Major Indictable Reform

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Consultation has concluded

About


This consultation has concluded

-------------------

What is being decided?

The State Government is seeking public comment on changes to the way major indictable matters are dealt with in the criminal justice system.

The changes, which have been published as draft amendments to the Summary Procedure Act 1921, the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 and the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988, will enable courts, police, forensic services and prosecutors to focus their resources where they are most needed, and ease the pressure on our courts system.

What is a major indictable offence?

An indictable

About


This consultation has concluded

-------------------

What is being decided?

The State Government is seeking public comment on changes to the way major indictable matters are dealt with in the criminal justice system.

The changes, which have been published as draft amendments to the Summary Procedure Act 1921, the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 and the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988, will enable courts, police, forensic services and prosecutors to focus their resources where they are most needed, and ease the pressure on our courts system.

What is a major indictable offence?

An indictable offence is one that guarantees the defendant the right to a trial by jury. Indictable offences are generally the more serious crimes, and penalties are generally greater than for other offences.

These changes are part of the South Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to criminal justice system reform, through the Transforming Criminal Justice initiative. To find our more, go to www.agd.sa.gov.au/TCJ.

Proposed changes include:

  • Requiring major indictable matters to be the subject of a ‘charge determination’ by the Director of Public Prosecutions (the DPP) prior to the commencement of committal proceedings.
  • Giving courts discretion to set out realistic adjournment timeframes that reflect the needs of individual cases, and reduce unnecessary court appearances for a major indictable matter when it is in the Magistrates Court.
  • Offering a sliding scale for early guilty pleas or cooperation with the prosecution that would allow for a discount on sentencing of between 10 and 40 per cent, depending on the timing.
  • The introduction of a tiered disclosure scheme, that will allow for earlier disclosure of primary evidence to defence – helping to encourage earlier guilty pleas and supporting negotiations with prosecution.
  • Requiring ‘case statements’ to be filed by prosecution and defence prior to a matter being arraigned in the District or Supreme Courts to identify the matters that are genuinely in dispute, enabling court, police, forensic and prosecution resources to be focused on those matters.
  • Encouraging early guilty pleas.

The reforms, proposed by Attorney-General John Rau, will reduce unnecessary hearings by setting realistic time frames and making prosecution and defence reveal more about their argument in advance so they can identify and focus on the real issues in dispute.

Broader changes to the Criminal Law Sentencing Act 1988 (Sentencing Act) are also proposed, as set out in the Sentencing Bill 2016. These were the subject of a separate consultation earlier in 2016 - click here to find out more.

The Summary Procedure (Indictable Offences) Amendment Bill 2016 (Procedure Bill) (PDF 290KB) contains the details of the procedural aspects of the reform.

The Criminal Law (Sentencing) (Sentencing Reductions) Amendment Bill 2016 (Sentencing Reductions Bill) (PDF 50KB) has been created to make it easier to focus on the changes to the sentencing discounts that complement this major indictable reform.

Once finalised, the Sentencing Bill and the Sentencing Reductions Bill will be combined.

How can you get involved?

We want your feedback on the proposed changes and how you think it will impact your community and the criminal justice system. You can get involved by:

You can receive updates on the outcomes of the consultation by signing up to the mailing list, justicereform@sa.gov.au.

Want to know more?

Consultation has concluded
  • Update

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    by BTT_Migration_Team,

    Major Indictable Reform Outcomes

    Following extensive consultation, the Summary Procedure (Indictable Offences) Amendment Bill 2016 has been introduced to Parliament.

    The Bill proposes changes to court processes to focus on early resolution and case disclosure. By reducing lengthy delays, the Bill aims to ease the burden on victims of crime and witnesses. In a fundamental change, both prosecution and defence will be required to prepare case statements so the issues in dispute can be identified earlier.

    READ MORE

  • Update

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    by BTT_Migration_Team,

    Major Indictable Reform

    Following the extensive consultation, the Summary Procedure (Indictable Offences) Amendment Bill 2017 passed Parliament on 30 May 2017.

    The Bill makes changes to the Summary Procedure Act 1921, the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 and the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988. It enables courts, police, forensic services and prosecutors to focus their resources where they are most needed, and ease the pressure on our courts system.

    The changes aim to reduce unnecessary hearings by setting realistic time frames and making the prosecution and defence prepare case statements to identify the matters that are in dispute in advance of trial.

    You can find a fact sheet about the changes on the AGD website.