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Inquiry calls for end to lock-up culture

Penny Wright 20 Jun 2013

Significant failures in the prison system demand a new approach to crime and justice in Australia, according to the findings of a Senate Committee initiated by Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said high rates of indigenous incarceration were particularly significant in the committee's recommendation to promote a justice reinvestment approach in Australia.

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Old parties to pocket justice dollars for budget boost

Penny Wright 18 Jun 2013

A Coalition backflip on higher Federal Court fees will greatly restrict access to justice, says Australian spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright.

In a Senate Inquiry report handed down late last night into filing fee increases of up to 400 per cent, the Coalition reversed its position on the use of revenue generated by the hike.

"My inquiry heard Labor's court fee increases since 2010 were not based on a good or clear rationale and would deter genuine cases and create further inequality in Australia," Senator Wright said.

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Greens call for fix to discrimination law gap

Blanket exemptions from Labor's sex discrimination laws will leave many vulnerable, says Australian spokesperson on Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright.

Senators from Labor and Liberal parties today refused sign on Senator Wright's recommended changes to the laws, which retain exemptions for religious organisation.

"These exemptions mean a health or homelessness service could refuse to help a transgender person, while a religious school could turn away children because their parents are gay.

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Greens say books not bars for Territory youth

The NT Government has prioritised incarceration over education by rejecting the Gonski school reforms while pouring money into the bottomless pit of jail funding, say the Australian Greens.

Australian Greens spokesperson on Education and Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright said low levels of literacy and numeracy among jailed youth showed this was the wrong approach.

"Chief Minister Adam Giles says the NT can't scrape together $106 million over six years for a better future for Northern Territory kids," Senator Wright said.

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Budget 2013: Education, Legal Affairs, Mental Health and Veterans Affairs portfolio breakdown

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on Australians. Senator Penny Wright talks about what was in the budget and what more could be done in each of her portfolio areas.

Education

What's in the budget:

  • $9.8 billion in new school funding
  • $3 billion in next the next four years, $6 billion to come in the following two years

What I think:

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Hicks appeal deserves Federal support

Penny Wright 2 May 2013

The Australian Greens today called on the Federal Government to support David Hicks's appeal against his US conviction.

Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said a US Court of Appeals ruling last year showed the original conviction was invalid.

"David Hicks has never had a fair trial in a properly constituted court," Senator Wright said.

"We now know the charge itself was invalid and many in the legal profession believe the coercion and desperation he was experiencing when he made his plea is further grounds for appeal.

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