Page 5251 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2011

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necessary to ensure that it does and that we continue to provide support to our community.

The directorate will not shy away from areas for improvement, whether it identifies these areas itself or through an independent process such as the Public Advocate’s review. These I will detail in the government’s response to the Public Advocate’s review. I seek leave to table the legal advice provided by the Solicitor-General.

I table the following papers:

Children and Young People Act 2008—Interpretation of Part 15.4—Advice from the ACT Solicitor-General, dated 26 October 2011.

Residential care placements for children and young people—Inquiry by the Public Advocate—Speaking notes, 15 November 2011.

Mr Seselja: Could I ask the minister to move that the statement be noted?

MS BURCH: I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper (Speaking notes).

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to a later hour.

Evidence Amendment Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 25 August 2011, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.09): The Liberal opposition will be supporting the Evidence Amendment Bill 2011.

This bill is the last in a series of bills to adopt the national uniform model law. It establishes four elements. Firstly, it provides for professional confidential relationship privilege. This privilege protects communications from disclosure and evidence where one of the parties involved is a professional and is acting under an obligation of confidentiality. It extends to a wide range of professionals, including health and medical professionals, journalists and social workers. In order to ensure an appropriate level of openness in court proceedings, the privilege is not absolute. The bill gives courts a guided discretion to exclude or include evidence as appropriate to the circumstances of each case.

Secondly, this bill provides for the mutual recognition of self-incrimination certificates. This means that if a court in one jurisdiction issues a self-incrimination certificate in a particular matter, that certificate will apply equally for that witness in another jurisdiction.

Thirdly, the bill expands the circumstances in which a person is taken to not be available to give evidence. It allows an excuse based on mental or physical inability that it is not reasonably practical to overcome.

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