Queensland Law Society

QLS says abolition of antiquated laws allowing 17-year-olds to be sentenced as adults a win for common sense

The State Government’s decision to dispatch antiquated and archaic laws requiring 17-year-old offenders to be sentenced as adults would help teens avoid becoming career criminals, according to the Queensland Law Society.

Society president Bills Potts has applauded the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s passing of new laws that replace legislation put in place for almost 25 years and was long ago abandoned by every other state and territory in Australia.

“Queensland Law Society called for this prior to the last election, and has advocated consistently for this humanitarian reform, so I note with some satisfaction that the government has accepted the Society’s view on this,” Mr Potts said.

“It is one of the many reforms called for by the Society and adopted by the Palaszczuk Government, and possibly the most important.

“By keeping children out of adult prisons we increase their chances of rehabilitation immeasurably, which is good for them and good for Queensland.”

Mr Potts comments follow the passing of amendments to the state’s Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 on Thursday (Nov 3) evening.

The amendment means 17-year-olds will now be treated by the courts as juveniles, rather than be put through the adult justice system.

Mr Potts said that he was glad that the government was continuing its policy of consultation on legislative change, which the Society had also called for prior to the 2015 election.

“We support the government’s commitment to consult with stakeholders and are proud that Society representatives have been part of that consultation,” he said.

“Our hard-working committees and policy team have striven for this reform over the last 18 months, and it is good to see those efforts rewarded. The Society will continue to push for good law, for the benefit of all Queenslanders, and I hope the government keeps listening.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, media@qls.com.au