find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Lawyers slam asylum seeker sentencing

Lawyers slam asylum seeker sentencing

A legal professional body has lashed out at a federal opposition claim that if elected it would reintroduce five-year mandatory sentences of asylum seeker crews.

A legal professional body has lashed out at a federal opposition claim that if elected it would reintroducee five-year mandatory sentences of asylum seeker crews, just days after the government announced a reversal on a similar long-held policy.

“Professional people smugglers aren’t the only occupation trading in human misery in Australia – opportunistic politicians are capitalising on fear and ignorance with a quick easy vote-grab that harshly punishes some of the world’s most vulnerable people,” Australian Lawyers Alliance national President, Tony Kerin, said today.

Judges have previously spoken out about the way such laws remove judicial discretion and impose long sentences on people involved in varying degrees with alleged people smuggling activity.

“These judges have only just finished breathing a collective sigh of relief following a government announcement of an end to mandatory sentencing and now this from the opposition,” Kerin said.

A plan to impose an extra two years on top of the three previously imposed will “rob two extra years of people’s lives”, he said.

An Australian Human Rights Commission report ‘the Age of Uncertainty’, released this year, shows minors are increasingly being swept up under such laws.

“We have also heard stories of people’s families dying while they are in prison, because such families cannot afford simple medical treatment for asthma for children while the main breadwinner is imprisoned in Australia.

“And children are being taken out of school because families can’t afford to keep them there.

“Starvation and hunger make desperate people do desperate things. Locking such people up unfairly for years only threatens life, destroys families and increases mental suffering for people who have so little,” Kerin said.


Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyers slam asylum seeker sentencing
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...