DANTE ARTHURS —
1194. Hon MICHAEL MISCHIN to the Leader of the House
representing the Attorney General:
I refer to parts (4) and (5) of the
Attorney General's answer to my question without notice 1145 of 20 November
2018, regarding the child murderer Dante Arthurs.
(1) Is the Attorney General saying that his
repeated remarks in the past that he will not release certain prisoners, made
in advance of any reports from the Prisoners Review Board being received or considered,
have exposed any subsequent rejection of release on parole to legal challenge
on the basis of prejudgement?
(2) When did the Attorney General
first become aware of this risk?
(3) Will the
passage of the Sentence Administration Amendment (Multiple Murderers) Bill
2018, among other things, protect the Attorney General from the risk of legal
challenge to parole decisions he makes adverse to a prisoner who later alleges
(4) How does the
Attorney General propose to address the problem of his creating two classes of
victim—namely, survivors and secondary victims of murder who have their
trauma reduced for three years at the discretion of the Attorney General under
the bill and those who do not?
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
(1) No, the Attorney General has made and will
continue to make all parole decisions fairly and on their merits.
(2) The Attorney
General has long been aware of the risk of legal challenge that arises from a statutory
decision-maker not following the formal process.
(3) The proposed scheme introduced by the Sentence
Administration Amendment (Multiple Murderers) Bill 2018 includes
provision that a designated prisoner subject to a ministerial direction has restricted
grounds for seeking review. An affected prisoner may only review the making of
a ministerial direction on the basis of jurisdictional error, which statutorily
cannot be excluded. The bill does not alter the current operation of the parole
decision-making process outside the proposed ministerial direction scheme.
(4) The Attorney
General recognises the trauma that victims of crime suffer, which is magnified
in a whole number of horrendous crimes. The McGowan government went to the
election seeking a specific mandate for serial killers and mass murders and, as
such, the bill is confined to this group of murders.