Dangerous Criminals and High Risk Offenders Bill 2020

Background

In the lead up to the State Election on 3 March 2018, the Government released its Law and Order policy, which committed to reforming Tasmania’s dangerous criminal declaration laws. Those provisions are currently contained within the Sentencing Act 1997.

The policy also committed to introducing a second-tier scheme that would subject offenders to intensive monitoring post-release, including electronic monitoring and other forms of supervision, to help protect the community and ensure offenders do not reoffend.

Consultation on the change

Public consultation on a draft Sentencing Amendment (Dangerous Criminals and High Risk Offenders) Bill 2020 (PDF, 1.2 MB) commenced on 23 December 2019 and concluded on 14 February.

The consultation process was undertaken by the Department of Justice and was subject to the Government’s ‘Publication of Submissions Received by Tasmanian Government Departments in Response to Consultation on Major Policy Issues’ policy.

Further details on the policy and a link to the full document are available on the Department of Premier and Cabinet website (external link).

The Department of Justice received five submissions that are required to be published in accordance with the policy. As the Government’s consideration of all submissions has now concluded, those submissions that are required to be published have been made available.

Dangerous Criminals and High Risk Offenders Bill 2020

In response to feedback received during consultation, the Government has agreed to progress the reforms in standalone legislation rather than through amendments to the Sentencing Act 1997.

The Dangerous Criminals and High Risk Offenders Bill 2020 will repeal the current dangerous criminal provisions within the Sentencing Act 1997 and establish a new legislative framework for indefinite detention of dangerous criminals in Tasmania.

The Bill will also provide for the Supreme Court to make high risk offender (HRO) orders in relation to serious offenders who do not meet the threshold for being declared a dangerous criminal, but may nevertheless pose a risk to the community if no supervising conditions are in place when they are released post-sentence.

A fact sheet (DOCX, 24.5 KB) has been prepared, which outlines the key features of the Bill.

The final Bill will be available on the Parliament of Tasmania (external link) website once tabled.