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FINAL CALL FOR OPEN JUSTICE LAW REFORM SUBMISSIONS

Gavel leaning against a row of law books
Written by NSW Government

FINAL CALL FOR OPEN JUSTICE LAW REFORM SUBMISSIONS

People across NSW are encouraged to have their say about proposed reforms to the laws relating to open justice in courts and tribunals.

Attorney General Mark Speakman is calling for submissions into the NSW Law Reform Commission Open Justice Review draft proposals before they close on 2 August 2021.

“I encourage all members of the community, legal practitioners, judicial officers, journalists and academics to make their voices heard,” Mr Speakman said.

“The LRC’s final report will consider whether our laws strike the right balance between protecting the rights of victims and witnesses, privacy, confidentiality, national security on the one hand and the public interest in open justice on the other hand.”

In February 2019 Mr Speakman asked the LRC to review the operation of suppression and non-publication orders, orders closing hearings to the public and access to information in NSW courts and tribunals.

 

The LRC reviewed some of these issues in 2003 before the prevalence of smartphones and social media. Its draft proposals are designed to inform modern legislation that is responsive to the digital era.

Promoting consistency in decision making is another objective of any new laws. The LRC has proposed changes which it contemplates will enhance protections for vulnerable groups, while also empowering people to share their stories publicly if they wish.

The draft proposals have been developed following the LRC’s research, previous submissions and consultations.

“Open justice underpins our legal system, and any reforms must ensure the integrity of the courts while keeping pace with societal and technological changes,” Mr Speakman said.

To make a submission on the Open Justice Review’s draft proposals, visit the NSW Law Reform Commission website.

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