26 September 2023

Public comments invited on Courts’ changes

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Queenslanders are being invited to have a say on the shaping of new criminal procedure laws to be used in the State’s Magistrates Courts.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman extended the invitation saying current criminal procedure laws were being reviewed for the first time since the Act started in 1887.

“The review of the Act is well overdue,” Ms Fentiman said, “it’s been more than a century since it was introduced in Queensland Parliament.”

She said the Criminal Procedure Review Magistrates Courts Consultation Paper seeks Queenslanders’ feedback on how criminal procedures in our Magistrates Courts can be improved.

“The business of courts is completely different to colonial era Queensland when the Justices Act was written,” Ms Fentiman said.

“This is a significant opportunity to contribute to the reshaping of foundational criminal justice system laws.

“You do not need to be a lawyer or a technical expert to make a submission.

She said she was asking all interested Queenslanders to contribute.

“Your feedback is critical to ensuring the development of modern criminal procedures that better match expectations and needs of Magistrates Court users.

“This is a real opportunity to share your views on ways criminal procedure can be improved.”

Ms Fentiman said the review also wanted to hear whether the Magistrates’ Courts and Magistrates should be renamed Local Courts and Local Court judges.

“It is important that everyone have a say about such changes given the operation and legacy of these Courts – which really are the people’s courts,” she said.

Readers can access the consultation paper and information about how to make a submission on the Criminal Procedure Review website.

The closing date for written submissions is 30 June 2022.

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