Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 March 2005



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 March 2005

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Parliamentary Record 25


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 23 March 2005 JUSTICE PORTFOLIO (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) BELL (Serial 283) Bill presented and read a first time. Dr TOYNE (Justice and Attorney-General): Madam Speaker, I move that the bill be now read a second time. The purpose of this bill is to amend various acts falling within the Justice portfolio. From time to time, there are a number of minor amendments to acts within the Justice portfolio that are necessary or convenient to ensure the ongoing smooth administration o f the justice system. However, as such amendments are primarily administrative and non-controversial in nature, they have not always been considered to be of sufficient importance to warrant a stand-alone bill. It has been the usual practice to wait until such time as substantive amendment is made to the relevant act and to make such minor or less substantial amendments at the same time. However, for many of the acts that will be amended by the current bill, such an opportunity has simply not arisen. It is for this reason that the current bill, the first of its kind in the Northern Territory, is being presented today. I note, however, that while the bill is the first of its kind in the Northern Territory, miscellaneous amendments bills of this nature are not uncommon in other jurisdictions. Such bills are routinely used as an established vehicle to progress minor, non-controversial amendments to legislation impacting on the operation of the justice system. This bill amends some 11 acts in the Justice portfolio, and repeals another two acts which are no longer considered necessary to have on the statute books. Many o f the amendments correct or rectify matters which are of a technical nature. Others overcome inconsistencies, or are intended to clarify the intention of existing provisions. The amendments to the Interpretation Act, in particular, have been requested by Parliamentary Counsel and are intended to provide further assistance in the drafting and interpretation of legislation. I now outline in further detail the amendments that are being included in the bill. The Agents Licensing Act is amended to update and convert into penalty units those penalties that remain expressed in dollar terms. The Administration and Probate Act is amended to correct an error in the drafting of section 104. This amendment will restore the original intention of the provision, which was to provide a mechanism to require people to pursue small claims against an estate in the interests of allowing the administration of the estate to be completed. The Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading Act is amended to update and convert into penalty units those penalties that remain expressed in dollar terms, and to replace the existing pyramid selling provisions with a plain English pyramid selling provision set out in the Commonwealth Trade Practices Amendment Act (No 1) 2002. The Criminal Records (Spent Convictions) Act is amended to make it clear that where a spent conviction is revived because an individual commits a further offence, it can again become a spent conviction but only after expiration of the requisite statutory time period. The Director o f Public Prosecutions Act is amended to broaden the directors ability to delegate his power to sign indictments. This will assist in the efficient administration o f that office. Various definitions and explanatory provisions in the Interpretation Act are amended to improve clarity or remove ambiguity, and to reflect the emergence of new terms and modem drafting practice. A number of the amendments will also simplify drafting processes for substantive acts moving into the future. The Land Titles Act is amended to streamline certain administrative actions by the Registrar-General. The Law o f Property Act is amended to clarify when a finding of death by a court will give rise to the presumption of death under section 215 o f that act. The Legal Practitioners Act is amended to provide that certain parts of that do not bind the Crown. In practical terms, this means that certain parts of that act which are simply not relevant to lawyers working in the government context will not apply. For example, a lawyer employed by the government will not legally be required to open a trust account. The Registration o f Interests in Motor Vehicles and Other Goods Act is amended to clarify its operation in relation to vehicles owned by companies that are subject to registered security interests. These amendments are consequential upon reforms made under the Commonwealth Corporations Act. The Sentencing Act is amended so that a judge can deal with a breach o f an Order for Release on Bond or breach of an Order for a Suspended Sentence despite the fact that the order had been imposed in the first instance by a magistrate. The Sentencing Act is also amended to provide that, where a court makes a Community Work Order, or an order suspending a sentence, a member of the Police Force may arrest an offender for failing to

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