New faces for Sentencing Advisory Council

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has today announced the appointment of five new members of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council.

Mrs D’Ath said the appointees, approved by Executive Council, would broaden the Council’s expertise in criminal law, victims of crime, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice issues, serious crime and youth justice.

“All have made considerable contributions to our justice system, and I am confident their expertise will be invaluable to the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“Since it was re-established in 2016, the Council has played a significant role in broadening understanding of, and increasing public confidence in, the sentencing process.”

The new Council members are:

Chair: Judge John Robertson (Retired) — recently retired from the District Court, Judge Robertson is the author of Queensland Sentencing Manual, a practical resource designed for those involved with sentencing and criminal law. He is a former President of the Childrens Court of Queensland and Deputy President of the Queensland Community Corrections Board.

Ms Jo Bryant — CEO of Protect All Children Today (PACT), which provides support to children who give evidence in court, Ms Bryant is an advocate for children’s rights as well as aged and disability rights.

Mr Bevan Costello — a Waka Waka man, inspirational figure and teacher within the Cherbourg community, Mr Costello is the Chair of the Barambah Local Justice Group and a member of the Cherbourg Community Council.

Ms Vicki Loury QC — a Consultant Crown Prosecutor for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Loury’s work primarily focuses on homicide trials and appearing for the Crown in criminal appeals in the Court of Appeal.

Ms Cheryl Scanlon APM — currently at the Crime and Corruption Commission, Detective Chief Superintendent Scanlon was previously Operations Commander, Child Safety and Sexual Crime Group at Queensland Police Service.

The Council was re-established by the Palaszczuk Government in 2016 to provide independent research and advice, seek public views and promote community understanding of sentencing matters.

The latest appointments bring the Council membership to 12.

Mrs D’Ath recognised the work of the acting chair Professor Elena Marchetti over the last 12 months, which included finalising a report into the classification of sentencing for child exploitation material and launching the online community education program Judge for Yourself.

“The Council is currently working on two reviews: sentencing for criminal offences arising from the death of a child; and community-based orders, imprisonment and parole options. I am sure the input of the new members will enhance the comprehensive work happening in these areas.”