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New laws for sentencing of those responsible for the murder or manslaughter of children

This week, State Parliament passed new laws for strengthening the sentencing of those found guilty of an offence relating to the murder or manslaughter of a child. In keeping with recommendations made by the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council, the new laws will redefine the crime of murder to include reckless indifference for human life that will allow certain persons to be charged with murder rather than manslaughter, and introduce other changes that will also increase the length of sentences. A Private Member’s Bill – the Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Mason Jett Lee) Amendment Bill 2019 – proposed by the Opposition which would have set a minimum non-parole period of 25 years for the murder of a child and established a new offence of child manslaughter with a minimum sentence of 15 years was not passed by Parliament.

You are invited to view the reports by Parliament’s Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee on the Criminal Code and Other Legislation Bill 2019 and the Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Mason Jett Lee) Amendment Bill 2019, in which references are made to PeakCare’s submissions and the appearance by PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener as a witness at the public hearing conducted by the Committee. You are also invited to read this transcript of a PeakCare opinion piece published by The Brisbane Time in February 2019 – the commentary provided then remains relevant today.

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