Page 2202 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Attorney-General. These provisions were already contained in the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act 2004.
Secondly, this bill amends the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act 2000. Currently, the legislation requires that a person is to be brought back before the magistrate that issued the warrant. This bill removes this current requirement and amends the legislation so that a suspect may be brought before the court rather than a specific magistrate. This will allow greater efficiency in the courts.
In a briefing taken by my office on this last month, we raised concerns that this amendment could lead to judicial shopping. However, we were assured that suspects’ applications are heard in a consecutive manner; therefore, it would be difficult for a suspect to manipulate the system to be heard before a particular magistrate that they believe would be positive for their case.
Thirdly, the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1977 will amend provisions relating to the taking of alcohol screening tests. Currently, a person must be taken into custody before a second test may be administered. This means that if the first test is inconclusive or marginal, the police officer must go through the procedures of custody before being able to retest. This is an inefficient use of officers’ time, especially when the final test result is negative.
The Canberra Liberals believe that we should review and amend legislation where it has become clear that its implementation has become cumbersome without due reason. All three key amendments today seek to create efficiencies in the implementation of their respective bills. We will therefore be supporting the passage of this bill today.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.38): The Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (No 3) is one of the regular statutory amendment bills to update legislation managed by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate. This is already the third of these amendment bills for 2013.
The bill makes three minor changes to three territory acts. It amends the Coroners Act to remove unnecessary requirements regarding the Chief Coroner’s annual report. These requirements are duplicated in the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act, so they can be removed from the Coroners Act.
The bill also amends the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act. It clarifies the impractical requirement which currently requires a person who is the subject of a warrant to be brought before the same magistrate that issued the warrant. The amendment ensures that the person can be brought before other magistrates as well. I believe it is a practical measure, given that the specific issuing magistrate will not always be available.
Lastly, the bill amends the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act. The amendment will authorise a police officer to undertake more than one alcohol screening test. This is for cases where the first screening test is inconclusive or gives an “on the margin” result. In these instances the police will be able to administer a second test without needing to first take the person into custody.