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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Access to justice quicker, easier thanks to passage of sweeping reforms

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Tuesday, August 03, 2010

    Access to justice quicker, easier thanks to passage of sweeping reforms

    Access to justice in Queensland will be quicker and easier following the passage of sweeping reforms through State Parliament today.

    Attorney-General Cameron Dick said the changes were part of the Bligh Government’s reform program to modernise the state’s justice system.

    He said the passage of the Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction Reform and Modernisation Amendment Bill through Parliament would help victims of crime, witnesses and defendants.

    “Victims of crime will see justice administered sooner, witnesses will have to make fewer court appearances and defendants will have matters heard sooner as a result of our reforms, which will make the courts more efficient,” Mr Dick said.

    “These reforms ensure that the administration of justice in Queensland is modern, accessible and responsive to community needs and expectations.

    “They streamline the committal process and expand the criminal and civil jurisdictions of the Magistrates and District courts.”

    Key changes include:

    • increasing the civil jurisdictional limits of the Magistrates Courts from $50,000 to $150,000 and the District Court from $250,000 to $750,000

    • expanding the general criminal jurisdiction of the District Court so it can deal with all indictable offences up to a maximum penalty of 20 years (up from 14 years)

    • increasing the summary jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court to finalise property and Criminal Code offences with maximum penalties of up to three years

    • transferring the jurisdiction for appeals under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 from Industrial Magistrates to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, where dual appeal rights currently exist.

    Mr Dick said the second stage of reforms was already in train and would result in the development of a new Criminal Justice Procedure Bill, uniform criminal procedure rules and processes to modernise and streamline criminal procedure in Queensland.

    “Public consultation on the stage two discussion paper closed in June and the government is now considering the results of that feedback,” he said.

    “These are some of the most extensive and significant reforms to Queensland’s justice system in decades.

    "The impact of these reforms will be closely monitored and evaluated following the implementation of stage two to determine whether further reforms are needed.”

    Media contact:
    Office of the Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister 3239 3487