‘No body no parole’ laws will be tightened in NSW to motivate convicted murderers to reveal the whereabouts of their victim’s body.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet says legislation will be introduced in parliament this week meaning convicted murderers will be denied any chance of parole unless they disclose the location of their victim’s remains.
The new laws would affect about six inmates in NSW prisons.
“We will make it impossible for perpetrators who intentionally and intentionally refuse to release information about their victims’ remains,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
The bill has been dubbed “Lyn’s law” after former Sydney teacher Chris Dawson was convicted last month of the murder of his 33-year-old wife Lynette, who disappeared from their northern beach more than 40 years ago.
The body of the mother of two has never been found and a petition has been launched to lobby for reform.
The prime minister said he hoped the legislation would comfort grieving families.
“Failing to locate a loved one’s body is extremely painful and traumatic for the victims’ families and friends and deprives a victim of the dignity to rest appropriately,” he said.
“These laws should prevent inmates convicted of murder or manslaughter from being released early unless they work with the police to end the torment of families and return the remains of their loved ones to them.”
The reform means that the State Probation Authority (SPA) cannot grant parole unless it concludes that the offender has satisfactorily cooperated in identifying the victim’s location.
The SPA relies on written advice from the Police Commissioner and other relevant information to determine whether the perpetrator has satisfactorily cooperated in identifying a victim’s location.
Corrections Secretary Geoff Lee said the reforms are modeled on laws in other jurisdictions and would apply to all current and prospective inmates in NSW to arrest convicted offenders who are not yet eligible for parole.
“Any offender in prison who is released on parole should really think carefully about upholding their refusal to cooperate with the police if they are to maintain their parole prospects,” said Dr. Lee.
The legislation will bring NSW into line with the laws in Queensland, WA, SA, Victoria and the Northern Territory, where offenders can be denied parole if they refuse to disclose the whereabouts of victims’ remains.