Hargreaves rattled on corrections?

johnboy 9 February 2009 12

Minister for Corrections, John Hargreaves, has had a big spray about what he sees as the weakness of the Liberals policies on corrections.

It starts with a fighting headline: Hargreaves tells Liberals to put up or shut up.

And goes on to give us a history lesson in Liberal party policy making in the area:

    “In March 2007, Mr Seselja said “they shouldn’t have gone ahead with it in the first place”, and judging by his comments of October 23, 2006, advocates continuing the philosophy of jail for punishment instead of restorative justice for ACT citizens.”

    “Fast forward to the 2008 election, where we witnessed both Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth again showing their true colours by suggesting that the Opposition would slash operating costs of the Alexander Maconochie Centre by $1.255 million and cut health services to the AMC by $1.105 million – a total reduction of $2.36 million over 4 years, with possible dire human rights outcomes.”

The Minister is sounding all shook up. What happened to welcoming the inquiry with nothing to fear?

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12 Responses to Hargreaves rattled on corrections?
Thumper Thumper 8:31 am 12 Feb 09


Huh? Looks like I created a new word.

Rambling is closer to waht I meant.

Thumper Thumper 8:30 am 12 Feb 09

One would think hargeaves has something to hide regarding the non opening of the prison.

His shambolic ramblic attack on the opposition yesterday was a classic in double, or even triple speak.

I have no doubt that this man has absolutely no idea what is going on in his portfolio.

YapYapYap YapYapYap 12:04 am 12 Feb 09

Barney, the point is that with these laws that inmates (and people who aren’t inmates) can pursue their ‘full’ rights before a court – rights we may all have thought we had, but didn’t. The other element is the requirement under law that ACT prisons comply with the Act. This will see the HR Commissioner, the Auditor General, the Greens, and amazingly even the Liberals focus on whether this is happening. Note: the Liberals do not support the HR Act or an ACT human rights based prison.

Interestingly, there is a matter currently before the ACT Supreme Court on a related matter, that of a person who was falsly arrested. That person (and the the ACT HR Commissioner who has joined in on the matter) have used the rights expressed in the HR Act to pursue compensation. Without that, as was the case in the past, it was stiff shit in such circumstances.

Barney5000 Barney5000 10:38 pm 10 Feb 09

So we have had the human rights of the prisoner for a long time (and thanks for putting up Mr Yap), yet in many prisons I know they aren’t really followed (not that I have actually been to Gaol, but i know some who have).

I just think it’s more important to focus on making sure prisoners are ok, rather than setting up legislation that can often mean very little. I’m also pretty sure money doesn’t mean a prison will be safer as Mr Hargreaves seems to imply.

jakez jakez 10:01 am 10 Feb 09

“He is quite obviously publicly posturing to further his own leadership ambitions.”

You should read the whole press release. It’s like his staffer just thought that if they sprayed in every direction they’d hit something.

What is it about ACT MLAs and ridiculously stupid media releases? They just love to put jibberish out in their names.

p1 p1 9:06 am 10 Feb 09

So, let me get this right. There are laws in this country which make it illegal to bash, rape, torture people or take their stuff. If you break these laws you go to prison. For people in prison we need “extra special” laws to guarantee the same things.

I assume this is because the people in prison had a hard time understanding these laws in the first place?

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 8:58 am 10 Feb 09

Don’t we just need a prison where people don’t get bashed or raped or demeaned etc?

So it’s, like, people have a…hmm, let’s call it a ‘right’ not to get bashed or raped or demeaned? Hey, we could write all these ‘rights’ down so people know about them! And to make sure people take these ‘rights’ seriously, we could, like, totally make it a law or something! And maybe the law could be more specific than ‘etc’! You’re a genius!

This is just “trendy” time wasting rot

Because you muppets seem to be a little slow on the uptake, I’ll type this slowly so you can keep up:

We’ve. Had. Universal. Human. Rights. Since. 1948. And. They’ve. Been. Legally. Binding. On. The. Whole. Country. Since. 1976.

If you think 1948 is trendy I’ve got a trilby for sale. It’ll help hide your lobotomy scar.

Thumper Thumper 8:45 am 10 Feb 09

That’s all well and good, but the thing is still not open.

Starscream Starscream 6:38 am 10 Feb 09


YapYapYap YapYapYap 1:24 am 10 Feb 09

Human rights legislation is not so much about the rights of felons but about ‘our’ rights and granting minimal rights to people deprived of their liberty seems to me to be the mark of a civilised society.

Perhaps a quick read of the Act might better inform this debate:


In particular, I’d love to hear from anyone who believes that any of the following extends an unreasonable right to prisoners:

19 Humane treatment when deprived of liberty
(1) Anyone deprived of liberty must be treated with humanity and with
respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
(2) An accused person must be segregated from convicted people,
except in exceptional circumstances.
Note An accused child must also be segregated from accused adults (see
s 20 (1))
(3) An accused person must be treated in a way that is appropriate for a
person who has not been convicted.

