Justice – Safer, Stronger Communities

Labor believes that everyone is entitled to the same rights and freedoms, provided they respect the rights and freedoms of others.

Access to justice for everyone is fundamental and the outcomes of the law should be fair, predictable and rational.

We must ensure that the benefits, protections, or consequences of the law are proportional to a person’s conduct.

Labor will ensure accessible and equitable justice for all Tasmanians.

What’s the issue?

Labor has a strong record of keeping communities safe and we know how important it is for people to feel secure on the streets and in their homes.

Labor believes that access to justice should not be determined by the size of a person’s wallet. We value equity of access, and accessible justice outcomes for all Tasmanians.

Labor believes the practice of our criminal justice system should reflect the presumption of innocence; and allow for the application for bail.

Labor also believes in protecting the rights of victims of crime and recognising the wide impact crime has on individuals, families and communities.

Who’s Labor talking to?

Tasmanian Labor has listened to the legal community, frontline workers, offenders, survivors, families and communities.

By making sure that legal services are funded appropriately, and preventive and restorative justice measures are supported, we believe that Tasmania can deliver the best justice outcomes for Tasmanians.

What will Labor do?

Labor believes that everyone should have affordable, available access to justice on an equal basis.

Labor supports restorative justice initiatives including the expansion of problem-solving courts like the mental health list and the Court Mandated Diversion Program. We also support the expansion of more restorative practices in the adult courts.

Labor understands early intervention with children, young people and their families will help people avoid getting into a cycle of crime and contact with the criminal justice system.

Labor is committed to ensuring accessible and equitable justice for women and their children, and those living with disability.

Key policy elements:

Legal aid

  • Labor will ensure that Legal Aid is available to Tasmanians including Legal Aid for civil cases as far as financially practicable. Labor will encourage pro-bono fee arrangements and will also ensure transparency, accountability and fair dealings between members of the legal profession and their clients.
  • Many Tasmanians depend on the services of Community Legal Centres to guide them through legal processes. Labor believes it is critical that these services remain open and free and well funded.

Medicinal cannabis

  • Tasmanian Labor has heard from many Tasmanians about the difference medical cannabis has made in the lives of their loved ones.
  • Labor supports the decriminalisation of possession of medicinal cannabis for medicinal purposes and the licensed cultivation, manufacture and dispensing of medicinal cannabis.
  • We believe that anyone with a PBS prescriber number can responsibly prescribe medicinal cannabis.
  • We also support a register of current users of medicinal cannabis to provide protection from criminal prosecution as the law and medical research slowly catches up with people’s experiences of using medicinal cannabis as part of their treatment.

Donation disclosure

  • Introducing spending caps for candidates and political parties in Tasmanian upper house and lower house elections, including third parties participating in the electoral process.
  • Provide for the Tasmanian Electoral Commission to establish and maintain a register for third parties participating in the electoral process.
  • Lower the disclosure threshold for donations to parties and candidates to $1000.
  • Require real time disclosure every 30 days of donations, either individual or cumulative above the disclosure threshold.
  • Ban donations from anonymous or foreign donors above the donation threshold.

Right to Information

  • Labor will transform government attitudes to Information requests, ensuring RTI is treated seriously and queries are answered promptly.
  • Immediately increase FTE staff to deal with the backlog of RTI requests in Tasmanian Government departments and the Ombudsman’s office.
  • Establish a program of regular information disclosure dates, for key government information for every Tasmanian government department.

Community Services Commissioner

  • In order to protect the most vulnerable in our community, Labor will establish an independent Community Services Commissioner who will have the powers to investigate matters which relate to education and disability service provision.

Working for Tasmanians to Provide More Access to Legal Services

No cuts to women’s legal services

Labor will stop the Liberal cuts to the Women’s Legal Service.

Demand for services at Women’s Legal was already high, and since COVID has increased considerably.

A lack of affordable legal representation will leave people in dangerous situations.

Now is the wrong time for the Liberals to be cutting this vital support.

Better funding for community legal services

Labor will permanently fund three extra lawyers at Women’s Legal Tasmania.

Additionally, Labor would fund one extra lawyer for each of the state’s main community legal centres.

We will also reinstate the Community Legal Centre’s policy funding that was cut by the Liberal Government.

Find out how Rebecca White & the Labor Team are Working for Tasmanians.