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Human rights and prison: A case study from the Australian Capital Territory


Bartels, L and Boland, J, Human rights and prison: A case study from the Australian Capital Territory, The Routledge International Handbook of Criminology and Human Rights, Routledge, L Weber, E Fishwick, M Marmo (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 556-567. ISBN 9781138931176 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2017 Leanne Weber, Elaine Fishwick and Marinella Marmo

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This chapter examines human rights standards in the prison context. It presents an overview of international framework governing the treatment of prisoners' and discusses the extent to which this has been adopted in Australia, as well as considering the relevant Australian guidelines. Australia has a federal government structure and management, with the management of prisoners in Australia governed by the laws of its six states and two territories. The key focus of the chapter is the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which opened Australia's first 'human rights' prison, the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC), in 2009.

We argue that the introduction of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT) (HRA) and the Corrections Management Act 2007 (ACT) (CMA), together with the establishment of the AMC, are significant developments of international consequence in the recognition, if not protection, of human rights for prisoners. However, we also argue that the principles on which these laws are based have not been effectively implemented in the transition from paper-based ideas to bricks-and-mortar reality, despite significant efforts on the part of the ACT government. There is clearly still a long way to go before the human rights of prisoners in the ACT are adequately realized. Nevertheless, we are optimistic about what other jurisdictions in Australia and overseas can learn from what has been achieved so far.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law in context
Research Field:Criminal law
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in law and legal studies
UTAS Author:Bartels, L (Ms Lorana Bartels)
ID Code:114701
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2017-02-24
Last Modified:2017-10-18

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