Justice and Human Rights under attack in NSW
On 24 January ALHR issued a media release in response to the proposed new NSW laws imposing mandatory minimum sentences for a range of crimes including assault and affray. ALHR’s Vice President, Nathan Kennedy, said “The deaths due to recent ‘one-punch’ attacks in NSW are tragic and the Government has a responsibility to protect the right to life of the people of NSW. However, the proposed minimum sentences for more minor crimes will do nothing to prevent such attacks and will violate Australia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).”
Following lobbying by ALHR and others, the NSW government dropped its call for mandatory minimum sentences on more minor offences including assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray. Mandatory minimums for a series of more serious offences look set to fail as well, as reported in recent media.