New laws to eliminate doubt over court decisions
News | 12 June 2009 | The New Lawyer
Tasmania's Attorney General says new legislation will eliminate doubt over how complaints are handled in the State's magistrate court.
TASMANIA'S Attorney General says new legislation will eliminate doubt over how complaints are handled in the State's magistrate court.
A-G Lara Giddings said this week that legislation passed today in the House of Assembly would address an anomaly in the way complaints have been laid in Tasmania’s Magistrates Court since January 2004, when changes were made to the Justices Rules 2003.
Giddings said the legislation would overcome a technicality that cast doubt on complaints which had been brought in the name of a department, usually Police and Emergency Management.
“The legislation comes after a decision by a magistrate last month,” Giddings said.
“Because the complaint was lodged in the name of the Department of Police and Emergency Management rather than by a police officer involved, the complaint was held to be invalid.
“A large number of cases Statewide were affected by this ruling so it was important the Government moved quickly to ensure the criminal justice system was not hindered by a legal technicality," she said.
“The changes will apply retrospectively to ensure no cases since January 2004 are affected,” Giddings said.