Revised Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator the Honourable Amanda Vanstone)
Notes on clauses
1. This clause provides for the short title of the Act.
2. Subclause 2(1) provides that certain provisions commence on Royal Assent. This is because they need to commence as soon as practicable because they are relevant to the application of the Criminal Code to all Commonwealth offences. These include certain machinery provisions (proposed sections 1 - 3), item 1 which enables regulations to be made, items 4 and 32 which provide for the definition of engage in conduct which is necessary for the correct interpretation of other offences; item 6, which removes an ambiguity in the general provisions which apply to other offences; and item 7 which contains a general defence of lawful authority which is also relevant to other offences; and items 9, 10 and 11 which are general interpretative provisions.
3. Subclause 2(2) provides that the remaining provisions of the Act are to commence on Proclamation.
4. Subclause 2(3) provides that the Act, if it is not proclaimed earlier, will commence 6 months after it receives Royal Assent. This will provide the Government some flexibility about the date of commencement to ensure there is adequate awareness of the new provisions. It also avoids the undesirable outcome of having unproclaimed legislation on the statute book for too long.
5. Subclauses 2(5) and 2(9) deal with the commencement of legislation which may be amended before this Bill commences. As the timing of when a Bill of this nature is likely to commence is uncertain, the proposed provisions ensure it will operate as intended regardless of the timing.
6. This clause provides that the Acts specified in the Schedules to the Bill, the Criminal Code Act 1995 in Schedule 1 and other legislation in Schedule 2 is amended as set out in each case.