QCCL President, Michael Cope, said today, “The Council for Civil Liberties is gravely concerned that in the furore on Mr Billy Gordon, his right to the presumption of innocence and to get on with his life having served his punishment, is being ignored by the public.”
Mr Billy Gordon has a criminal history most of which is for very minor matters. The most serious of the offences occurred more than 25 years ago. The Law1 and principle say that he is entitled to get on with his life free of the stain of those events.
The Parliament of Queensland Act sets out what offences make a person unfit to be in Parliament. He has not committed any of those offences.
“Until Mr Gordon is convicted of an offence which disqualifies him from being a Member of Parliament he should be able to sit.”
This brings us to the more serious matter of the allegations of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a scourge in our community. However, Mr Gordon like every other citizen is entitled to the presumption of innocence.
“The Premier rightly referred the allegations of domestic violence to the Police. Until that process results in Mr Gordon being convicted of an offence which disqualifies him from being a member of Parliament, he is entitled to sit and should be allowed to do so without hindrance.”
1 Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986