Page 2127 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 8 May 2012

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Proposal 3 would clarify that, when considering exceptional and special circumstances, the court may have regard to issues that would normally be considered under the normal bail criteria. If the court finds special or exceptional circumstances exist, it must have regard to the bail criteria at section 22 or, for a child, section 23.

In summary, the government’s proposals will make it clear that just because a factor is contained in section 22 or 23 does not mean it cannot be considered as a factor that makes up special or exceptional circumstances. It is anticipated that for a person charged with a relevant offence under section 9C the new test will have little to no substantive effect on the way bail applications will be determined. It will, instead, develop a process for the courts to assess bail applications in a way that is human rights compliant.

The government is committed to bail laws that properly balance the presumption of innocence on the one hand and the right of the community to be safe and for justice to be done on the other. These proposed amendments intend to balance these two objectives.

We recognise that issues surrounding bail are serious and complex. These issues are of concern to stakeholders across the justice system. As such, I will be writing to a number of ACT and national justice stakeholders to seek their views in respect of the proposed amendments I have just outlined.

Community engagement on the proposed amendments to the Bail Act recognises the competing tensions arising from concern for the community’s safety and the need to see justice done on the one hand and the need to protect the rights of accused people on the other. I commend the final government response to the Assembly.

Mrs Dunne: Madam Deputy Speaker, in accordance with standing order 213, could I ask that the minister table the statement from which he read, which is different from the paper that was circulated for members?

MR CORBELL: I table the following paper:

Human Rights Act, pursuant to subsection 33(3)—Declaration of incompatibility—Bail Act 1992, section 9C—Tabling statement, dated May 2012.


Dr Bourke presented the following paper:

Education Act, pursuant to section 66A—Government Schools Education Council—ACT Budget 2012-2013.

Mr Corbell presented the following papers:

Subordinate legislation (including explanatory statements unless otherwise stated)

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