Rare Voices Australia attended the public RightsTalk discussion – “Balancing the Scales of Justice” presented by Graeme Innes, Commissioner for Disabilities, at the Human Rights Commission, Sydney, Monday 16th June 2014.
Panel presenters included Mark Ierace SC – Senior Public Defender; Therese Sands – Executive Director of People with Disability; Denis Clifford AC – NSW Police and Jim Simpson – Senior Advocate for the NSW Council of Intellectual Disability.
Earlier this year the Commission released its report Equal before the law: towards disability justice strategies. The report focused on people with disabilities who need communication support or who have complex and multiple support needs and who have come in contact with the criminal justice system. Click here to read the report.
Graeme Innes says:
“Equality Before The Law is a basic tenet of human rights. But I have learned, both as an advocate and during my time as Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner, that equality is not always available for Australians with disabilities in the criminal justice system. This report provides a snapshot of where that equality does not exist, highlights services and programs that improve equality before the law for people with disabilities, and sets some directions by which change may occur.”