Friday, 17 August 2012

Legislation Watch: Road Safety and Sentencing Acts Amendment Act 2012

The Road Safety and Sentencing Acts Amendment Act 2012 passed the upper house earlier this week, though it's still only to be found here under the Bills for the current Parliamentary session.

The Government's press release says the Act will permit Courts to impose interlock conditions on folks getting their licence back after a drink-driving infringement. (Or "ticket" to us common folk!)

The Government's claim is that the amendments introduced into the Road Safety Act by the Road Legislation (Projects and Road Safety) Act 2006 didn't apply to folks disqualified for drink-driving by a ticket, rather than Court order.

The other big-ticket item in this Act is that it amends the Sentencing Act 1991.

I understand this was in response to a recent appeal of DPP v Tyson Jason Leys; DPP v Dillon Thomas Leys in the Court of Appeal, considering the validity of the community correction order (CCO) provisions in the Sentencing Act. I know the case has been argued, but thought the decision was still pending. It seems though according to the explanatory memorandum that the Court has declared the provision valid.

The argument was that the partial commencement of the provisions in the Sentencing (Communinity Correction Orders) Act 2012 (discussed here in January) was not valid, because of the Interpretation of Legislation Act 1984 s 11(4), which provides:

(4) A reference in an Act to the date of commencement of that Act or another Act or a portion containing 2 or more provisions of that Act or another Act is, if the whole of the Act or portion referred to did not come, or is not to come, into operation on the one day, a reference to the first day on or before which all the provisions of the Act or portion referred to have come, or will have come, into operation.

This Act purports to retrospectively confirm that CCOs imposed since 16 January are valid, despite that provision.

I understand the Act has received Royal Assent and will be gazetted to commence on operation on Saturday morning, though there's nothing in the Gazettes right now to confirm this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You will find that the far more significant aspect to the Bill, insofar as it amends the Sentencing Act, is the amendment to s.44 of the Sentencing Act to confirm, as argued by the DPP in Leys, that a sentencing court cannot impose a sentence of a CCO and a suspended sentence of imprisonment in the same sentencing order (whether in relation a sentence for a single offence or sentence for a number of offences). This will have huge ramifications for the criminal justice system.