The chronic under-funding of legal aid and community legal centres results in people missing out. A just society is a healthy society.


The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. All Australians have a right to a safe, peaceful and ecologically sustainable existence, free from crime and fear of violence.
  2. The rule of law, the protection of human rights and timely access to justice for all people are fundamental to a democratic society.
  3. The separation of powers between the executive, the parliament and the judiciary is crucial to the maintenance of freedom, justice and democracy.
  4. Equality before the law can only be achieved when there is recognition of the way in which cultural, social and economic structures and practices influence decision-making processes and affect people's choices and opportunities.
  5. The fundamental principles of the right to a fair hearing – such as access to open, impartial and independent courts and, in the case of criminal proceedings, habeas corpus, the right to silence, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law, and the right to a trial by jury – must be preserved and upheld.
  6. Access to justice requires policies and resources that overcome social, economic and cultural inequalities to ensure equality before the law.
  7. Australian law must address the particular cultural and social needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  8. Australian law must address the historical and continuing injustice faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  9. A fairer, socially just, more economically equal, and inclusive society will improve social cohesion and reduce crime. 


The Australian Greens want:

  1. Courts and tribunals that are impartial, well-resourced and independent of the government of the day.
  2. Domestic laws that fully incorporate Australia's international legal obligations.
  3. An end to politically motivated law and order campaigns that exploit and fuel public anxieties; and an end to the threat of terrorism being used to undermine or discard basic principles of law.
  4. Secure funding for community legal centres and legal aid in both criminal and civil jurisdictions to ensure access to justice for all Australians.
  5. A criminal justice system that is human rights compliant and based on principles of restorative justice and the rights of victims and the accused.
  6. A comprehensive, multidisciplinary and evidence-based approach to reduce crime by addressing the underlying causes of crime and recidivism.
  7. The implementation of alternatives to imprisonment where appropriate, including restorative justice, diversionary programs and justice reinvestment strategies.
  8. All those held in Australian prisons to have access to quality rehabilitation, education and training programs in an effort to reduce recidivism.
  9. To uphold judicial discretion in sentencing and repeal mandatory sentencing legislation.
  10. Customary law to be taken into account by judges in determining sentences.
  11. A family law system that is fair, accessible and based on the best interests of the child.
  12. The urgent implementation of the outstanding recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
  13. Action to address the continued over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the justice system.
  14. The decriminalisation of consensual adult sex work.
  15. Stronger citizens' privacy protection.
  16. The prohibition of racial profiling and the arbitrary use of racial descriptors by police or other government agencies.
  17. To progress gun law reform, including prohibition of the possession and use of semi-automatic handguns in the community.
  18. To implement a prohibition on the use of electroshock weapons and Tasers, wstarting with disallowing their distribution to general duties police and restricting their use to situations where life is threatened.
  19. To ensure that judges, magistrates and tribunal members have tenure in order to protect their independence.
  20. To oppose attempts to restrict litigants' capacity to seek compensation under the civil law.