Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC)
Notes on clauses
Clause 1-Short title
1 Clause 1 provides for the Act to be cited as the Statute Law Revision Act (No. 3) 2015.
2 Subclause 2(1) provides that each provision of the Act specified in column 1 of the table set out in the subclause commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.
3 The note at the end of the table explains that the table relates only to the provisions of the Act as originally enacted. The table will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of the Act.
4 Subclause 2(2) provides that any information in column 3 of the table is not part of the Act. It also clarifies that information may be inserted in column 3, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of the Act.
5 Items in Schedule 1 to the Bill correct errors in principal Acts. All items in the Schedule commence 28 days after this Act receives the Royal Assent. This is because the "slip rule" will have been applied to each error since the enactment of the erroneous provision. This means that the text of the law will have been taken to have been correct, despite the error.
6 Current Commonwealth drafting practice is to avoid retrospective commencement where practicable. Given the application of the "slip rule", it is appropriate for these amendments to commence soon after Royal Assent. The amendments ensure that the text of the law accords with how it would be interpreted.
7 Other items in Schedule 1 to the Bill relate to removals of redundant text or renumbering of text and it is appropriate that these items commence on the 28th day after the day this Act receives the Royal Assent because they do not change the substantive content of the law.
8 Schedule 2 to the Bill corrects errors in amending Acts. They relate to misdescribed amendments contained in amending Acts. The commencement of items dealing with misdescribed amendments is tied to the time specified in the amending Act for the commencement of the amendment.
9 Schedule 3 to the Bill makes clear on the face of an Act that the Crown in right of the Australian Capital Territory and of the Northern Territory is bound and modernises the form of a provision about whether the Crown is liable to be prosecuted for an offence. The Schedule is to commence prospectively at the later of the start of the day after this Act receives the Royal Assent and immediately after the commencement of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act 2015.
10 Schedule 4 to the Bill modernises terminology in accordance with current drafting practice by changing phrases like "is guilty of an offence" to "commits an offence" or similar phrases. The Schedule is to commence 28 days after this Act receives the Royal Assent.
11 Schedule 5 to the Bill modernises terminology in accordance with current drafting practice by changing "reference base" to "index reference period" The Schedule is to commence 28 days after this Act receives the Royal Assent.
12 Schedule 6 to the Bill repeals spent and obsolete provisions of Acts. The Schedule is to commence 28 days after this Act receives the Royal Assent.
13 Clause 3 provides that legislation that is specified in a Schedule to the Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule and any other item in a Schedule has effect according to its terms. This is a technical provision to give operational effect to the amendments contained in the Schedules.