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Abbott cuts to Indigenous legal services hypocritical

The Australian Greens have condemned Tony Abbott's cuts to the Indigenous Legal Assistance and Policy Reform Program, saying it goes against all his past rhetoric and will exacerbate the shameful incarceration rates for Indigenous Australians.

"Tony Abbott says he wants to prioritise efforts to end Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage, but cutting Indigenous legal aid funding undermines this commitment," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.

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Greens stand firm to stop racial discrimination

Penny Wright 5 Sep 2013

The Australian Greens have confirmed they will block any attempt by Tony Abbott's Coalition to change the Racial Discrimination Act to wind back protections against discrimination.

"The Racial Discrimination Act is an extremely important law to protect people against harmful stereotyping and vilification that reinforces systemic racial prejudice and discrimination," says Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright.

"Who would benefit by changing this law?

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Abbott gun plan not enough for safer streets

Penny Wright 19 Aug 2013

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's anti-guns policy will not do enough to get guns off Australian streets, Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright said today.

"The Coalition's plan is insufficient - tougher sentencing will not work on its own," Senator Wright said.

"The Australian Greens have a much more comprehensive plan which would ban the importation, ownership and use of semi-automatic handguns and includes a 12-month amnesty and buy-back scheme.

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Inquiry calls for end to lock-up culture

Penny Wright 20 Jun 2013

Significant failures in the prison system demand a new approach to crime and justice in Australia, according to the findings of a Senate Committee initiated by Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said high rates of indigenous incarceration were particularly significant in the committee's recommendation to promote a justice reinvestment approach in Australia.

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Greens call for fix to discrimination law gap

Blanket exemptions from Labor's sex discrimination laws will leave many vulnerable, says Australian spokesperson on Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright.

Senators from Labor and Liberal parties today refused sign on Senator Wright's recommended changes to the laws, which retain exemptions for religious organisation.

"These exemptions mean a health or homelessness service could refuse to help a transgender person, while a religious school could turn away children because their parents are gay.

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Hicks appeal deserves Federal support

Penny Wright 2 May 2013

The Australian Greens today called on the Federal Government to support David Hicks's appeal against his US conviction.

Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said a US Court of Appeals ruling last year showed the original conviction was invalid.

"David Hicks has never had a fair trial in a properly constituted court," Senator Wright said.

"We now know the charge itself was invalid and many in the legal profession believe the coercion and desperation he was experiencing when he made his plea is further grounds for appeal.

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Crime prevention fund the beginning of a new approach?

Penny Wright 12 Apr 2013

As the Prime Minister announces a new crime prevention initiative, a Senate Inquiry is about to get underway which will challenge the management of Australia's justice system, says Australian Greens Legal Affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright.

"The Prime Minister's announcement today of a $40 million crime prevention fund is just the start of what could be done to create safer communities and reduce the financial impact of crime," Senator Wright said.

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