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Australia Women’s safety forefront of top legal meet

07:41  12 august  2022
07:41  12 august  2022 Source:   crikey.com.au

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Australia’s attorneys-general will meet in person for the first time in more than two-years to discuss a nationally consistent approach to coercive control and strengthening criminal justice responses to sexual assault.

  Women’s safety forefront of top legal meet © Provided by Crikey

New Zealand Minister for Justice Kiri Allan will also attend Friday’s meeting in Canberra to provide a trans-Tasman focus.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus flagged a “comprehensive agenda designed to improve standards of integrity, access to justice and transparency in our nation”.

A working group is already developing national principles to address coercive control following the death of Hannah Clarke in 2020.

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Ms Clarke’s death sent ripples around the nation after her estranged husband used petrol to set her and her three children on fire.

Some jurisdictions including Queensland and NSW have moved to criminalise coercive control, with Friday’s meeting to be used to discuss a national approach to the issue.


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Discussions will also encompass criminal justice responses to sexual assault following former Australian of the Year Grace Tame addressing the attorneys-general meeting in November.

It comes as Mr Dreyfus launched a review of Australia’s national security laws after an inquiry into the secret conviction and sentencing of former spy Witness J found aspects of the case “should never happen again”.

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Civil rights groups have also called for a raising of the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14.

A nationally consistent approach has been sought, but ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury says the territory will push ahead with the reforms if other jurisdictions drag their feet.

Mr Dreyfus has committed to holding more regular meetings with his state and territory colleagues.

“I intend that we will meet more regularly to drive coordinated, national responses to issues concerning justice, legal systems, integrity and the safety of women and children,” he said.

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The post Women’s safety forefront of top legal meet appeared first on Crikey.

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usr: 1
This is interesting!