Qld breaking international law by jailing 17-year-olds

QUEENSLAND is breaching international law by sentencing 17-year-olds as adults, according to human rights lawyers who have urged the new government to put a halt to the practice.

But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was yet to talk to the Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath about her government's position on keeping juveniles in the adult criminal justice system because she wanted to focus on reviewing the LNP's boot camps.

Queensland is the only Australian jurisdiction to treat 17-year-olds as adults in the justice system, which stands in defiance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Labor did nothing to change the law during the Beattie or Bligh administrations. The LNP took it further, by passing legislation which saw juveniles transferred to adult prisons upon their 17th birthday if they had more than six months remaining on their sentence.

Senior lawyer with the Human Rights Law Centre Ruth Barson said both sentencing 17-year-olds as adults and holding them in adult facilities "must change".

Read more at Brisbane Times



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