Australian legal body given "inadequate" time to review proposed sex offender registry

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-11 12:29:58|Editor: Yamei
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CANBERRA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Australia's peak legal body, the Law Council of Australia, has been given just 36 hours till Friday to respond to the government's proposal for a public register of child sex offenders.

Peter Dutton, the Minister for Home Affairs, on Wednesday announced that the governing Liberal-National Party Coalition (LNP) was looking into establishing a public online register ­of child sex offenders, including their names, photos and potential addresses.

Dutton said at the time that the government would seek input from experts on the proposal but Arthur Moses, president of the Law Council, said that the government had set a deadline of close of business on Friday for written submissions.

"A consultation period of 36 hours to provide views on such a complex and serious proposal is inappropriate and completely inadequate," Moses said in a statement on Friday.

"A proper proposal needs to be developed before adequate consultation can occur. Otherwise, there is a real risk of the register not protecting the community and it may have myriad unintended consequences.

"The legal profession would be very troubled if this issue is being rushed for political purposes rather than considered reform.

"Furthermore, a range of parties, including the victims of sex offenders, need to be heard on this issue to ascertain what, if any register, should be developed."

The Law Council has not opposed establishing the register but said that offenders should only be added to it at the court's discretion.

The announcement came more than four years after Tony Abbott, who served as leader of the LNP between 2009 and 2015 and as prime minister between 2013 and 2015, said such a register was unnecessary.