Statutes Amendment (Attorney-General's Portfolio) (No 2) Bill
Adjourned debate on second reading.
(Continued from 28 September 2022.)
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:20): I rise to make some remarks in relation to this particular piece of legislation, which was introduced on 28 September. This bill amends the Judicial Conduct Commissioner Act 2015 and the Youth Court Act 1993 to address efficiency issues that have been identified by the Judicial Conduct Commissioner and the Judge of the Youth Court.
In relation to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner Act, clause 3 of the bill inserts section 11(4), providing that delegation by the Judicial Conduct Commissioner of a function or power because of a pecuniary or other personal interest that conflicts or may conflict with the commissioner's duties does not constitute taking action in relation to the matter the subject of the delegation. The Attorney-General indicated in his second reading explanation that the commissioner has requested this amendment to ensure that complaints can be delegated in a timely and effective manner.
Clause 4 of the bill will amend section 12, broadening the class of persons who may not make a complaint under the act to include persons who have been declared as vexatious litigants and prohibited from instituting proceedings by the Supreme Court under its inherent jurisdiction.
In relation to the Youth Court Act, there is currently no power under the act for the Judge of the Youth Court to appoint an auxiliary judge or to delegate their judicial functions to another judge of the District Court. Since 1 January 2017, there has been one Judge of the Youth Court. Clause 5 of the bill would insert subsections to enable the delegation. We support the bill.
The Hon. C. BONAROS (15:22): I rise very briefly to speak on the Statutes Amendment (Attorney-General's Portfolio) (No 2) Bill and to indicate SA-Best's support for the bill. The amendments to that bill include changes to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner Act, as requested by the current commissioner, to provide power to delegate when a conflict of interest arises or may arise. I understand from the briefings I have attended that delegation may be to a former judge, but there will still be some requirement to write to the minister if there is a conflict under the Public Sector (Honesty and Accountability) Act.
Further, there are changes in relation to the vexatious litigant orders of the Supreme Court and also in relation to the Youth Court Act, as requested by Judge Eldridge, so that a judge may delegate powers to a District Court judge. Those powers currently do not exist, although I note that we can use common law to do so. I think it is one of those things that streamlines processes, makes things more efficient and also acts on the advice of our judiciary, who have indicated what would be needed to make all those processes more efficient and streamlined. For those reasons, I indicate our support for the bill.
The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:23): I thank the speakers who have spoken in support of this bill and look forward to its passage through the committee stage shortly.
Bill read a second time.
Bill taken through committee without amendment.
The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:26): I move:
That this bill be now read a third time.
Bill read a third time and passed.
The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: Mr President, I draw your attention to the state of the council.
A quorum having been formed: