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Call for equality for disabled people in the justice system

Date posted: 7 February 2014

With the release of the Australian Human Rights Commission's report into the treatment of people with disabilities within the criminal justice system, Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, is calling on all states and territories to introduce an holistic, over-arching disability justice strategy which would improve the lives of people with disabilities.

The report Equal before the law: Towards disability justice strategies is the culmination of extensive consultations held last year with victims, perpetrators, witnesses, disability advocates, policy makers and criminal justice workers. The report found that people with disabilities were not treated equally and it is a wide-spread problem.

'I am very concerned that at least 20-30 people with disabilities are detained in gaols because they were found unfit to plead. Denying people appropriate accommodation, and the support needed to return to the community, is nothing short of a breach of human rights,' said Commissioner Innes. 

'It is a basic human right for all Australians to be able to access the criminal justice system equally, but as I have discovered, dignity, respect, safety and support are all too often missing when people with disabilities are trying to access justice,' he said.

Source: Australian Human Rights Commission


Last updated: 7 February 2014
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