DLA Piper background paper on access to justice for people with disability in the criminal justice system
Global business law firm DLA Piper has worked in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission to address issues facing people with disabilities wanting better access to Australia's criminal justice system.
The Commission led an investigation into the barriers people who need communications support, or have multiple or complex support needs, face in the criminal justice system. The investigation included individuals who are encountering the law as victims of crime, witnesses or offenders.
DLA Piper, who accompanied the Commission during their consultations, have compiled a report on the information gathered during the consultations, in combination with relevant legal research on the issue.
The report includes:
- An analysis of evidence laws, policies and guidelines;
- Information on diversion programs;
- An assessment of capacity in the criminal justice system; and
- An analysis of violence against people with disability in residential care settings.
"This report will be an important companion piece to the Commission's Access to Justice project" said Commissioner Innes. "It is a practical demonstration of how a commercial organisation such as DLA Piper can provide pro bono support to advance the human rights and freedoms of a group of disadvantaged Australians."
The Commission will release its own report on this project early next year, including a set of best practice principles to guide those wishing to implement change.
Daniel Creasey, Asia Pacific Pro Bono Counsel for DLA Piper, said "Working with the Commission has been a very positive experience for our lawyers that have been involved. It has given us the chance to use our expertise in criminal law to assist with the removal of barriers that are preventing people with disabilities from receiving fair treatment in our justice system. I am very proud that we could be involved."
External Links (DLA Piper)
Link to PDF: http://dlapiperprobono.com/export/sites/pro-bono/downloads/pdfs/Background-Paper-on-Access-to-Justice-for-People-with-a-Disability-in-the-Criminal-Justice-System.pdf
Link to Word: http://www.dlapiper.uk.com/download/Background_Paper_on_Access_to_Justice_for_People_with_Disability_in_the_Criminal_Justice_System_word version.doc