The Australian Greens believe that:
- All Australians have a right to a safe, peaceful and ecologically sustainable existence, free from crime and fear of violence.
- The rule of law, the protection of human rights and timely access to justice for all people are fundamental to a democratic society.
- The separation of powers between the executive, the parliament and the judiciary is crucial to the maintenance of freedom, justice and democracy.
- 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.
- 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 competent representation and the right to trial by jury) must be preserved and upheld.
- Access to justice requires policies and resources that overcome social, economic and cultural inequalities to ensure equality before the law.
- Australian law must address the particular cultural and social needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Australian law must address the historical and continuing injustice faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- A fairer, socially just, more economically equal, and inclusive society will improve social cohesion and reduce crime.
The Australian Greens want:
- Courts and tribunals that are impartial, well-resourced and independent of the government of the day.
- Domestic laws that fully incorporate Australia's international legal obligations.
- 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.
- Secure funding for community legal centres and legal aid in both criminal and civil jurisdictions to ensure access to justice for all Australians.
- A criminal justice system that is human rights compliant and based on principles of restorative justice and the rights of victims and the accused.
- A comprehensive, multidisciplinary and evidence-based approach to reduce crime by addressing the underlying causes of crime and recidivism.
- The implementation of alternatives to imprisonment where appropriate, including restorative justice, diversionary programs and justice reinvestment strategies.
- All those held in Australian prisons to have access to quality rehabilitation, education and training programs in an effort to reduce recidivism.
- To uphold judicial discretion in sentencing and repeal mandatory sentencing legislation.
- Customary law to be taken into account by judges in determining sentences.
- A family law system that is fair, accessible and based on the best interests of the child.
- The urgent implementation of the outstanding recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
- Action to address the continued over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the justice system.
- The decriminalisation of consensual adult sex work.
- Stronger citizens' privacy protection.
- The prohibition of racial profiling and the arbitrary use of racial descriptors by police or other government agencies.
- To progress gun law reform, including prohibition of the possession and use of semi-automatic handguns in the community.
- 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.
- To ensure that judges, magistrates and tribunal members have tenure in order to protect their independence.
- To oppose attempts to restrict litigants' capacity to seek compensation under the civil law.
[Policy endorsed: November 2017]