Child murderers and serial killers could be denied parole for decades under new Queensland laws passed on Tuesday. The laws will give the president of Parole Board Queensland the power to make a “restricted prisoner declaration”, blocking certain inmates from obtaining parole for up to 10 years, with no limit on the number of bans made.

The legal community had previously expressed concerns that the parole board sat “behind closed doors” and the powers “should only be vested in a court”.

Legal Director, Dan Rogers raised concern over the new laws and described the restricted prisoner declaration as a flagrant and unjustified breach of so many different human rights. He questioned whether there is capacity for this extra decade to be a rolling thing … [which] really makes it arbitrary detention or indefinite detention.

Declarations could instead be handled by the courts, in a similar way judges determined whether some sexual offenders should remain behind bars indefinitely under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offences) Act.

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