The option of trial by Judge alone in the Supreme Court, subject to appropriate safeguards, is another step closer following the passage of the Criminal Code Amendment (Judge Alone Trials) Bill 2021 through the House of Assembly today.
Tasmania does not currently have the option of trial by Judge alone, and the passing of this Bill will bring Tasmania into line with other Australian statesand the ACT.
Judge alone criminal trials provide an alternative to jury trials and may assist in helping to reduce court backlogs, along with allowing for greater choice and better access to justice for Tasmanians.
It complements our important reforms we have progressed in recent years to reduce court backlogs, including the Magistrates Court (Criminal and General Division) Act 2019 and the Justice Miscellaneous (Court Backlog and Related Matters) Act 2020.
It confirms our commitment to deliver a more efficient and effective justice system for all Tasmanians and I look forward to the Bill’s passage through the Legislative Council in 2022.
Elise Archer, Attorney-General