Queensland Law Society

Queensland Law Society urges preventative approach in response to increasing coward punch attacks

Queensland Law Society urges the Queensland Parliament as a whole to carefully consider lockout legislation currently before it, in order to prevent the further loss of lives due to coward punches and alcohol-fuelled violence.
 
Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts said that the death of 18-year-old Queenslander Cole Miller due to a coward punch was tragic.
 
“The loss of anyone, let alone such a young man, is heartbreaking. We must do all we can to prevent this from happening again,” he said.
 
“This latest event provides evidence that the approach of heavy penalties as a deterrent doesn’t work. It just doesn’t come into play when these attacks occur.
 
“I firmly believe in prevention rather than punishment. We must do everything we can to prevent the loss of lives, rather than focusing on society’s retribution after someone is killed. Experience from other Australian states shows that lockouts substantially reduce the rates of assault, and can be an effective part of the solution to prevent more tragedies.”
 
Mr Potts also said the use of social media in these instances had to be carefully considered to ensure that justice was not impeded.
 
“I understand that the public uses social media as a safety valve during highly emotional circumstances. However, there is real danger that words spoken out of anger may influence potential jurors,” he said.
 
“I ask members of the public to consider the Cole family’s right to justice being done for their son. Justice must be done in the courts and not on the internet.”
 
Queensland Law Society has made a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the Tackling Alcohol-fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, and continues to advocate on this important issue.
 
For further information, please contact Melissa Raassina on 07 3842 5849 or via email m.raassina@qls.com.au.

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