Page 2331 - Week 06 - Thursday, 10 May 2012

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The amendments in this bill will assist the Supreme Court to change aspects of its case management and listing practices, with a view to reducing the time taken to finalise matters lodged in or committed to the court. The reforms in the bill represent the government’s firm commitment to improving waiting times in the Supreme Court and form part of the government’s broader commitment to improving access to justice for the ACT community. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 (No 2)

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (11.27): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 (No 2) amends a range of legislation that concerns the justice and community safety portfolio. The bill I am introducing today will improve the way in which the territory’s legislation works. This bill amends a number of acts, including the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act, the Emergencies Act, the Environment Protection Act, the Public Trustee Act, the Unit Titles (Management) Act and the Victims of Crime Act.

The JACS bill makes a number of minor amendments to the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 to bring the approval process for professional standards schemes into line with other Australian jurisdictions. All Australian states and territories have introduced legislative frameworks to support a Professional Standards Council, which is made up of individual councils from each jurisdiction. These legislative amendments allow for the creation of schemes to limit the civil liability of professionals and others, to facilitate the improvement of occupational standards and to protect consumers. The ACT’s professional standards legislation is contained in the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act.

Currently the professional standards legislation in every state and territory except the ACT allows ministers to authorise the gazettal or notification of schemes approved by the Professional Standards Council. However, the ACT’s legislation contains the additional requirement that the minister must also approve schemes that have already been approved by the council prior to the notification of the scheme. This requirement is inconsistent with the procedure required in other jurisdictions and adds no real value to the formalisation process.

For this reason, the JACS bill removes this requirement from the ACT’s Civil Law (Wrongs) Act. This will mean that professional standards schemes can be approved or

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