Justice Miscellaneous (Court Backlog and Related Matters) Bill 2020 – Have your say

The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that public consultation processes are open and transparent and we are seeking your input on proposed amendments to the Bail Act 1994, Criminal Code Act 1924, Criminal Justice (Mental Impairment) Act 1999, Justices Act 1959, Misuse of Drugs Act 2001, Police Offences Act 1935 and the Sentencing Act 1997 through the draft Justice Miscellaneous (Court Backlog and Related Matters) Bill 2020 (PDF, 670.2 KB) (the Bill). The Bill is aimed at reducing the court backlog in the Supreme Court, improving administrative efficiency in the courts and for related matters. The Bill also provides for the early introduction of some of the provisions of the Magistrates Court (Criminal and General Division) Act 2019 for this purpose.

The Bill includes the following reforms:

  • amendments to the Justices Act 1959, Criminal Code and Criminal Justice (Mental Impairment) Act 1999 to implement reforms to preliminary proceedings processes by providing that Magistrates may make preliminary proceedings orders prior to the committal of indictable matters to the Supreme Court;
  • amendments to the Bail Act 1994, Justices Act 1959 and the Criminal Code to consolidate a number of bail provisions in the Bail Act 1994 and to introduce new limits on the ability of defendants to apply directly to the Supreme Court for bail (where bail could be applied for in the Magistrates Court);
  • amendments to the Justices Act 1959 to enable a broader range of offences to be dealt with summarily, including amendments to:
    • duplicate the list of minor offences and electable offences in line with the provisions of the new Magistrates Court (Criminal and General Division) Act 2019; and
    • increase the property value thresholds for minor offences that will be dealt with summarily from $5000 to $20,000, and for electable offences that can be dealt with summarily from $20,000 to $100,000 in line with the provisions of the new Magistrates Court (Criminal and General Division) Act 2019;
  • amendments to section 13 of the Sentencing Act 1997 to increase the maximum term of imprisonment that can be imposed on an offender convicted of a crime that is triable summarily from 12 months to 3 years for a first offence;
  • amendments relating to minor, electable and mirror offences to:
    • introduce in the Misuse of Drugs Act 2001 a new mirror minor summary offence for trafficking in a controlled substance, including a reverse onus presumption provision similar to section 12 Misuse of Drugs Act 2001;
    • introduce in the Misuse of Drugs Act 2001 a new mirror minor summary offence for cultivating a controlled plant for sale, including a reverse onus presumption similar to section 7 Misuse of Drugs Act 2001;
    • introduce in the Police Offences Act 1935, a summary offence ‘stealing with force’ similar to robbery under section 240(1) Criminal Code;
  • an amendment to make the offences of stalking and bullying under section 192 of the Criminal Code and making false statutory declarations and other false statements under section 113 of the Criminal Code electable if both the defence and prosecution consent to the matter being dealt with summarily;
  • an amendment to section 7B (Possession of implement or instrument) and 15C (Dangerous articles) of the Police Offences Act 1935 to increase the penalty to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years;
  • an amendment to section 37AA (Unlawfully setting fire to property) of the Police Offences Act 1935 to remove the dollar value from section 37AA; and
  • an amendment to the Police Offences Act 1935 to extend the time to lodge complaints from six months to two years for computer related offences under sections 43A to 43D of the Police Offences Act 1935.

Publishing submissions

Other than indicated below, submissions will be treated as public information and will be published on our website.

No personal information other than an individual’s name or the organisation making a submission will be published.

For further information, please read the Tasmanian Government Public Submissions Policy (external link).

Important information to note

  1. Your name (or the name of the organisation) will be published unless you request otherwise.
  2. In the absence of a clear indication that a submission is intended to be treated as confidential (or parts of the submission), the Department will treat the submission as public.
  3. If you would like your submission treated as confidential, whether in whole or in part, please indicate this in writing at the time of making your submission clearly identifying the parts of your submission you want to remain confidential and the reasons why. In this case, your submission will not be published to the extent of that request.
  4. Copyright in submissions remains with the author(s), not with the Tasmanian Government.
  5. The Department will not publish, in whole or in part, submissions containing defamatory or offensive material. If your submission includes information that could enable the identification of other individuals then either all or parts of the submission will not be published.

Accessibility of submissions

The Government recognises that not all individuals or groups are equally placed to access and understand information. We are therefore committed to ensuring Government information is accessible and easily understood by people with diverse communication needs.

Where possible, please consider typing your submission in plain English and providing it in a format such as Microsoft Word or equivalent.

The Government cannot however take responsibility for the accessibility of documents provided by third parties.

Information provided to the Government may be provided to an applicant under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI). If you have indicated that you wish all or part of your submission to be treated as confidential, your statement detailing the reasons may be taken into account in determining whether or not to release the information in the event of an RTI application for assessed disclosure. You may also be contacted to provide any further comment.