New laws to enable UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture to visit Queensland detention amenities
Published Thursday, 01 December, 2022 at 11:51 AM
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
New legislation has been introduced into Parliament to facilitate the United Nations Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (UN Subcommittee) visiting places of detention in Queensland.
The Queensland Government has provided the legislative framework to allow the UN Subcommittee to attend Queensland places of detention under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT).
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said the Bill ensures Queensland can provide unhindered access for the UN Subcommittee.
“The Bill will remove the legislative barriers that prevented the UN Subcommittee from physically accessing inpatient units of authorised mental health services and the Forensic Disability Service during its recent visit to Australia.
“The Bill will establish a consistent framework to provide the UN Subcommittee with access to places of detention.”
In addition, the Bill makes provisions for the UN Subcommittee to not only visit places of detention in Queensland but also to access information and conduct interviews in accordance with its OPCAT duties, Minister Fentiman said.
“The Bill also allows the UN Subcommittee to interview detainees and other people at the place of detention in private,” she said.
“Safeguards are provided in the Bill to protect the privacy and protect against reprisals for assisting the UN Subcommittee.”
Minister Fentiman said the Bill demonstrates an important step in the Queensland Government’s commitment to work in good faith towards implementing OPCAT in Queensland.
“This Bill underlines the Queensland Government’s commitment to working with the UN Subcommittee as it carries out its OPCAT duties,” she said.
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