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Religious discrimination exemptions unacceptable

Penny Wright 16 Jan 2013

Religious organisations and schools receiving government funding should not be exempt from anti-discrimination laws, says Australian Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright.

"Prime Minister Gillard needs to come clean with what she has promised to Jim Wallace and the Australian Christian Lobby and why," Senator Wright said.

"If she has made a promise that will adversely affect many Australians' ability to work and participate fully in Australian community life then we have a right to know what that promise was.

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Time for a new approach to juvenile justice

Increasing over-representation of Indigenous youth in juvenile detention shows the drastic need for a new approach to justice in Australia, say Australian Greens Senators Penny Wright and Rachel Siewert.

New figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show Indigenous young people account for 53 per cent of all youth in detention and were 31 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be in detention, up from 27 times as likely in 2008.

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Court fee inquiry denied

Penny Wright 29 Nov 2012

The Senate's rejection of a move to examine federal court fee increases as high as 341 per cent is a blow to low-income and ordinary Australians, said Australian Greens spokesperson on Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright.

"Increasingly, Australians are being excluded from the court system because they cannot afford legal representation and court fees," Senator Wright said.

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Motion for an Inquiry into court fee increases

Penny Wright 29 Nov 2012

I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by Thursday, 21 March 2013:

The impact of recent proposed federal court fee increases on access to justice in Australia, with particular reference to:

a)      The impact of federal court fee increases on low-income and ordinary Australians and operators of small businesses;

b)      Whether recent and proposed fee increases are reasonable, based on evidence and consistent with other justice policy matters;

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Senator Penny Wright speaks on privacy laws

I rise to speak on the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012. The Australian Greens support the aims and objectives of this bill, in particular the unification of the National Privacy Principles and the Information Privacy Principles into the new Australian Privacy Principles that apply to both Commonwealth agencies and private sector organisations.

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Motion for Senate Inquiry on Justice Reinvestment

I move:

that the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 16 May 2013:

The value of a justice reinvestment approach to criminal justice in Australia, with particular reference to:

(a) the drivers behind the past 30 years of growth in the Australian imprisonment rate;

(b) the economic and social costs of imprisonment;

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Senate to investigate new approach on crime

A new and more economically responsible approach to crime in Australia will be examined by a Senate Inquiry following the success today of a motion by Australian Greens spokesperson on Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee will investigate growing imprisonment rates and the benefits of implementing a Justice Reinvestment approach.

"Our justice system, as it stands, is not producing safer communities and it is time for a new strategy," Senator Wright said.

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Motion for independent inquiry into treatment of David Hicks

Penny Wright 20 Nov 2012

I move that the Senate

(a)    recognises that:

(i)      the recent ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which found that providing material support for terrorism was not a war crime between 1996 and 2001 and therefore could not support a conviction, invalidates David Hicks' conviction for this crime;

(ii)    In 2007, David Hicks was incarcerated in a South Australian prison for seven months as a result of negotiations between the Australian and US governments and on the basis of this invalid conviction;

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