Queensland Law Society

Start dates of stage one Moynihan reforms announced

Earlier this month, the Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction Reform and Modernisation Amendment Bill, which outlines the first stage of reforms following the wide-ranging review of Queensland’s justice system by the Honourable Martin Moynihan AO QC, was passed by Parliament.

The Bill received assent on 13 August 2010, and yesterday (26 August) the start dates of the staged introduction of various reforms were proclaimed – with some introduced from 1 September and others effective from 1 November 2010.

Amendments to commence on 1 September 2010 are:

  • to the Public Trustee Act 1978 and the Financial Accountability Act 2009 to facilitate the payment of unclaimed money held by the state into the Public Trust Office’s Unclaimed Moneys Fund;
  • to clarify the operation of aspects of the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999;
  • to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 relating to disputes about debts;
  • to the Justices Act 1886 to replace outdated references to a stipendiary magistrate with a reference to a magistrate;
  • to the Justices Act 1886 and Magistrates Courts Act 1921 to establish the position of “principal registrar/clerk of the court”;
  • to section 61 of the District Court of Queensland Act 1967, and related transitional provision, to increase the general criminal jurisdiction of the District Court to all indictable offences with a maximum penalty of 20 years or less;
  • to section 41 of the Magistrates Act 1991 to make a grammatical change; and
  • to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (and related amendments to the Supreme Court of Queensland Act 1991) to clarify the operation of rules 283 and 286.

All other provisions are to commence on 1 November 2010. These provisions include various changes to the criminal law jurisdiction and changes to the financial jurisdiction of the civil courts.

The amendments will be the subject of several Queensland Law Society seminars or conference sessions:

Queensland Law Society will keep members informed of further developments on this issue via QLS Update and our other publications. We will soon release some guidance material that outlines the transition to the changes to the financial jurisdiction of the civil courts.

A copy of the proclamation may be accessed on the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website: www.legislation.qld.gov.au.