Tillman v Australia (HRC, 2010)

Violations: ICCPR art 15(1), ICCPR art 9(1), ICCPR art 14

Remedy's assessment: Remedied

The UN says:

The State party is under an obligation to provide the author with an effective remedy, including termination of his detention under the Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act.

HRC (2010)

In a case parallel, but unrelated, to Fardon v Australia, this Australian man has been gaoled a number of times over a ‘30-year history of worsening sex offences’. In 2007, at the conclusion of a ten-year sentence, the New South Wales Attorney-General used new legislative provisions to obtain a Supreme Court order to keep Ken Tillman, presumed a continuing threat to the community, in ‘preventive detention’ a further year under conditions identical to his imprisonment. During this time he participated in a treatment programme for sex offenders, which he had previously refused to do, and he petitioned the UN, represented by a nun who visited him throughout his imprisonment. His communication was drafted by legal academic and barrister Prof Patrick Keyzer.

In 2008, Mr Tillman was released under a supervision order requiring him to wear an electronic monitoring device and comply with 35 other conditions. His lawyer described it as akin to house arrest.

In 2010, the HRC found Mr Tillman had suffered arbitrary detention, penal in character, yet ordered by civil proceedings lacking due process, under legislation retroactively applied, without a fresh trial. It suggested an effective remedy should include his release from prison, which had already occurred. The HRC has deemed this response unsatisfactory and follow-up dialogue ongoing.

For source details, see Remedy Australia's 2014 Follow-up Report (PDF 1.3Mb).

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