Queensland Law Society

Queensland Law Society welcomes changes to Penalties and Sentences Act and Youth Justice Act

Queensland Law Society (QLS) welcomes proposed amendments to the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 and the Youth Justice Act 1992, which will address complications created by the High Court of Australia decision in Barbaro v The Queen and Zirilli v The Queen.
 
QLS president Michael Fitzgerald said the amendments would assist in the administration of justice and provide clarity to lawyers and their clients.
 
“The Society welcomes these changes, and is proud to have been involved in advocacy on this issue,” he said.
 
“For years, if a defendant was found guilty or entered a guilty plea, the lawyers could suggest a range of penalties to assist the court in determining the appropriate sentence.
 
“The decision in Barbaro v The Queen resulted in lawyers no longer being permitted to do this, making the job of the court that much harder.
 
“The amendments put forward in the Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Bill (No.2) 2015 will benefit the courts, by allowing sentencing recommendations to be made – a particular advantage for the Magistrates Courts.”
 
The Magistrates Courts are among Queensland’s busiest courts, with a very broad jurisdiction. Magistrates are often confronted with unusual or rare offences, making the option of relying on the submissions of lawyers beneficial, saving time and improving the quality of sentencing.
 
“Queensland Law Society supports good lawyers and advocates for good law. These changes will both promote and deliver good law,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
 
For further information, please contact Gabrielle Kopke on 07 3842 5903, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, g.kopke@qls.com.au