Queenslanders have chance to be heard in ground-breaking justice review

Published Thursday, 05 May, 2022 at 05:43 PM

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

Queenslanders are being asked to have their say on shaping new criminal procedure laws for Magistrates Courts.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said current criminal procedure laws in the Justices Act 1886 are being comprehensively reviewed for the first time since the Act started in 1887.

“Our Justices Act is used every day in Queensland,” Minister Fentiman said.

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

“This ground-breaking review, independently led by retired District Court judge, Mr Michael Shanahan AM, is tasked with making recommendations to create a new framework for contemporary and effective criminal procedure laws for Queensland’s busiest courts, the Magistrates Courts.”

The Attorney-General 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,” Minister 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.

“I am 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.”

Minister 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.

You 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. Submissions received will inform the review recommendations to guide preparation of draft legislation.  


Media contact: Inga Williams      0439 949 719