Page 21 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 15 February 2011

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The amendment provides that each of these provisions be amended to ensure or to prescribe as a requirement that a decision maker be satisfied on reasonable grounds. Of course, the law already requires the decision maker, in making a decision, to base it on reasonable grounds. To be satisfied on any matter, the law operates in a way, and has long operated, determined and explained, that a decision maker must always be able to point, particularly through a judicial review process, to some probative material, to a process of logic or inference, which indicates that the decision-making power was understood and applied. That is the law as it stands.

Ms Hunter seeks to explain the law as it stands by the addition of the words “satisfied on reasonable grounds”, which, of course, is implicit in any decision that a decision maker makes. But, in confirmation of our close relationship with the Greens, close working relationships and our commitment to a non-adversarial atmosphere and culture within the chamber, the government is more than prepared to accept these unnecessary amendments.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bail Amendment Bill 2010

Debate resumed from 18 November 2010, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.00): The opposition will be supporting this bill, which reforms two aspects of the ACT bail legislation. Firstly, it deals with the power of the courts to grant bail and review bail decisions; and, secondly, it changes the bail jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court.

As to the first arm of reform, an accused person will have available to them two unrestricted opportunities for bail applications. The accused will be able to present any relevant arguments, information or evidence without restriction. Even material heard in the first application can be presented again in the second application.

An appeal in the Magistrates Court for a review of a bail refusal will be required to show “change of circumstances” or fresh evidence or information. This is an easing of the current requirement that the change of circumstances must be significant before the appeal application can be accepted.

As is the case presently, there is scope for unlimited further bail applications. However, in doing so, the applicant will be required to show a change in circumstances, but not a substantial change in circumstances, or that there is fresh evidence or information of relevance that was unavailable previously.

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