Page 1317 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

This bill does not replicate division 1A of the model legislation, which provides for professional confidential relationship privilege. This is currently the situation in the ACT. The commonwealth has not yet adopted a privilege except for journalists. This will be the subject of one of the bills to come forward in June. However, the ACT government’s bill will introduce amendments to adopt a broader model privilege. As I have mentioned earlier, it will be taken through the process of consultation with stakeholders.

This bill also does not replicate division 1B of the model legislation, which provides for sexual assault communication privilege. The government considers the existing ACT law in this area offers a less restrictive protection. I have not audited the claim because the Attorney-General has not given me enough time to do so. So, once again, the success or otherwise of the application of this element is on the heads of those opposite.

Finally, the bill does not adopt amendments to the model legislation that were agreed by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in 2010 because the commonwealth has not yet picked them up. These amendments are matters to be introduced in the second of two bills to be introduced in June, after consultation with stakeholders. Curiously, neither the attorney’s presentation speech nor the explanatory statement elaborated on what those amendments will cover. I am told and assured by the parliamentary counsel’s office, who attended a briefing I took on this bill last week, that the ACT bill largely is the same as the law adopted by the commonwealth.

There are some inconsistencies, mainly due to drafting style, and I thank the attorney’s office for ensuring that I received a schedule of examples of language differences between the bill and the commonwealth act. So that those examples can be on the public record, I seek leave to table the document, which is entitled “Examples of types of languages changes between the model law and the ACT Evidence Bill”.

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: I thank members. I table the following paper:

Evidence Bill 2011—Examples of the types of language changes between the Model Law and the ACT Evidence Bill.

I also note that inconsistencies arise due to the impact of other ACT laws, such as the Children and Young People’s Act 2008 and, as mentioned above, the criminal law relating to sexual assault offences. I have noted the range of comments made by the scrutiny of bills committee insofar as the bill engages the Human Rights Act.

I note, too, that the Attorney-General has responded to those issues by preparing, as I said earlier, a revised explanatory statement. It is a pity that neither the other members of this place nor the scrutiny committee, nor indeed the stakeholders, have had an opportunity to consider the revised statement in detail, considering that it was supplied to my office after question time on the last sitting Wednesday.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video