective of the people involved in law enforcement—the Australian Federal Police, AFPA and DPP—there was one set of views. From the other side, there was another set of views which tended to reflect people involved more widely in the law fraternity and possibly the views of defenders. Also, the Council for Civil Liberties had a different view. Those views could be roughly characterised as follows: in the case of those involved in law enforcement, yes, make this change. In the case of those on the other side, no, do not make this change. Both groups said that they brought with them the backing of community public opinion.

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