Progressive law reforms to head Parliamentary Sittings

NT Government

A suite of progressive law reforms heads the final Sittings weeks of the Legislative Assembly for 2022, with raising the age of criminal responsibility, Anti-Discrimination Act amendments, and changes to sentencing legislation up for debate.

The Bills, to be debated over the next two weeks, contemporise legislation; deliver smarter, justice; and promote equal opportunity for Territorians.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Age of Responsibility) Bill 2022 raises the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 years old in line with recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. The Territory Labor Government is breaking the cycle of offending that contributes to children’s prolonged involvement in the justice system through early intervention, prevention and diversion.The Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill 2022, which provides a framework of protection against discrimination, represents the most significant modification to the Act since it commenced 30 years ago. Changes will contemporise the legislation and strengthen equality of opportunity by protecting Territorians from unfair discrimination.The Sentencing and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 reforms mandatory sentencing for a limited range of offences and introduces new Enforced Corrections Orders to break the cycle of reoffending, prioritise victim safety, support victims of crime and hold offenders accountable.

Quotes attributable to Leader of Government Business Chansey Paech:

“The Territory Labor Government is delivering progressive reforms that will contemporise our laws and offer a better future for Territorians.

“We need to be smart about the way we deliver justice, and serious about promoting equality of opportunity. It’s how the NT will become a better place.

“The Northern Territory is no longer modern Australia’s backwater. But one value that has survived our transformation from harsh lands to a contemporary, dynamic society brimming with cultural and social diversity, is our united belief that everyone deserves a fair go. And that’s exactly what is at the heart of our law reform agenda.”

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