Indefinite detention of sex offenders and human rights: The intervention of the human rights committee of the United Nations
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In 2010 The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations (the UNHCR) made rulings on two “communications” submitted by Australian citizens, Robert Fardon and Ken Tillman, about what they contended was the unlawfulness of their preventive detention in Queensland and New South Wales respectively. The UNHCR upheld their applications and declared their detention unlawful by virtue of its constituting a breach of Article 9, paragraph 1, Article 14, paragraph 1, and Article 15, paragraph 1, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The decision has major ramifications for the preventive detention systems in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. It provides a fillip for a new rehabilitative, non-penitential focus for such regimes and raises ethical issues for mental health practitioners currently functioning in and advising in relation to such systems.
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