Page 1188 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

These amendments include broadening existing exemptions and streamlining exemption arrangements for festivals and cultural institutions. The amendments to the commonwealth classification act also allow certain content to be classified under classification tools such as online questionnaires to provide automated decisions.

The amendments to the commonwealth classification act also include expanding the exceptions to the modifications rule so that films and computer games which are subject to certain types of modifications, such as where they are simply changing from 2D to 3D format, do not require reclassification.

The national classification scheme is a cooperative scheme under which the commonwealth act provides for the classification of publications, films and computer games while state and territory acts are responsible for the enforcement of classification decisions by the commonwealth Classification Board. Each state and territory has enforcement legislation that complements the commonwealth act.

These amendments are designed to maintain consistency between the commonwealth act and the ACT classification enforcement act. The amendments made by this bill to the ACT act have a staggered commencement so that they can, where possible, take effect at the same time that amendments to the commonwealth act take effect.

This bill also amends section 53 of the Commercial Arbitration Act 1986. Section 53 provides that where a party to an arbitration agreement starts proceedings in a court against another party to an arbitration agreement in relation to a matter under that agreement, the other party may apply to that court to stay the proceedings. This section does not currently cover the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The proposed amendment therefore alters the definition of “court” for this purpose to include a tribunal. This amendment will give full effect to the intention of the section, which is to compel parties to an arbitration agreement to arbitrate their disputes in the first instance rather than proceed directly to litigation in either the ACT law courts or a tribunal.

This bill also inserts a provision relating to self-incrimination into the Coroners Act 1997. As section 47 of the Coroners Act provides that the rules of evidence do not apply to a proceeding before the Coroners Court, the privilege in relation to self-incrimination may not apply to a witness for an inquest or inquiry.

For this reason this bill sets out the process to be undertaken by the Coroners Court where a witness objects to giving particular evidence, or evidence on a particular matter, on the grounds that the evidence may tend to prove he or she has committed an offence or is liable to a civil penalty. The section is intended to have the same operation as section 128 of the Evidence Act 2011 for privilege in relation to self-incrimination for witnesses in other court matters.

This bill also makes a minor amendment to the Court Procedures Act 2004 about security searches on court or tribunal premises. Section 45 of the Court Procedures Act provides that a security officer may require a person entering or on court premises—defined to include ACAT premises—to undergo a screening search, to

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video