Criminal defence lawyer Marie Dyhrberg KC says ACT's latest policy is just 'tinkering'

  • 10/07/2023

Criminal defence lawyer Marie Dyhrberg KC says the ACT Party's latest law and order policy is just "tinkering".

The political party on Sunday announced it wants all 17-year-olds to be dealt with through the adult justice system, rather than some coming under the youth system.

Leader David Seymour said a law change in 2016 bringing low-risk 17-year-olds into the youth system - something ACT supported at the time - hasn't brought down offending rates.

"We were told the worst offenders would still go through the adult system, and somehow youth crime would reduce," Seymour said on Sunday. "Those things have turned out to be wrong, and we must now have the courage to correct a mistake."

But Dyhrberg told AM this is just "tinkering".

"To say that you can take somebody at 16 in the Youth Court, but 17 they're not, it's not looking at what really is fundamental about the youth justice system," she said.

She said the youth justice system puts an emphasis on rehabilitation

Watch the full interview above.