By MARK KENNY
SIMON Corbell says potential jurors will be identified by a number rather than by a name and occupation under proposed legislation introduced to the Legislative Assembly.
“The Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (No 2) includes a number of changes which will further improve efficiencies in the ACT’s courts and tribunal system,” Simon said.
“These changes reflect the government’s ongoing commitment to improve access to justice for members of our community.
“This amendment is designed to protect the privacy of individuals, reduce any fears of reprisals, and reinforce the confidential nature of the deliberations of a jury.
“The legislation also continues the government’s priority of improving the operation of the ACT’s coronial system.
“The legislation will make changes to streamline and clarify when coronial inquests must be held for health care-related deaths. These amendments will reduce the number of deaths that need to be investigated solely because they fall within an arbitrary time limit after a medical operation or procedure.
“The changes ensure that only deaths that need to be investigated will be using our limited resources.
“The coronial amendments also introduce a protection for third parties making disclosures to a coroner, including information that is voluntarily provided because the person believes on reasonable grounds this will assist the coroner. This is another important change to strengthen the ACT’s coronial system.”
Other amendments contained in the Bill include:
- Introducing a committal waiver provision that allows a magistrate, on application by the accused and with the consent of the prosecution, to commit the accused for trial without a committal hearing;
- highlighting that civil proceedings provisions should be applied in a way that facilitate the just resolution of disputes according to law, and as quickly, inexpensively and efficiently as possible;
- deferring the commencement of the new judicial complaints handling mechanism until 1 February 2017, during which time the existing system will continue to operate; and
- making the position of Principal Registrar a statutory appointment.