Page 1965 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 5 June 2018

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 18

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (10.02): I present the following report:

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee (Legislative Scrutiny Role)—Scrutiny Report 18, dated 29 May 2018, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MS LEE: Scrutiny report 18 contains the committee’s comments on seven bills, 20 pieces of subordinate legislation and three government responses. This scrutiny report deals with some recurring issues for the committee and, given the recurrence, I raise a few points for the benefit of all members.

The first issue is about instruments of appointment and the need for such instruments, together with their explanatory statements, to address any formal requirements in relation to the appointment—in particular, whether or not the appointee is a public servant. The reason this is important is because under the Legislation Act they are the only non-public-servant appointments that are disallowable and, as a result, the only non-public servant appointments that are subject to scrutiny by the committee in its legislative scrutiny role.

The second issue relates to strict liability offences. Since its establishment, the committee has maintained that strict liability offences, which are offences that remove the presumption of innocence, protected by subsection 21(2) of the Human Rights Act, need to be justified in the explanatory statement for the relevant instrument. In particular, the committee has required that explanatory statements explain why it is necessary that offences need to be strict liability offences.

In the present scrutiny report, the committee deals with a subordinate law that creates over 100 new strict liability offences but, despite there being a two-page discussion in the explanatory statement of “human rights considerations”, this does not address the committee’s oft-stated concerns in relation to strict liability offences.

In the same scrutiny report, the committee positively comments on another subordinate law, the explanatory statement for which addresses the committee’s concerns in relation to strict liability offences in a way that the committee thought

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