NSWCCL President warns against 'not guilty' pleas and privacy issues concerning domestic violence register

NSWCCL President Stephen Blanks has warned against the automatic placement of offenders on a proposed domestic violence register, strongly urging that a court should decide whether to place somebody on the register based on an assessment of their risk to the community.

"If it's automatic, we will see an enormous change in the way people treat their defence," he said. "It will be a huge incentive on everyone charged with domestic violence offences to plead not guilty, which is quite counter-productive. We want a system where people are encouraged to recognise their guilt."

There are also potential privacy issues associated with the proposed register: "You don't want people getting information off the register and putting it on Facebook". Mr Blanks argues that access to the register should be strictly regulated.

Persons on the register should also be notified if their information has been accessed. While it has been argued that this could deter persons from checking the register, Mr Blanks affirms that it is a "fundamental privacy principle...People are entitled to know when information about them is being disclosed."


Article: Domestic violence register could lead to increased not guilty pleas, privacy experts warn

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 6/3/2015

Article: NSW commits to domestic violence register

Source: SBS News, 6/3/2015


See also: Do we need a Domestic Violence Registry in NSW?

Source: 2SER 107.3, 9/3/2015