|Source/Publisher||Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 13(3), pp322-327|
|Subjects||Courts and sentencing|
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 The Northern Territory mandatory sentencing legislation was repealed in October 2001; the role played in this by the appeal to human rights standards is speculative, but the appeal by a range of non Indigenous organisations to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.
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