Removing parole human rights exemption would strengthen safety

Removing the Adult Parole Board’s exemption from Victoria’s Human Rights Charter would strengthen community safety and reduce the risk of mistakes like the failure to cancel Adrian Bayley’s parole.

“Victoria’s Human Rights Charter specifically requires government agencies to protect life and the liberty and security of people. It also requires fair decision-making processes that reduce the risk of bad decisions,” said Hugh de Kretser, Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre.

“Scrapping the exemption for Adult Parole Board would improve decisions and make parole more transparent and accountable to the community, including victims of crime,” he said.

The Adult and Youth Parole Boards are the only Victorian government agencies not required to comply with Victoria’s Human Rights Charter. The current exemption expires on 27 December 2013.

The Adult Parole Board is also specifically exempted under corrections legislation from the rules of “natural justice” which require fairness and transparency in decision-making.

“These exemptions have limited the quality of the board’s decision making, increasing the likelihood of errors which jeopardise community safety. To improve community safety, the Government should remove the exemptions as a priority.”

“The parole board also suffers from inadequate resourcing. In 2011-12, the Adult Parole Board heard over 10,000 cases over 187 meeting days – on average 54 cases per day, meaning only a few minutes on average can be allocated per case. Workloads like this increase the risk of mistakes.”


For further information or comments contact:
Hugh de Kretser 0403 965 340