Who we are
The Justice and Community Safety Directorate seeks to maintain a fair, safe and peaceful community in the ACT where people’s rights and interests are respected and protected. This is achieved through maintaining the rule of law, promoting the protection of human rights in the Territory and providing effective offender management and opportunities for rehabilitation. The Directorate is further committed to protecting and preserving life, property and the environment and providing an effective and cohesive emergency response service.
Our mission is to maintain a fair, safe and peaceful community in the ACT where people’s rights and interests are respected and protected.
We pride ourselves on being a directorate whose attitudes and actions are consistent with the ACT public Services values and behaviours. These values and behaviours are embraced in the JACS Strategic Plan 2017-19.
The Justice and Community Safety Directorate and agencies under the portfolio provide services to the entire Canberra community in areas of:
- emergency preparedness and response; and
- protection of rights.
We also provide services across the ACT government including legal advice and legal representation and in specialised areas of legislative drafting.
The systems that deliver these services are directed at:
- maintaining the rule of law as anticipated by the Westminster style of democratic government
- promoting the protection of human rights in the Territory
- protecting and preserving life, property and the environment
- providing effective and cohesive emergency response and management, and
- drafting, implementing and enforcing legislation.
The directorate is continually involved in the law-making process. It plays a critical role in maintaining and reforming the ACT’s body of law. The Directorate advises the Attorney-General, the Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and the Government in general to ensure that ACT laws meet the needs of our changing society.
Approximately half of the Government’s legislative reform is prepared by the directorate. The directorate also provides the Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety and the Government with internal scrutiny services for consistency with the Human Rights Act 2004 and with the legal framework of the Territory as a whole.
The directorate also provides a range of justice, legal and community safety systems by working in partnership with a range of independent judicial and statutory officers who exercise statutory responsibilities.
The Directorate brings together government activities concerned with justice administration, protection of rights and law reform, law enforcement, business regulation and emergency services.
The Directorate is responsible to the ACT Attorney-General and Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and the Minister for Justice.
The Directorate's Director-General is Ms Alison Playford.
The Directorate's executive team consists of:
- the Director-General
- the Deputy Director-General, Community Safety
- the Deputy Director-General, Justice
- the Chief Finance Officer
- the Executive Director, People and Workplace Strategy
- the Executive Director, Governance, and
- the Executive Director, Capital Works.
The Deputy Directors-General have broad oversight responsibilities for the operational and service delivery areas of the Directorate in the following general groupings:
Deputy Director-General (Community Safety)
Deputy Director-General (Justice)
- ACT Courts administration and ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT)
- ACT Government Solicitor
- Legislation and Policy Branch
- Parliamentary Counsel's Office
- various ACT Statutory Offices
We currently employ approximately 1200 staff and oversee approximately 700 volunteers.
They also live in, or in the regional area of one of Australia's most beautiful cities.
The JACS Strategic Plan 2017-2019 defines the strategic direction of the Directorate for a period of 3 years.
The high-level strategic plan is supported by a series of business unit strategic plans, which seeks to demonstrate the linkages across the portfolio in meeting our strategic objectives.
Underpinning our strategy is the need to provide leadership, support and development for the people of Justice and Community Safety as we strive to improve the services we provide to our Ministers, citizens and each other.
The Strategic Plan sets out how the Directorate will work collectively to achieve this.
The Directorate is currently developing the next JACS Strategic Plan for the Directorate with a view of it being launched later this year.
The Security and Emergency Management Branch (SEMB) supports and coordinates a number of government committees and working groups.
Security and Emergency Management Committee of Cabinet (SEMC), which oversees whole-of-government strategic direction to the ACT Government’s preparations for emergencies under an all-hazards planning framework.
Security and Emergency Management Senior Officials Group (SEMSOG), which supports SEMC by providing strategic policy advice on protective security, counter terrorism and emergency management.
Security and Emergency Management Planning Group (SEMPG), which develops, implements and reviews specific security and emergency management matters including plans and sub-plans, reporting to SEMSOG.
ACT Security in Government Committee (ACTSIGC), which is responsible for developing, implementing and reviewing protective security policy and procedures for the ACT Government.
Closed Circuit Television Working Group (CCTVWG), which facilitates and monitors the progress of the government’s review of CCTV capability in the ACT.