Civil Liberties Vice-President (Terry O’Gorman) said that reports attributed to the Attorney-General today that he had lost faith in Court ordered parole and suspended sentences were another alarming indication of the Attorney-General increasingly telling Judges how to do their job.

Mr O’Gorman also said that Parliament next week will conisder a law where the Attorney-General is telling Judges that anyone caught trafficking in drugs must serve 80% of their sentence before being eligible for parole no matter how minor the trafficking facts are, and even if trafficking is done by an addict who sells to feed a bad drug habit.

“The term ‘trafficking’ applies equally to the person who brings a plane full of heroin into Queensland as it does to someone who sells small amounts of cannabis to a group of his mates”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that taking power away from Judges to decide when offenders were released from jail will cause more injustice on top of the increasing injustices from more and more mandatory sentencing laws being implemented by the Newman Government.

“Preventing Judges from sentencing case by case on the individual and often unique facts before a Judge produces injustice”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman called on the Attorney-General to produce the evidence and the research to show that Court ordered parole and suspended sentences are not working.

“We call on the Attorney-General and the Police Minister to produce figures showing how often appeals have been lodged against Judges handing down sentences of Court ordered parole and suspended sentences”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that the independent research available to the public and the media through the Sentence Advisory Council, against which law and order claims of inadequate sentencing could be measured, is no longer available as one of the first steps the Attorney-General took when he entered office was to abolish the Sentencing Advisory Council. This was done despite the fact that his conservative counterparts in New South Wales and Victoria have maintained Sentencing Councils in those respective States.

Mr O’Gorman said that the Attorney-General has also bemoaned the high rate of recidivism which is 70% plus for particularly male offenders.

“One of the significant causes for the high rate of people returning to jail is the worsening level of resources being put into jail based rehabilitation programs”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“As a lawyer, I have to write again and again to try to get prisoners on rehabilitation programs and to get Court ordered treatment”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“l have one current case where a Judge in December 2012 ordered jail based psychiatric treatment for a 21 year old offender and despite writing monthly since then, the offender still has not seen a Psychiatrist”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that the Attorney-General’s constant attacks on Judges meant that Judges were not able to sentence fairly and justly on the facts of the offender and the offence.

“lt is an attack on judicial independence and is pushing up the jail population with more money having to be spent on jails and consequently less being available for hospitals and education”, Mr O’Gorman said.