To ensure you don’t end up in gaol, except when you should, the Act says this:

18 Right to liberty and security of person
(1) Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. In
particular, no-one may be arbitrarily arrested or detained.
(2) No-one may be deprived of liberty, except on the grounds and in
accordance with the procedures established by law.
(3) Anyone who is arrested must be told, at the time of arrest, of the
reasons for the arrest and must be promptly told about any charges
against him or her.
(4) Anyone who is arrested or detained on a criminal charge—
(a) must be promptly brought before a judge or magistrate; and
(b) has the right to be tried within a reasonable time or released.
(5) Anyone who is awaiting trial must not be detained in custody as a
general rule, but his or her release may be subject to guarantees to
appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceeding, and, if
appropriate, for execution of judgment.
(6) Anyone who is deprived of liberty by arrest or detention is entitled
to apply to a court so that the court can decide, without delay, the
lawfulness of the detention and order the person’s release if the
detention is not lawful.
(7) Anyone who has been unlawfully arrested or detained has the right
to compensation for the arrest or detention.
(8) No-one may be imprisoned only because of the inability to carry out
a contractual obligation.

It also has this to say:

21 Fair trial
(1) Everyone has the right to have criminal charges, and rights and
obligations recognised by law, decided by a competent, independent
and impartial court or tribunal after a fair and public hearing.
(2) However, the press and public may be excluded from all or part of a
(a) to protect morals, public order or national security in a
democratic society; or
(b) if the interest of the private lives of the parties require the
exclusion; or
(c) if, and to the extent that, the exclusion is strictly necessary, in
special circumstances of the case, because publicity would
otherwise prejudice the interests of justice.
(3) But each judgment in a criminal or civil proceeding must be made
public unless the interest of a child requires that the judgment not be
made public.
22 Rights in criminal proceedings
(1) Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the right to be
presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
(2) Anyone charged with a criminal offence is entitled to the following
minimum guarantees, equally with everyone else:
(a) to be told promptly and in detail, in a language that he or she
understands, about the nature and reason for the charge;
(b) to have adequate time and facilities to prepare his or her
defence and to communicate with lawyers or advisors chosen
by him or her;
(c) to be tried without unreasonable delay;
(d) to be tried in person, and to defend himself or herself
personally, or through legal assistance chosen by him or her;
(e) to be told, if he or she does not have legal assistance, about the
right to legal assistance chosen by him or her;
(f) to have legal assistance provided to him or her, if the interests
of justice require that the assistance be provided, and to have
the legal assistance provided without payment if he or she
cannot afford to pay for the assistance;
(g) to examine prosecution witnesses, or have them examined, and
to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his or
her behalf under the same conditions as prosecution witnesses;
(h) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he or she cannot
understand or speak the language used in court;
(i) not to be compelled to testify against himself or herself or to
confess guilt.
(3) A child who is charged with a criminal offence has the right to a
procedure that takes account of the child’s age and the desirability
of promoting the child’s rehabilitation.
(4) Anyone convicted of a criminal offence has the right to have the
conviction and sentence reviewed by a higher court in accordance
with law.
23 Compensation for wrongful conviction
(1) This section applies if—
(a) anyone is convicted by a final decision of a criminal offence;
(b) the person suffers punishment because of the conviction; and
(c) the conviction is reversed, or he or she is pardoned, on the
ground that a new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively
that there has been a miscarriage of justice.
(2) If this section applies, the person has the right to be compensated
according to law.
(3) However, subsection (2) does not apply if it is proved that the
nondisclosure of the unknown fact in time is completely or partly
the person’s own doing.
24 Right not to be tried or punished more than once
No-one may be tried or punished again for an offence for which he
or she has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance
with law.
25 Retrospective criminal laws
(1) No-one may be held guilty of a criminal offence because of conduct
that was not a criminal offence under Territory law when it was
engaged in.
(2) A penalty may not be imposed on anyone for a criminal offence that
is heavier than the penalty that applied to the offence when it was
committed. If the penalty for an offence is reduced after anyone
commits the offence, he or she benefits from the reduced penalty.

Critics of human rights law (ie you two) might like to explan which of these provisions you think ought not apply, for you.

Barney5000 Barney5000 7:45 pm 09 Feb 09

Why do we need human rights legislation anyway. Don’t we just need a prison where people don’t get bashed or raped or demeaned etc?

Pretty straight forward stuff.

This is just “trendy” time wasting rot

Ari Ari 6:31 pm 09 Feb 09

with possible dire human rights outcomes

Having signed us all up (even if unwillingly) to this human rights framework … he then expects us all to get up in arms to protect the policy?

I just want a jail that actually houses prisoners. A jail without prisoners is very human rights compliant … but a useless waste of money.

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