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Australia should not ignore UN Committee, laws should be amended to stop the indefinite detention of people with cognitive impairment

Australia and Western Australia should not ignore the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) call for Mr Marlon Noble to have the conditions of his release lifted after serving more than ten years in prison without a charge, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Despite being unfit to plead, Mr Noble, who has an intellectual disability, was held in custody for an indefinite amount of time that ended up spanning over a decade. On top of this there are conditions on his release.

“Mr Noble’s case is familiar for anyone that works with people with cognitive impairment or intellectual disability that are navigating the judicial system across Australia. We know that often people are incarcerated for an indefinite period.  

“In the senate inquiry taking evidence on this issue, we have heard that often people with cognitive impairment are urged to plead guilty just so they can get a sentence with an end date. This represents a terrible flaw in our system.

“The relevant governments should also act on recommendations by the UN Committee that seek to stop cases like Mr Marlon Noble occurring again. It is clear that amendments should be made to the relevant laws to prevent these terrible circumstances”.

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