The Rule of Law Institute of Australia fully supports calls to make refusing to stand in court a criminal offence.

A person cannot have it both ways. To live in Australia but not be subject to the law.

It would come as no surprise to the person to be excluded from our society having rejected it.

Our courts, like others around the world, have procedures that are required to be followed. Any failure to comply is a breach of the law.

The breach should not be left to a court where the failure occurs to take contempt proceedings. Rather the offence should be referred automatically to the police.

It is a matter for the Government to consult with the community on what is the appropriate penalty for the offence.

It is desirable to retain contempt proceedings as an additional punishment where the courts consider it appropriate.

Robin Speed