Page 3908 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013
MR RATTENBURY: There were a range of projections available to the government of the day, as Mr Hanson is well aware, and the government clearly took a decision based on that range of projections.
MS LAWDER: My question is to the Attorney-General and follows submissions by the Human Rights Commission relating to offenders’ rights in the Supreme Court system. Attorney, the Human Rights Commissioner has called on the government to consider meeting the costs of offenders in the Supreme Court if their case is unduly delayed, and also that social disadvantage be taken into account when considering sentencing. Attorney, what investigation or consultation has the government undertaken comparing the costs of paying offenders versus the costs of appointing a fifth Justice to prevent the problem in the first place?
MR CORBELL: The government is not contemplating any measures such as those suggested by the Human Rights Commission. In my view, the suggestions on the part of the Human Rights Commission are without any merit.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.
MS LAWDER: Thank you, Attorney. Can you confirm: has there been any investigation or consultation by the government in relation to considering social disadvantage in relation to sentencing for convicted offenders?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Lawder for the question. An offender’s individual background, including any disadvantage they face or continue to face, is a relevant consideration for a sentencing judge at this time.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Attorney, what consultation have you had with lawyers who are calling for the appointment of a fifth Supreme Court judge?
Dr Bourke: A point of order.
MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order?
Dr Bourke: Relevance, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: The first question was about offenders’ rights and whether there had been any investigation to deal with those costs as opposed to the cost of appointing a fifth judge. Is that right, Ms Lawder?
Ms Lawder: Yes.
MADAM SPEAKER: It is perfectly in order.