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Transforming Criminal Justice

Transforming Criminal Justice presents bold and brave ideas for reform, considering all the bodies and institutions that are part of the criminal justice system or interact with it.

Putting people first

The Government of South Australia is committed to creating a future criminal justice system that meets community expectations, that protects and supports victims, and that acts quickly and effectively so that offenders face consequences in a timely manner. To do this, reform is required across the entire continuum of the criminal justice system: from police to prisons, victims of crime and witnesses, the legal profession, the judiciary, the courts and the parole board.

What's happening right now?

Improving information sharing

The government is pursuing a number of measures to modernise and improve information sharing within the criminal justice sector.

The Summary Procedure (Service) Amendment Bill 2017 is currently before Parliament. The Bill aims to future-proof the criminal justice system by enabling information to be sent and served in more ways, and to keep pace with evolving technologies. This includes the electronic transfer of court documents, police-issued summons and the potential for new rules to allow online guilty pleas.

In addition, the Electronic Transactions (Legal Proceedings) Amendment Bill 2017 was passed by Parliament on 29 March 2017. The Bill modifies the Electronic Transactions Act 2000, allowing for the broader use of electronic communications in legal proceedings.

Find out more about improving information sharing

Youth Court legislation commenced 1 January 2017
The Statutes Amendment (Youth Court) Act 2016 commenced on 1 January 2017. The Act makes a number of changes that allow the Youth Court to operate in a more flexible manner. These changes allow magistrates to do more of the work of the Youth Court. The title of the principal judicial officer of the Youth Court has been changed from Senior Judge to Judge.

PDF iconYouth Court amendments factsheet (PDF 170.92 KB)
Sentencing Bill 2016
The Sentencing Bill 2016 passed Parliament on 6 July 2017. 

Under the new laws, courts will be able to impose two additional types of sentence: community-based orders and intensive correction orders. Intensive correction orders offer a further level of protection, while better supporting the rehabilitation of those offenders for whom a sentence of imprisonment is not considered appropriate.

In addition, the Bill gives judges and magistrates more guidance about how to prioritise considerations when sentencing offenders. They will have to place public safety first ­ with other factors such as rehabilitation, punishment, publicly denouncing an offender and holding them to account given secondary consideration.


Read more about the Sentencing Act review. 
Major indictable reform

Following extensive consultation, the Summary Procedure (Indictable Offences) Amendment Bill 2017  passed Parliament on 30 May 2017. The Bill changes court processes to focus on early resolution and case disclosure.

By reducing lengthy delays, the Bill will ease the burden on victims of crime and witnesses. In a fundamental change, both prosecution and defence will be required to prepare case statements so the issues in dispute can be identified earlier.

Read more about  major indictable reform.