The Report focuses on people with disabilities who need communication supports or who have complex and multiple support needs and who have come in contact with the criminal justice system. Negative assumptions and attitudes, coupled with a lack of support services and minimal provision of adjustments, often means that people with disabilities are viewed as not credible, not capable of giving evidence or unable to participate in legal proceedings. As a result many are left without effective access to justice. The Report proposes that in light of the substantial challenges that exist, each jurisdiction in Australia should develop an holistic, over-arching response to these issues through a Disability Justice Strategy. The Disability Justice Strategy should address a core set of principles and include fundamental actions that are concerned with appropriate communications, early intervention and diversion, increased service capacity, effective training, enhanced accountability and monitoring, and better policies and frameworks.
National list of programs and services
The Australian Human Rights Commission is developing a national list of programs and services that assist people with disability in the criminal justice system.
We are seeking your input about existing services and programs that help people with disability to participate in the criminal justice system. We are looking for examples of the following types of programs and services:
- Early intervention programs
- Programs and services which aim to prevent violence against people with disability
- Services and supports in police stations, courts and in custodial settings
- Diversionary measures
- Disability training programs for police, judges and correctional officers
- Policies and frameworks in the criminal justice system which aim to improve access to justice for people with disability
Your information will help us to expand upon the list of services and programs which can be found here.
If you would like to provide information to the Commission about a program or service that assists a person with disability in the criminal justice system, please fill in this form.
Please note that submissions are gradually being added and the full list of non-confidential submissions will be available soon.
For more information
- News story - Commission calls for all states and territories to introduce disability justice strategy
- Issues Paper
- Easy English version of Issues Paper (PDF), Easy English version of Issues Paper (Word)
- Audio recording of Issues Paper
- DLA Piper Background Paper
- University of New South Wales and PricewaterhouseCoopers paper on People with mental health disorders and cognitive impairment in the criminal justice system: Cost-benefit analysis of early support and diversion
The Australian Human Rights Commission acknowledges the generous contribution of DLA Piper in providing pro bono support in accompanying the Commission during their consultations and compiling a background paper on access to justice for people with disability.
The Commission would also like to thank the University of New South Wales for its support in hosting the Commission’s Access to Justice Roundtable in April 2013. We would also like to thank Professor Eileen Baldry and John Walsh AM of PricewaterhouseCoopers for undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of early support and diversion.