Page 2355 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 June 2011

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The bill specifically provides that the Attorney-General must issue a legal services direction setting out guidelines to ensure that proper standards in litigation apply to territory legal work. This particular legal services direction will be known as the “model litigant guidelines”.

Since the commencement of amendments to the Law Officer Act in 2009 the Attorney-General has had the power to issue model litigant guidelines. This power will continue, but will be in the form of a legal services direction in the new Law Officers Act 2011. The legal services direction which will be known as the model litigant guidelines will operate in the same manner as the guidelines currently operate. Indeed, the existing guidelines made in 2010 will be preserved under the new Law Officers Act to be established by this bill. These guidelines ensure that litigation conducted on behalf of the territory is in accordance with the highest standards of fairness and honesty, as well as serving to protect the legitimate rights and concerns of opposing parties and the public.

The main purpose of the bill I am presenting today is to establish the role of solicitor-general for the ACT, a role which will enhance the territory’s position nationally. Currently, the significant additional responsibilities assumed by the Chief Solicitor relative to other jurisdictions creates an anomalous environment and does not give the ACT equality in its representation nationally. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee


MR HANSON (Molonglo) (10.48): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) since the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) opened in March 2009 there have been numerous superintendents or people acting in that position and the recent Hamburger review found this “lack of continuity of leadership” (p 28) “created a potential risk to the safety, security and effectiveness of the centre ” (Finding 15);

(b) the Hamburger review noted that in May 2010, the appointment of a “highly experienced officer to fulfil the role of Superintendent”, Mr Doug Buchanan, “provides the opportunity for continuity of appropriately experienced leadership”;

(c) the superintendent of the AMC, Mr Doug Buchanan, had his secondment from New South Wales terminated at short notice in May 2011;

(d) the Attorney-General stated in Estimates hearings on 23 May 2011 that Mr Buchanan “had agreed to return to his substantive position in New South Wales Corrective Services”;

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