Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Justice Matters

Plight of mentally impaired accused is worse, not better

Greens Statement January 8

The threat of mandatory time or being kept indefinitely in jail continues to hang over the heads of the State’s mentally impaired accused people following the Barnett/Grylls Government’s failure to undertake desperately needed law reform during its term of government.

Greens spokesperson for mental health and disabilities Alison Xamon said that despite constant lobbying from community groups, the devastating consequence of the Government’s so-called “tough on crime” legislative agenda still remained.

“Tragically, the Government is more interested in locking people up, rather than addressing the realities of life for our most vulnerable citizens,” Ms Xamon said.

“After four years in Government we still have no progress on urgently-needed reforms to the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996(WA).  And this is also in despite of individual high profile cases which have brought to light the terrible injustices that this archaic legislation can bring.

“We have had two Attorneys-General who have been responsible for progressing changes to the Act, yet we have seen no progress.
“It appears that an internal review into the Act may have been completed but there has been no public consultation on the necessary changes.

“This secretive approach is not good enough and shows that the Government does not take this matter seriously and that it most certainly is not a priority.

“No matter who the Attorney-General is this Government clearly does not care about the risks their legislation poses to the mentally impaired.

“I can only conclude the Government has wilfully decided to play ignorant on this in order to not have to face the real ramifications of their own legislative agenda.”

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