The new community corrections, effective as of Monday 16th January 2012, replace all current community-based orders, so what does this mean for the defence lawyer?
Having just handled a matter of breach of CBO today, I can attest these are the new rules:
If breach is laid prior to 16 January 2012, then the ‘old’ rules apply – that is, a Magistrate can vary, confirm or cancel the Order.
If breach is laid after 16 January 2012, then the only option a Magistrate has is to confirm or cancel the Order.
The difficulty is currently this: CourtLink is currently not allowing Magistrates to vary the older Orders. So, if you have a client in breach where you are seeking to have the Order extended (for example), the Court is presently unable to do so. This is a statewide problem that needs to be addressed by the CourtLink people. If you have a Corrections breach matter listed in the coming weeks, bear that in mind – all breach matters where the breach was initiated prior to 16 January 2012 and where you are seeking variation of the Order cannot be dealt with and will need to be adjourned for about a month until the computer issue is fixed.
The one workaround is to suggest that the Order be cancelled and that the client be placed on what is effectively the same Order, albeit a CCO. This requires a new assessment by Corrections, despite the fact that the client might still be on an Order.
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