24 September 2014
With fellow cross benchers, I opposed bail laws that will see people jailed for charges they are not convicted of or don’t receive sentences for. Complex and restrictive bail laws that gave NSW the highest number of prisoners on remand in the country without reducing crime were only replaced in May with a system that withholds bail where there is a risk an accused will not appear for trial, harm a witness or recommit. But within a month the government initiated a quick review then introduced legislation to restore the presumption against bail for serious offences. I understand community concern about crime and safety, but reactionary laws with no evidence are not helpful. Healthy democracies respect that people are innocent until proven guilty and have a general right to be at liberty. My speech is HERE.