Baird once again exposes preference for media hits over sound legislation

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The Liberal Government has shown it is not interested in getting the best possible criminal law advice by no longer having a Criminal Law Review Division within the Justice Department, Shadow Attorney General Paul Lynch said today.

The Government has rolled the Criminal Law Review Division (CLRD) into the Department’s ‘Justice Strategy and Policy’ section. The ‘Justice Strategy and Policy’ section is responsible for identifying and formulating changes to the law and legal system in NSW.

However, the section has no team specialising in criminal law – leaving the Attorney General without dedicated, specialist advisors on criminal law in NSW. 

“Considering the importance of getting criminal law correct and the prevalence of law and order policy in NSW, this gap is incredibly concerning,” Mr Lynch said.

“The Government has significantly downgraded its capacity to get the best advice it can on criminal law.

“It has adopted a quite cavalier attitude to making sure that its laws are right.”

“This is an incredibly important part of running the State, the Government is failing its duty to the people of NSW.

“The CLRD had a good reputation, with series of distinguished Directors and a team of impressive lawyers.

“Without a team of specialist criminal law advisors, we could see nuttier proposals getting past the keeper and onto the floor of Parliament.

“Criminal law can affect every person in the State. It’s too important for the Government to put up with a second best system of scrutiny and assessment.

“The Government seems addicted to media grabs with no proper analytical rigour. It doesn’t take seriously its job of properly preparing and reviewing legislation.”