Castle Law petition to allow lethal force against home intruders tabled in Queensland parliament

Castle Law petition to allow lethal force against home intruders tabled in Queensland parliament The Katter Australian Party says rising concerns over home invasions in Queensland has led to support for its Castle Law proposal. (Supplied)

More than 40,000 Queenslanders are backing a call for laws to allow them to kill home intruders without legal consequences, as crime concerns simmer in the lead up to the state's election.

Katter's Australian Party (KAP) said its petition for state parliament to introduce the so-called Castle Law, tabled on Tuesday, June 11, was among the most popular on record.

However, Queensland Law Society president Rebecca Fogerty voiced deep concern about the draft legislation which she said would amount to "state sanctioned murder".

What is Castle Law?

Last month, KAP introduced a bill to amend section 267 of Queensland's Criminal Code to allow an individual to lawfully respond to a home invasion with such force that may cause grievous bodily harm or even death to the intruder.

Current laws allow for the use of "reasonable force" for self-defence, but the KAP said that was not clear enough.

KAP deputy leader Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said the popularity of the petition was an indicator of community fear.

"It does give people the power to protect themselves in situations where crime has gotten out of control," he said.

"Castle Law is the kind of legislation that sends a strong message to say that the pendulum is swinging towards back in the direction of the victim."

More needs to be done to tackle crime

While victims of crime agreed more needed to be done to tackle crime, not all were convinced by the move to introduce Castle Law.

Teacher Asti Savage, who uses a wheelchair, was the target of crime earlier this year, when thieves walked into her home and stole her specially modified car.

"They had it all planned, grabbed the bag off my lap and waved at me as they were reversing the car out my driveway, knowing full well that I couldn't defend myself," Ms Savage said.

While she agreed more needed to be done to tackle youth crime, she expressed doubt about Castle Law, noting any weapon used in self-defence could be used against her.

"Criminals are going to know [if] Castle Law is in place ... they'll be bringing bigger and better weapons. They'll fight back."

'State-sanctioned murder'

Queensland Law Society president Rebecca Fogerty urged deep caution.

"They way the [draft] laws are drafted, it effectively amounts to a form of state sanctioned murder," she said.

"A homeowner could feel threatened when in fact there is no threat and then you have a situation where an innocent person has been killed and there's no recourse."

Ms Fogerty said existing laws allowing for reasonable force to be used to defend a person or property had served the community well.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the government acknowledged those who signed the petition, but it had no plans to review the self-defence provisions in the Criminal Code.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/castle-law-petition-to-allow-lethal-force-against-home-intruders-tabled-in-queensland-parliament/ar-BB1nZtru

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