Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 16 February 1989 detention, the Community Service Work Scheme and a range of sanctions and penalties for offenders of the type generally referred to as probation. With this bill, we are concerned with that part of the act headed 'Conditional Release' and, in particular, sections dealing with release on good behaviour or good behaviour bonds as they are generally known and failure to comply with bond conditions. Territory courts have the power to impose good behaviour bonds with or without recording a conviction and this is a useful and versatile option in terms of certain types of offences, the circumstances of people before the courts for those offences, especially for the first time, and the constant hope that the first time before the courts for them will also be the last. I mention this because I am concerned to see the good behaviour bond scheme maintain its usefulness and efficiency and continue to enjoy the confidence of our communlty. As I said, the amendments proposed in this bill are very much of a technical nature. The first is to correct what may have been a typographical error in the past in section 6(IB) of the act where the cross-reference to subsection (1) should read (IA). The next amendment will overcome the problem of section 6(3), not making proper provision for courts to deal with people who are summonsed to appear for suspected breach of good behaviour bonds. When information is laid before a justice alleging that a person is in breach of his or her good behaviour order, the justice may issue a summons directing the person to appear before the court or the justice may issue a warrant for the person's arrest. At this point, I should indicate what constitutes breach of bond in the act, and that is: failure during the period of good behaviour to comply with the conditions specified in the court order; failure to pay the penalty or an instalment of a penalty as provided in the order; and conviction, whether within or outside the Territory, for an offence committed during the period of good behaviour. A member of the police who believes a person is in breach of a good behaviour order may arrest the person without warrant. The other difficulty in the act at present is in respect of section 6(6)(a) where a person has been convicted and dealt with by a lower court for an offence committed during the period of good behaviour. When the good behaviour order was originally made by the Supreme Court, the court of summary jurisdiction may commit the person to be dealt with by the Supreme Court. The proposed amendments to section 6(6) will make it clear how the Supreme Court can deal with the person in such circumstances. There is not much more to be said about the bill itself. Its passage will smooth the way for prosecuting breaches of good behaviour in certain circumstances so that people who break the law. and fail to take advantage of the opportunity which a good behaviour bond allows them. will be returned to court promptly and firmly. I commend the bill. Debate adjourned. MARINE AMENDMENT BILL (Serial 171) Bill presented and read a first time. Mr FINCH (Transport and Works): Mr Speaker, I move that the bill be now read a second time. 5604
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