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Twilight of the 6th Assembly – The fastest law in the west revs up

By johnboy - 7 August 2008 3

With the last sitting day of this Assembly hoving into view on 28 August the Government is revving up a legislative agenda just in case it’s numbers aren’t as comfortable in the new year. So here’s an omnibus of things announced in the last 24 hours:

1. Families and carers gain new rights:

    Attorney General Simon Corbell said the Guardianship and Management of Property Amendment Bill 2008 would allow families, carers or close friends to be ‘health attorneys’ and give consent to medical treatment on behalf of adults who have impaired decision-making capacity.

2. Domestic violence laws toughened:

    “The Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Bill 2008 extends domestic violence laws to boyfriend/girlfriend and same-sex relationships, even where couples do not live together, and ensures compatibility with the Human Rights Act.

    “These new provisions and amendments are the result of extensive consultation and are intended to improve the safety and protection of people who fear or experience violence,” Mr Corbell said.

    “These reforms afford increased protection to those in our society, many of whom are women and children, from being subjected to fear and intimidation, and will also apply to intimate heterosexual and homosexual relationships, including where the parties do not reside together.”

3. Summary justice system overhauled:

    Proposed changes include:

    — Commital hearings to take place on the basis of written evidence, unless the Court is satisfied cross-examination is strictly necessary;
    — increasing the sentencing jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court from the current two years to five years;
    — increasing the fines that can be imposed by Magistrates from $5000 to $15,000; and,
    — Ensuring that matter carrying no more than two years imprisonment must be heard in the Magistrates Court, without the need for prolonged and costly jury trials for such less serious matters.

Good luck keeping up with that lot.

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3 Responses to
Twilight of the 6th Assembly – The fastest law in the west revs up
johnboy 4:59 pm 07 Aug 08

caf said :

Wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute.

Ensuring that matter carrying no more than two years imprisonment must be heard in the Magistrates Court, without the need for prolonged and costly jury trials for such less serious matters.

So we’re abolishing the right to trial by a jury of our peers? Just like that?

Two year nominal sentence seems to equal a good behaviour bond these days….

cranky 4:54 pm 07 Aug 08

Re 1)

Will this allow family/rellies etc to countermand an individuals wish to donate organs?

Sounds like a left hand/right hand stuff up to me.

caf 4:53 pm 07 Aug 08

Wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute.

Ensuring that matter carrying no more than two years imprisonment must be heard in the Magistrates Court, without the need for prolonged and costly jury trials for such less serious matters.

So we’re abolishing the right to trial by a jury of our peers? Just like that?

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