At a time when Victoria is in the midst of a crime wave you would think that human rights lawyers would be more concerned about rights of victims of crime not to be robbed or assaulted. But no, as usual they take the side of the criminals, when they are not giving free speech awards to Gillian Triggs they are launching court action against holding violent youth detainees in adult prisons.
Yesterday they were successful in convincing the Supreme Court of Victoria to order the Andrews government to move all youth detainees out of Barwon prison. Justice John Dixon said in his ruling that having youth detainees there was incompatible with their human rights and they must be “treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”.
Most Victorians would rightly argue that these detainees forfeited some of their rights when they decided to riot at the Parkville and Malmsbury youth detention centres, the second of which several detainees escaped and went on a violent 24-hour crime spree. In fact simply being moved to a different facility is probably the most minor punishment they could receive in most people’s opinion.
This is the third successful court challenge against holding youth detainees in adult prisons, to add insult to injury the Supreme Court ordered the state government pay the detainees legal costs. Even though the Andrews government can appeal the decision they have immediately complied and all youth detainees will be returned to youth detention facilities today.
This court ruling is yet again a reminder that decisions by our governments to protect its citizens from criminals (albeit a weak effort from the Andrew government) can be thwarted by judges, human rights lawyers working pro-bono for criminals and of course legal aid centres which are funded by the taxpayers and victims of crime. If Victoria hopefully has a change for government at the 2018 state election it is most likely tough on crime measures might meet the same fate.
In the meantime, Victorians will continue to be the victims of violent crime, criminal gangs will still roam the street and the Andrews government is more interested calling anti-crime campaigners racist because for suggesting there might be a link between immigration and crime. Ordinary Victorians at the current time are left completely voiceless and defenceless with a government, judiciary and legal fraternity all against them.