Queensland Law Society has expressed disappointment over the Government’s decision today to introduce the Strengthening Community Safety Bill with a reporting deadline of 10 March and a submission deadline of 24 February, providing a mere 2½ business days for stakeholders to respond.
QLS President Chloé Kopilović said that a proper consultation period was required when it came to youth justice.
“We have consistently advocated for proper consultation, and the news of a two-week reporting deadline on the new Bill is proof the Government is not prioritising youth justice by rushing it through,” she said.
The Strengthening Community Safety Bill will include an amendment to the Bail Act which allows children breaching bail to be charged with the same offence as an adult.
“Extending breach of bail as an offence to children and young people would restrict the ability of judicial decision-makers and therefore will likely lead to a substantial increase in the financial cost of remand and recidivist offending, as well as the social and financial costs of victimisation,” Ms Kopilović said.
“We are also disappointed with the emboldened decision to override this Government’s Human Rights Act and its statement stating the Bill’s provisions are ‘incompatible’ with human rights.
“We are looking forward to participating in the parliamentary committee process and hope the government takes the time to seriously consider submissions received from experts in youth justice.”