Supplementary Order Paper No 327

No 327

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

End of Life Choice Bill

Proposed amendment to SOP No 259

Chris Penk, in Committee, to move the following amendment:

Clause 19

In clause 19, replace subclause (1) (page 17) with:

(1)

The Director-General must establish the SCENZ Group by appointing to it the number of members that the Director-General, in consultation with the Solicitor-General or such other person appointed by the Minister of Justice, considers appropriate.

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper amends the End of Life Choice Bill to afford a modest degree of oversight (indirectly, through the appointment of the SCENZ Group) to a legal officer, in the person of the Solicitor-General or other delegate of the Minister of Justice.

This proposal reflects that issues relating to euthanasia and assisted suicide are properly characterised as those of justice rather than health care.

This proposal is also consistent with Parliament’s procedural pathway for the Bill, which was considered by the Justice Committee and not the Health Committee, and the fact that the Bill includes amendments to the Crimes Act 1961.

This proposal is also consistent with the approach of other jurisdictions overseas, to the extent that:

  • in Canada, the somewhat equivalent legislation is reviewed by the Canadian equivalents of both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice; and

  • in Belgium, the costs of implementing euthanasia law are shared equally between the budgets of the Minister of Health and the Minister of Justice.