Territory Stories

Debates - 14 February 1980



Debates - 14 February 1980

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Second Assembly, Second Session


Debates for 2nd Assembly 1977 - 1980; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 2nd Assembly 1977 - 1980




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory




Northern Territory. Legislative Assembly -- Periodicals

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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 - Thursday 14 February 1980 28 days of the decision of the commissioner. I am sure that every honourable member will regard that as reasonable. Clause 17 amends section 99 which makes it an offence to give a firearm to an unlicensed person. The amendment extends the application of the section to a person in possession of a fi"rearm. As the act stands, the offence is limited to the owner. Clause 18 inserts a new section 106A empowering the commissioner to issue a duplicate certificate of registration or a duplicate licence where the original is lost, stolen or destroyed. This is a standard provision, found in most legislation dealing with the issue of certificates and licences. As honourable members can see, the amendments contained in the bill are not of a substantive nature and do not materially alter the provisions contained in the principal act. I commend the bill to honourable members. Debate adjourned. CRIMINAL LAW (CONDITIONAL RELEASE OF OFFENDERS) BILL (Serial 400) Bill presented and read a first time. Mr DONDAS (Community Development): Mr Speaker, I move that the bill be now read a second time. The Criminal Law (Conditional Release of Offenders) Act presently applies to offences against laws of the Territory. "Laws of the Territory" are defined in section 3 to mean laws in force in the Territory other than acts or regulations under-acts. The definition was drafted before self-government. The word "act" was intended to mean a Commonwealth act. The intention was therefore that the Criminal Law (Conditional Release of Offenders) Act should apply to offences against all Territory laws and not Commonwealth laws. The word "act" is now defined under the Territory Interpretation Act to mean "a Territory act". It is therefore possible that the court could construe the definition section as evidence and intention that the act only applies to common law offences in the Territory and not statutory offences. Clause 2 of the bill seeks to make clear that Criminal Law (Conditional Release of Offenders) Act applies to both common law and statutory offences against Territory laws and not to Commonwealth laws. Clause 3 is a necessary validation provision which removes any doubt there may be that actions taken under the act in the past are as valid as if the correct definition has always been there. Clause 4 corrects an incorrect cross-reference. It has clearly been the will of this House that the court be given a wide discretion to order that offenders be conditionally released and, where required, to do useful community work. This bill is necessary to give effect to that idea. Members will recall that a similar bill was passed last year to correct the same problem in the Parole of Prisoners Act. Both that bill and the present amendment are one of the side effects of self-government. It would be most unfortunate if the courts felt they would not exercise the discretion in favour of deserving individuals which this House intended they should have. For this reason, I have sought the urgent passage of this bill. I commend the bill to members. Debate adjourned. 2676