Supplementary Order Paper No 284

No 284

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill

Proposed amendment to Supplementary Order Paper No 281

Dr Kennedy Graham, in Committee, to move the following amendment to the proposed amendments:

Clause 128(3)

To omit this subclause and substitute the following subclause:

  • (3) Despite subsection (2), the court must not proceed with a hearing in the absence of the defendant unless the court is satisfied that the defendant will not be prejudiced by his or her absence, and the defendant consents.

Explanatory note

This SOP tightens up clause 128 relating to trials in absentia. Currently the legislation reads that a defendant could have a reasonable excuse for not being present, yet the hearing could continue because the judge believes the defendant will not be prejudiced through absence. This change ensures that the defendant consents to a trial taking place while the defendant is in absentia.