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Law Officers Amendment Bill 1997

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1997

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

LAW OFFICERS AMENDMENT BILL 1997

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the Attorney-General,

the Hon Daryl Williams AM QC MP)

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LAW OFFICERS AMENDMENT BILL 1997

 

 

 

GENERAL OUTLINE

 

This Bill amends the Law Officers Act 1964 (‘the Law Officers Act’) to vary the terms and conditions of service for the occupant of the office of Solicitor-General for the Commonwealth.  The terms and conditions of service for the Solicitor-General are currently similar to those applying to a judge of the Federal Court of Australia.  They include an entitlement to a judge’s pension in certain circumstances and payment in lieu of unused long leave on the same basis as for a judge.

 

The period of the appointment of the current Solicitor-General expires on 31 December 1997.  It is considered that the terms and conditions of service for the new Solicitor-General should be similar to those of a senior member of the Australian Public Service, rather than those applying to a judge.  It is proposed, therefore, to amend the Law Officers Act to remove the current entitlement to a judge’s pension and payment in lieu of unused long leave in respect of future appointments to the office of Solicitor-General for the Commonwealth.

 

The Bill also makes provision to preserve the current Solicitor-General’s accrued pension entitlements under the Act.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The proposed amendments will realise some savings over time as a result of a reduction in benefits paid from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

 



NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

Clause 1 provides for the short title of the Act to be the Law Officers Amendment Act 1997 .

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

Clause 2 provides for the Act to commence on Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 - Schedule

 

Clause 3 provides for the Act specified in the Schedule to be amended according to the applicable items set out in the Schedule.

 

 

 

SCHEDULE 1 - AMENDMENT OF THE LAW OFFICERS ACT 1964

 

Item 1 - Application of section 16

 

Item 1 inserts new subsection 16(1AA) to provide that section 16 does not apply to a person appointed as Solicitor-General after 31 December 1997.  Such a person will no longer be eligible to receive a pension similar to that of a judge.

 

Item 2 - New definition of appropriate current salary

 

Item 2 inserts new subsection 16(11A) to provide a new definition of appropriate current salary for the purpose of calculating the current Solicitor-General’s pension benefit when it becomes payable.

 

The new definition provides that appropriate current salary is the salary payable to the Solicitor-General as at 31 December 1997, adjusted in line with movements in the rate of salary payable to a Judge of the Federal Court from time to time.

 

Item 3 - Current definition of appropriate current salary

 

Item 3 repeals the current definition of appropriate current salary contained in subsection 16(12).

 

Item 4 - Application of section 16A

 

Item 4 inserts new subsection 16A(1AA) to provide that section 16A does not apply to a person appointed as Solicitor-General after 31 December 1997.  Such a person will not be entitled to a payment in lieu of unused long leave on retirement as presently provided for in section 16A.