Civil Liberties lawyer Terry O’Gorman this week welcomed the recommendations of the Sofronoff Inquiry into Queensland Parole with the exception of the ‘no body no parole’ proposed change to parole laws.

Terry O’Gorman said that he particularly welcomed the proposal for the establishment of an independent Inspectorate of prisons.

Mr O’Gorman said that the independent Inspectorate would report to Parliament rather than secretly to the prisons’ Minister.

“The beauty of the independent Inspectorate is that it will hopefully end the ‘out of sight out of mind’ attitude to Queensland’s prisons”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that an independent Inspectorate of prisons will hopefully bring out in the open the unacceptable degree of sexual assault, overcrowding and often quite substandard conditions that prevail in Queensland’s jails.

However Mr O’Gorman expressed considerable reservation about the practicality of the ‘no body no parole’ proposed changes.

“While sympathising enormously with the surviving family of a murder victim, the reality is that the proposed ‘no body no parole’ law change is simplistic”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that if the ‘no body no parole’ law change had existed in the Northern Territory when Lindy Chamberlain was the victim of a miscarriage of justice when convicted of the murder of baby Azaria in 1980, she would have been kept in jail for the rest of her life thus compounding the miscarriage of justice that a Royal Commission eventually found that she was the victim of.

Mr O’Gorman said that there are also other circumstances where a body may not be able to be found even if there is cooperation by a prisoner.

“If the body has been buried at sea or buried and then the area has been inundated by flood there will be no possibility of the victim’s family getting the closure that they so deservedly need”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that if there was to be a change to the law that brought in a ‘no body no parole’ law change the extent to which a convicted murderer had cooperated with police should not be decided by the police but rather should be decided by the Supreme Court.