find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
Lawyers speak out against mandatory sentencing

Lawyers speak out against mandatory sentencing

An association of lawyers has spoken out against a South Australian court decision that it says highlights unjust Australian laws that discriminately incarcerate people.

An association of lawyers has spoken out against a South Australian court decision that it says highlights unjust Australian laws that discriminately incarcerate people.

An Indonesian fisherman in South Australia was sentenced to jail last Thursday, in what the trial judge Gordon Barrett labelled as the “lowest level of involvement” for a people smuggling crime.

Australian Lawyers Alliance National president, Tony Kerin, said mandatory sentencing laws put the poor, marginalized and vulnerable such as asylum seekers at risk.

Zainudin Zainudin was found guilty of aggravated people smuggling last week, while his co-accused was acquitted.

A third man, who recruited the two men, jumped ship when the boat reached the end of Indonesian territorial waters and was taken back to land by a boat trailing behind.

Zainudin was given a three year sentence for crewing what the judge was satisfied the Indonesian believed to be a fishing boat that would return to Indonesian waters.

“Judge Gordon Barrett added to previous judicial concerns about mandatory sentencing laws that hamstring judges in providing appropriate sentences,” Kerin said.

 “Judge Barrett was impelled under law to set a mandatory five-year term with a minimum non-parole period of three years and expressed his view about being required to impose mandatory and disproportionate sentences,” Kerin said.

The Judge referred to WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin’s comments on such penalties and the wider implications this had to the cost of administering justice in Australia.

“Mandatory sentencing is supposed to be used as a deterrent, but how can that be with poor, uneducated fishermen, desperate to put food on the table and who at best are categorised as low level offenders, being the ones put behind bars. Nothing good comes of such laws,” Kerin said.

“The poor, marginalised and vulnerable such as asylum seekers, are always going to be most at risk with such laws. In people smuggling cases, the masterminds will have often already jumped ship,” he said.

Â

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 speak out against mandatory sentencing
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...