Report for the Criminal Procedure Review—Magistrates Courts

The Criminal Procedure Review—Magistrates Courts is now complete.

On 2 May 2023 the Reviewer, Mr Michael Shanahan AM, provided the Criminal Procedure Review—Magistrates Courts summary report 2023 (the report) to the former Attorney-General, as required under the Terms of reference.

The report examines the main criminal procedure laws that apply in Queensland’s Magistrates Courts, and makes recommendations for a new contemporary and effective legislative framework to ultimately replace the Justices Act 1886.

The report also recommends the centralisation of the current Magistrates Courts into a single Magistrates Court of Queensland, and that magistrates and the Magistrates Courts are retitled as Local Court judges and the Local Court of Queensland respectively.

The report is now publicly available in 2 volumes.

Volume 1 is in 3 parts:

  • Part A—Explains how the review occurred and summarises consultation feedback.
  • Part B—Addresses the topic of a single court and retitling matters.
  • Part C—Sets out and explains the recommendations that make up a new contemporary and effective criminal procedure Bill and related matters. Separate chapters deal with the main criminal procedure topics in the Magistrates Court.

Volume 2 contains the complete list of recommendations from the report and Appendix C, which includes recommended drafting instructions for new criminal procedure legislation in the Magistrates Courts. The recommended drafting instructions act as the blueprint guide for the development of any new legislation.

The Queensland Government will continue to consider the detailed recommendations and the further steps that would be required to advance the much-anticipated criminal procedure legislative reforms. Any progress will be made in close consultation with key stakeholders and with reference to the Queensland Government’s future budget processes.