find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
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
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
06:04
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
The Law Council of Australia says the establishment of a panel which will examine the human right to...
Law Society launched a new website, legal politics and lawmaking
06:00
Law Society launches project to engage young Aussies
The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website to engage young Australians in legal politics and ...
recognised for human rights work
06:00
LexisNexis executive recognised for human rights work
A LexisNexis executive has been announced as a finalist in a global awards program for women in busi...
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 & ...