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Thursday, 20 August 2009
Page: 5557

Senator SHERRY (Assistant Treasurer) (1:23 PM) —Firstly, I want to thank Senator Brandis and Senator Ludlam for their contributions. The Law and Justice (Cross Border and Other Amendments) Bill 2009 comprises a range of amendments to simplify cross-border litigation. Most significantly, the bill includes amendments to support the operation of the cross-border justice system. Once operational, the scheme will make the delivery of justice services in the NPY Lands simpler and quicker. It will enable police, magistrates and other officials to deal with offenders from any of the participating jurisdictions in cases where the offender has a connection to the cross-border region.

The amendments in this bill will confirm that state and territory laws establish this scheme and have primacy over any inconsistent arrangements in the Commonwealth’s Service and Execution of Process Act 1992. The bill also includes amendments to conform the capacity of a prisoner in one Australian state or territory to give evidence by audio or audiovisual link in proceedings in another and it extends the range of subpoenas that can be served in civil proceedings between Australia and New Zealand.

The amendments in this bill will make the process for resolving legal disputes with an interstate or trans-Tasman connection simpler, quicker, cheaper and more flexible. This is consistent with the government’s broader efforts to improve access to justice for all Australians. Once again, I thank Senator Ludlam and Senator Brandis for their support and I thank all those involved in the work in support of this important reform.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.