EDO offices EDO QLD and EDO NQ together expressed significant concerns over the Queensland parliament’s proposed new offence provisions which target activists. These laws unnecessarily duplicate or are in excess of existing laws and carry penalties that are excessive.
EDO offices do not condone illegal activity. EDOs advocate for fair and just laws that are proportionate to the offence. EDO considers these new offence provisions to unnecessarily duplicate or be in excess of existing laws and to carry penalties that are excessive when compared with similar existing offences. In summary, we consider:
- There are existing laws that serve the purpose of these proposed laws, making these proposed offences unnecessary and duplicative of existing laws;
- The penalties can be considered to be excessive and unnecessary given the significant penalties already awarded against protesters under current laws; and
- Similar laws sought to be introduced in Western Australia have been strongly criticised broadly by the UN and civil society as contrary to Australia’s international human rights obligations and as having a ‘chilling effect on silencing dissenters and punishing expression protected by international human rights law’, ‘disproportionately criminali[sing] legitimate protest action’. Further this Bill is arguably contrary to the new Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).