Mandatory sentencing and human rights: contemporary comments


This comment sets out the specific areas of conflict between mandatory sentencing and key human rights standards and provides a summary of criticism of mandatory sentencing by key United Nations human rights committees. Of particular concern to the treaty monitoring bodies has been the argument that mandatory sentencing is racially discriminatory in its impact on Aboriginal people. The Federal Government’s response to this criticism has been to deny the credibility of the UN committees. The Northern Territory mandatory sentencing legislation was repealed in October 2001; the role played in this by the appeal to human rights standards is speculative, but the appeal by a range of non Indigenous organisations to international human rights standards as a tactic to bring about the reform of the criminal law is a novel move.

Copyright Information

© 2002-15 The University of Sydney.The University of Sydney owns the copyright in the information provided on this site, unless stated otherwise. Material on this site is subject to copyright under Australian law and through international treaties, applicable law in other countries. Individuals may copy a reasonable portion of the material on this site under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 provided it is used for research or study or for criticism or review. Educational institutions may reproduce limited amounts of material from this site under Part VB of the Copyright Act Apart from these specified uses material from this site may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without prior written permission of the University of Sydney. Copyright in content on AustLII (a) AustLII is not the copyright owner in the source documents published on AustLII and is not able to give permission for reproduction of those source documents. (b) AustLII claims copyright in all value-added content that it adds to source documents (including hypertext mark-up, and alternative citations). On request, AustLII usually gives permission for reproduction of examples of this content for teaching, training or similar purposes.