Attention in Australia in late 1999, early 2000, was focused on the issue of mandatory sentencing.
The disproportionate effects that it had on indigenous people, particularly juveniles, was noted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 1997, and reaffirmed by the Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in March 2000.
A mandatory minimum sentence also places unwarranted restrictions on judicial discretion and is a threat to independent judicial decision making.
These laws were widely condemned by members of the judiciary and human rights groups.
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