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Friday, 1 March 2024

Law Reform and Sentencing Advisory Council

Late last year, the ACT Government established the ACT Law Reform and Sentencing Advisory Council (the Council). The Council’s role is to provide the ACT Attorney-General with high level, independent advice in relation to law reform issues and sentencing matters in the ACT. The Council is chaired by Lisbeth Campbell, a former ACT Magistrate from 1998 to 2023, with 12 members drawn from the ACT justice and community sector. The ACT Law Society representative on the Council is Michael Kukulies-Smith. 

The Council is committed to ensuring that its advice to government is independent and impartial, and aims to do this through a robust consultation process. The Chair is passionate about actively seeking different perspectives from a diverse range of stakeholders, to ensure all voices are given an opportunity to be heard and considered. 

The first referral to the Council from the ACT Attorney-General was a sentencing reference on dangerous driving, for report by 30 July 2024. This reference has as its background the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee’s Inquiry into Dangerous Driving in the ACT completed in April 2023 (to which the Society contributed). The Council is expected to release a Discussion Paper in the near future.

In addition to Michael Kukulies-Smith's representation on the Council, the Society will also engage with the sentencing reference through its Criminal Law Committee. Members who have an interest and/or expertise in this area are also encouraged to contribute to this important body of work (and can register their interest to do so via policy@actlawsociety.asn.au). Individual practitioners are also welcome to engage directly with the Council via LRSACSecretariat@act.gov.au.