The Queensland Law Society has said it supports the state government’s proposed scrapping of nightclub lockout laws, saying other strategies such as a mandatory digital screening process to identify “potentially problematic patrons” are much more measured approaches.
Speaking on behalf of the legal body, QLS president Christine Smyth said it was encouraging to see that the state was considering policies other than increasing prison terms as part of “mooted lockout legislation”.
“I firmly believe steps which prevent serious injuries and deaths as a result of drunken violence in and around licensed establishments is a much greater outcome for all Queenslanders instead of increasing punishment,” Ms Smyth said.
“As a society I think it is important we must do everything we can to prevent the loss of lives, rather than focusing on society’s retribution after someone is killed or maimed.
“… The very last thing drunken patrons are thinking of in the middle of the night is penalties for their bad behaviour. Rather than concentrating on deterrent penalties which do not work, the much better approach is prevention.”
The comments from the legal body come after the Palaszczuk Labor government’s recent cabinet vote to scrap the proposed 1am lockout laws in favour of mandatory ID scanning in nightclub precincts.
Ms Smyth said the proposed use of digital screening technology to identify problematic patrons would result in a vastly greater outcome than limiting the legal rights of members of the community.
“The Queensland Law Society believes that evidence-based laws which concentrate on prevention are always better than laws based on retribution and punishment after the event,” Ms Smyth said.