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Editors --- "Mentions" [2003] AltLawJl 82; (2003) 28(5) Alternative Law Journal 261



Over 100 Queensland Acts abolish the privilege against self-incrimination

The Queensland Law Reform Com­ mission has released a Discussion Pa­ per on Queensland legislation that takes away the privilege against self­ incrimination. The Discussion Paper identifies over 100 Queensland provisions that take away the privilege.

When legislation takes away the privilege against self-incrimination, it often attempts to compensate for the loss of the privilege by creating an immunity against the use of the information that a person has been forced to provide. The effect of the immunity is that the information cannot be used as evidence against the person or, in some cases, to find further evidence against the person.

The Commission will report to the Attorney General on the bases on which these provisions take away the privilege and on whether the removal of the privilege is ever justified.

The Commission is seeking submissions from interested individuals and organisations on issues raised by the Discussion Paper.

The closing date for submissions is 7 November 2003. Copies of the Discussion Paper are available free of charge by phoning the Commission on 07 3247 4544. The Discussion Paper may also be accessed via the Commission's website at <>.

For further information please contact Penny Cooper, the Director of the Commission, on 07 3247 4544.

Second class customers: prepayment meters, the fuel poor and discrimination

This paper, written by Andrea Sharam for the Energy Action Group, discusses pre-payment meters (PPMs) which it sees as primarily a credit management tool promoted by utilities to recover debt on the one hand and prevent the future accumulation of debt in the other. The report argues that the termination of the credit relationship in favour of prepayment effectively removes the role of the utility from the disconnection process. The act of disconnection is for all intents and purposes privatised. This enables utilities to avoid public reporting of disconnection rates (as they relate to inability to pay) and allows them to abrogate social responsibilities. The report points out that PPMs do not address inability to pay and are often the most expensive payment option. This reduction in affordability exacerbates rather than limits the impact of fuel poverty. Fuel poverty, the report states, remains largely unaddressed in Australia for reasons that are perplexing, as many opportunities exist to eradicate it with benefits to customers, utilities and governments.

For copies of the report go to <> or contact

Energy Action Group

PO Box 136, North Melbourne 3051 tel 041 736 2709



Centre for Public Policy, University of Melbourne

Two half-day symposia

Hosted in conjunction with the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Creating Sustainable Economies

Date: Thursday, 20 November 2003

Keynote speakers include:

Democrat Senator Lyn Allison

Jeff Atkinson, Advocacy Coordinator, Community Aid Abroad Oxfam Professor Julian Disney, University of New South Wales

Leigh Hubbard, Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall Council

Registration is $60 (inc GST) and includes afternoon tea and post­ symposium drinks. Further informa­ tion: <http://www.public-policy. econornies.htrnl>

Ending Poverty and Promoting Social Inclusion

Date: Wednesday, 3 December 2003

Keynote speakers include:

Associate Professor Alison McClelland, Latrobe University

Professor Peter Saunders, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales

Professor Rob Watts, RMIT Registration is $60 (inc GST) and includes afternoon tea and post-symposium drinks.

Further information: < events/ending_poverty.html>

or contact Lauren Rosewarne, tel 03 8344 9482.

The Australian Institute of Criminology and the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice: From the Lessons of the Past to a Road Map for the Future Date: 1-2 December 2003

Venue: Citigate Sebel Hotel, Sydney Contact: Conference Coordinators­ AIC Conference

PO Box 139, CALWELL ACT 2905

tel 02 6292 9000


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