Bill delivers on commitment to justice reforms

Published Tuesday, 16 November, 2021 at 02:06 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

The Palaszczuk Government has continued to deliver on key justice reforms with the introduction of the Evidence and Other Legislation Amendment Bill into the Queensland Parliament today.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman said the Bill included amendments to the Criminal Code in response to a recommendation handed down in the Daniel Morcombe coronial inquest.

“The coronial recommendation in Daniel’s case raises very complex issues,” she said.

“The amendments in the Bill seek to strike the right balance between the timely return of a victim’s body to their family and loved ones while ensuring an accused person’s right to a fair trial.

“The amendments create a clear disclosure process in relation to human remains which allows criminal courts to have regard to the need not to unnecessarily delay the return of a deceased person’s body under the coronial system.

“I want to thank Bruce and Denise Morcombe for their strong and tireless advocacy to increase the safety of children in our State.”

The Attorney-General said the Bill also includes a proposal for a 12-month pilot program that will better support domestic and family violence victims during court hearings.

“We need to make sure our justice system supports victims to when they come forward and hold perpetrators to account,” Ms Fentiman said.

“That is why I have introduced a Bill containing amendments to support a pilot allowing video statements taken by trained police officers on a body worn camera to be admissible as a complainant’s evidence-in-chief in criminal proceedings for a domestic violence offence, including breaches of domestic violence orders.

“This can reduce trauma for survivors by avoiding the task of telling their story multiple times and can reduce the opportunity for offenders to intimidate victims.

“While similar measures have been used for several years for some other vulnerable witnesses including children, it is important that evidence can be obtained about the impacts and experiences that are unique to domestic and family violence cases.

“I look forward to providing further details of the pilot program following the passage of the legislation through parliament.”


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