On 31 July 2019, the Magistrates Court (Criminal and General Division) Bill 2019 (Tas) (the “Bill”) was introduced to Tasmania’s House of Assembly (the “Assembly”) by Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Elise Archer, with the Bill currently before the Assembly.
In May 2019 the Bill underwent a consultation process, with Tasmania’s Department of Justice receiving numerousThe Bill proposes to repeal some 18 pieces of Tasmanian legislation, with the objective being to establish the Magistrates Court (Criminal and General Division).
The Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum (the “EM”) indicates the aim is to provide for the administration of justice in that Division [Criminal and General] in such a manner as to:
Otherof the Magistrates Court have been created as Divisions of that Court, for example the Administrative Appeals Division, the Children’s Division, the Civil Division and the Coronial Division.
Each of these divisions was created by a new Act and operated in accordance with a purpose-specific set of rules, with the criminal jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court being the only jurisdiction remaining to be updated.
As outlined in the EM, the Bill also proposes to provide a “legislative foundation for a number of changes to procedures and the law”. Some examples proposed are:
In her speech, the Minister said:
Thealso indicated the recent Tasmanian State Budget has invested $24.5 million over four years (from 2019-2020) to develop Justice Connect, an end-to-end Justice and Corrections technology solution that will provide a better Tasmanian justice system. The Minister commented further:
As outlined in Treasury’s, Justice Connect is an “initiative driven primarily by the need to address the shortcomings of existing legacy technology in key justice business systems that are impeding the Department’s ability to effectively deliver Court and corrective services to the Tasmanian community.”
The Budget Paper also indicates:
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Magistrates Court (Criminal and General Division) Bill 2019 (Tas) – Bill and supporting information available from TimeBase LawOne Service
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