Northern Territory Explanatory Statements

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SENTENCING (CRIME OF MURDER) AND PAROLE REFORM AMENDMENT BILL 2008

2


Sentencing (Crime of Murder) and Parole Reform Amdt Bill 2008_ES
2-5-08

2008

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE
NORTHERN TERRITORY

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SENTENCING (CRIME OF MURDER) AND PAROLE REFORM BILL 2008

SERIAL NO. 142

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT


GENERAL OUTLINE

Following the Court of Criminal Appeal’s decision in Bakewell v

The Queen [2008] NTCCA 3, the Sentencing (Crime of Murder) and Parole Reform Act 2003 requires clarification. The minimum non-parole period which must be served by prisoners who fall under the transitional provisions of the Act, where circumstances of aggravation accompanying the crime of murder are found to exist, is 25 years imprisonment.

The Bill also provides that further application may be made for a longer, or no parole period, in matters which have already been determined by the Court under section 19 of the Act, for a period of 6 months after the Bill commences.

NOTES ON CLAUSES

Clause 1. Short Title.

This is a formal clause which provides for the citation of the Bill.

The Bill when passed may be cited as the Sentencing

(Crime of Murder) and Parole Reform Amendment Act 2008.

Clause 2. Act Amended.

This Act amends the Sentencing (Crime of Murder) and

Parole Reform Act 2003.

Clause 3. Amendment of section 19 (DPP may apply for longer or no parole period)

The heading is substituted to “Application to extend or exclude

non-parole period”. The purpose of this Clause is to remove discretion from both the DPP and the Supreme Court. If circumstances of aggravation appear to exist for the crime of murder of a particular transitional life prisoner, the DPP must apply to the Court for an extended non-parole period, or no parole period. The Supreme Court must exercise its powers under section 19(1) (a) of the Act if any prescribed circumstances of aggravation are found to exist.

Prescribed circumstances of aggravation are found at section 19(3).

The Court must exercise one of the following powers upon a finding that prescribe circumstances of aggravation exist:

(i) fix a non-parole period of 25 years imprisonment (section 19(3)); or
(ii) fix a longer non-parole period (section 19(4)); or
(iii) refuse to fix a non-parole period (section 19(5)).
If no prescribed circumstances of aggravation are found to exist, the Supreme Court may dismiss the application under section 19(1) (b), or alternatively may exercise one of the powers under section 19(3), (4) or (5).

The DPP may make further application on an unsuccessful application where it was, or could have been established, that prescribed circumstances of aggravation existed. This must be done within

six months of commencement.

The further application may be made by either the DPP or the Attorney-General.

 


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