Lawyer slams plan as ‘reactive’ and not realistic

ONE of the state's top lawyers has condemned the state government's new laws targeting repeat youth offenders.

The action plan announced yesterday follows widespread frustration and public pressure after a series of high profile deaths involving youth offenders and stolen cars.

Leading criminal lawyer and immediate past president of the Queensland Law Society, Bill Potts, said he thought the plan was shortsighted and reactive.

He said the government should instead take a multidecadal approach that addresses the roots of crime to curb offending and stop "consigning" generations of people to jail.

"The provisions spoken about by the government are not properly thought through and will have little to no effect," he told the Townsville Bulletin.

Bill Potts, Brisbane Thursday 16th May 2019 Picture AAPImage/ David Clark
Bill Potts, Brisbane Thursday 16th May 2019 Picture AAPImage/ David Clark

"What is missing is serious long-term reflective attempts by politicians on both sides and the public to deal with the causes of crime.

"Rather than laws that consider the evidence, we got laws made in an environment of action and an environment of being seen to be doing something."

The new laws will give courts the power to put GPS trackers on high-risk repeat offenders aged 16 and 17, strengthen existing bail laws, create a presumption against bail for children who break the law while on bail orders, and will seek assurances from parents that youth offenders will comply with bail conditions before they are released.

Mr Potts said this failed to recognise a number of children in the youth justice system come from "dysfunctional" homes with parents who played "little to no real role in the upbringing of their children".

Originally published as Lawyer slams plan as 'reactive' and not realistic