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Bleijie to name and shame minors

Many from the legal sphere have criticised the proposal to shame young offenders.
Many from the legal sphere have criticised the proposal to shame young offenders. Cade Mooney

CHILDREN from regional Queensland who make a mistake early in life could be worst affected by the State Government's plan to name and shame young offenders.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie confirmed on Saturday he wanted to see the names of young repeat offenders disclosed.

Currently the identity of a child in Queensland is protected until the age of 17.

Mr Bleijie believes the naming and shaming would act as a deterrent and wants to take his proposal to State Parliament by the end of the year.

Many from the legal sphere have criticised the proposal, including Gold Coast criminal lawyer Cameron Browne.

Mr Browne, director at Potts Lawyers, said the proposal was "very short-sighted" and posed a danger of reinforcing a child's criminal behaviour. "Publicly branding a child has a danger of reinforcing this behaviour," he said.

"Tattooing a child in the public eye and having everyone in their world know they have done something wrong is almost telling them everyone thinks they are a criminal.

"The public humiliation of a child is not something that produces any positive outcomes.

"It would be much more productive to have attention in resources being directed to the causes of why there is offending amongst the young in the community."

Mr Browne outlined why child offenders from small communities could be hit harder under the changes than their metropolitan neighbours.

"It is arguable in the city the public shame is not bound to be remembered by a whole variety of people for long," he explained.

"In country towns, the publicity of a child's mistake can affect the prospect of long-term employment."

Naming a child could also hamper their ability to move on from their mistake, Mr Browne said.

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the LNP would need to provide hard evidence to prove the changes would cut re-offending.

"I would be concerned if the Attorney-General is eroding the independence of judges and magistrates just to embrace a seemingly simple idea that may not work," she said.

Topics:  jarrod bleijie juvenile offenders name and shame


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