Legislation and Policy

The Legislation and Policy Branch develops policy and legislation across the portfolio's areas of responsibility and provides advice on human rights, civil law and criminal law across legislation.

Objectives

  • Management of legislation projects for the Directorate.
  • Development of policies and programs in response to crime and safety concerns.
  • Establishment and maintenance of a human rights culture.
  • Delivery of restorative justice process to offenders, victims of crime and their supporters.

Groups within the Legislation and Policy Branch are:

Criminal Law Group

The Criminal Law Group provides the Attorney-General with advice on criminal law policy.  The Group also has a primary role in developing new legislation and policy reform for the Territory’s criminal justice system.  The Group also provides advice and assistance to agencies on criminal law policy, such as offence construction, penalty setting and consequences of conviction.

Civil Law Group

The Civil Law Group is responsible for advising the Attorney-General about, and developing changes to, the civil law in the ACT.  The range of law covered is very broad, encompassing civil wrongs, testamentary law, the law of property (including trusts), classification and censorship of publications, privacy, family and relationships issues, gender and sexual identity.  The Group provides advice about the ACT justice framework (courts and tribunals), governance and the constitutional status and operation of the ACT.  It is also responsible for the regulation of cooperatives, trustee companies, justices of the peace and mediators, and has general policy oversight of the provision of legal services and the governance and regulation of the ACT legal profession.

Regulatory Policy Group

The Regulatory Policy Group is responsible to the Attorney-General for the development and amendment of legislation dealing with commercial regulation in the ACT marketplace.   The Group considers legal policy and provides advice on issues as diverse as regulatory areas including consumer protection and fair trading matters, liquor, security, business names and motor vehicle trading.  The Group also provides legal policy advice on national Council of Australian Government market competition including the National Seamless Economy and other regulatory matters. 

Human Rights, Coordination and Scrutiny Group

The Human Rights, Coordination and Scrutiny Group has wide-ranging responsibility for human rights and freedom of information policy in the ACT and for policy coordination across the Legislation and Policy Branch.  The group administers the Human Rights Act 2004 and the Freedom of Information Act 1989.  Additionally, the group coordinates the ACT’s involvement with the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General and the National Justice CEOs’ Group, and is responsible for arrangements for the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council.

The group plays a key role in the legislative process, scrutinising all government bills proposed for introduction in the Legislative Assembly for compatibility with the Human Rights Act 2004.

Justice Planning and Programs Group

The Justice Planning and Programs Group has a key role in managing the Police Purchase Agreement, participating in and coordinating the development of criminal justice reforms, including policy relevant to victims of crime and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice; and coordinating crime prevention strategies that involve a whole-of-government and community approach to identifying and responding to priority crime and safety concerns.    

Restorative Justice Unit

The Restorative Justice Unit is responsible for providing the ACT community access to restorative justice. It is a community based response to crime that emphasises the consequences of an offence and holds the offender responsible for an act of wrongdoing.

Contact

Legislation and Policy Branch
Level 4, 12 Moore Street
Canberra 2601

P: (02) 620 70006
F: (02) 620 50937
E: JACSLPB@act.gov.au

Revision: 10

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