Queensland’s attorney-general might challenge the Court of Appeal’s rejection of his sex offender law amendments – which saw rapist Robert Fardon released – in Australia’s highest court.
Jarrod Bleijie says government lawyers will decide within days whether to proceed, but in any case there’ll be a review of dangerous prisoner laws.
“We are receiving advice in the next 48 hours to see if there’s an option to challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision all the way to the High Court,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Sunday.
“So that door still remains open.”
Mr Bleijie said that meanwhile he was announcing an extensive review of the dangerous prisoners legislation “because we have a legal system, not a justice system”.
The review to see whether the laws require strengthening will begin on Monday, he said.
The announcement comes after the Court of Appeal on Friday ordered Fardon be released.
The court dismissed Mr Bleijie’s appeal to keep the 65-year-old behind bars and declared his legal amendments invalid.
In October, the attorney-general appealed against a Supreme Court judge’s decision to free Fardon and rushed through contentious laws giving him the power to overrule court orders releasing dangerous prisoners if it was in the public interest.
Mr Bleijie says while the decision was disappointing, his government won’t give up its fight to keep dangerous sex offenders behind bars.
Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston says she’s supporting the review because the worst sex offenders can’t be trusted.
“The answer is not to put them back into the community to hide them in our streets and suburbs and let our children and women defend themselves,” she said.
Fardon was released into secure accommodation on Friday and is subject to strict conditions of his court order.
Mr Bleijie says reports Fardon had changed his appearance were incorrect.
He added Corrective Services had been advised to take a photo of Fardon if he changed the way he looked so it could be distributed to the media.
Fardon had spent most of his adult life in prison for sex offences against women and girls dating back to 1967.