Queensland Law Society

QLS supports equal justice in tragic circumstances

Queensland Law Society has supported a review into child sentencing in Queensland, while also flagging the importance of individual, equal justice for all Queenslanders.

Today (THUR 17 MAY), QLS received requests from media to discuss findings by the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council which stated that three in five Queensland offenders sentenced for a child homicide since 2005 (62 in total) were convicted of manslaughter and not murder.

QLS president Ken Taylor said that it was a tragedy when any child or vulnerable member of the community was injured, abused or in the worst case, killed.

“We are all impacted as a community when a child passes away, and we all agree that we must protect the vulnerable to the best of our abilities,” he said.

Mr Taylor said the Society supported reviews such as this, as they were necessary to ensuring justice ran swiftly and fairly in the State.

QLS deputy president Bill Potts has been speaking with media today to explain the root cause of crime and the role of the justice system.

“We often forget that the cause of these tragedies often play out daily in our community.

“Depression is a hidden scourge, and rather than taking a law and order stance, we ask that the community take into account the complexities in these cases such as mental health issues and substance abuse.

“As a community, we value life above all, and justice has to be done for the whole community.

“We must help young families and those struggling, and where we fail to do so, we see the unfortunate loss of life.”

Mr Taylor urged members of the public to realise the tough role that members of the judiciary carry out on a daily basis.

“We must remember in reviews such as this one, that they do not take into account each detail or every individual case,” he said.

“A member of the judiciary has the advantage of reviewing all of the evidence before them and observing any witnesses who take the stand.

“Personal emotions or opinions must remain separate from the court room, as justice is not equal for all if it is swayed by anything other than fact and law.

“QLS has 26 dedicated policy committees that look at good law for all Queenslanders, and we look forward to continuing our work in the criminal law space and in protecting the vulnerable to contributing to reviews such as this.”