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Improving the efficiency of the Magistrates Court

Elise Archer, Attorney-General and Minster for Justice

Important reforms to streamline and improve the operation of the Magistrates Court are one step closer, with the Magistrates Court (Criminal and General) Bill today passing the House of Assembly.

This significant reform will complement the $24.5 million investment the Government has made to develop Justice Connect, an end-to-end Justice and Corrections technology solution that will provide a better Tasmanian justice system, with information sharing and integration across government, thereby enhancing efficiencies improving outcomes for the Tasmanian community.

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is committed to ensuring that all Tasmanians have access to an efficient and effective justice system, and this Bill is a vital part of the legislative, technological and procedural reforms the Government is pursuing to address the increasing workload of our courts.

This Bill provides a new framework for the disclosure of prosecution evidence in summary offences; a specific statutory basis for case management procedures; sentence indication powers to promote the just and efficient determination of matters; and an expansion of offences that can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court rather than the Supreme Court.

Importantly, these reforms will support increased access to a more efficient, fair and effective justice system in Tasmania.

I am proud to be the Attorney-General who prioritised and finally brought this project to fruition in the form of a total of four new Bills* that have been developed to replace the Justices Act 1959 with a contemporary legislative framework.

*Restraint Orders Bill 2019, Consequential Amendments Bill 2019 (and the Justices of the Peace Bill 2018 passed by the Parliament last year and commenced on 1 July 2019).