Fardon Released – Parts of New Sex Offender Legislation Ruled Invalid

The Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed an appeal by the Attorney-General, finding that the original judgment by Justice Lyons was correct in its decision to release Robert Fardon.

The Court also ruled that recent amendments to sex offender and dangerous prisoner legislation, effectively allowing Mr Bleijie to overrule the Supreme Court and indefinitely prevent the release of a prisoner are invalid. The changes were found to be wholly incompatible with the institutional integrity of the Supreme Court.

Currently the Queensland Government is investigating whether they can appeal the decision to the High Court.

It has been 9 years since Robert Fardon lost his appeal against the current Queensland sex offender laws in the High Court. In 2004 Queensland passed legislation that allowed the Supreme Court to indefinitely detain a prisoner serving a sentence involving both violence against a child and a serious sexual offence, at the request of the Attorney-General. Mr Fardon argued that the legislation conferred a non-judicial power on the Supreme Court, and that the imposing of the power weakened the public perception of the Court as impartial.

The majority decision (6:1) however found that the law was valid, as it did not confer non-judicial power to the Supreme Court, and there was nothing in the Act that would lead a reasonable person residing in Queensland to believe that the Supreme Court is a non-partial tribunal.

Mr Fardon is currently in secure accommodation and is subject to strict court orders. These include intensive supervision, a restriction on who he may associate with, GPS tracking, home visits, drug and alcohol testing, and restrictions on where he may go.

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