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Criminal Law (Sentencing) (Mandatory Imprisonment for Serious Domestic Violence Offenders) Amendment Bill
November 29, 2017
Adjourned debate on second reading.
(Continued from 18 October 2017.)
The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (19:56): I rise to indicate Advance SA's position on the bill. I understand the intent of this bill is to ensure that individuals who commit a serious domestic or family violence offence will face a mandatory term of imprisonment. I have a lot of sympathy for the intent behind the bill. I, like many others, have received emails from constituents who have shared stories of their experiences with the criminal justice system. On the face of it, it seems that there were certainly some anomalies with the outcome when compared to community expectations. However, in this instance I cannot support mandatory sentencing.
The courts need to have discretion to impose sentences that they believe are appropriate. These are often complicated matters, and applying a broadbrush approach can itself lead to injustices. As I said before, I have the utmost sympathy for those who have contacted me and those in similar positions. I am very sorry to hear these stories; however, I cannot support the bill.