Charles Darwin University
enews home

Submission focus on death penalty abolition

By Katie Weiss

CDU Law student Narelle Sherwill participated in the submission CDU Law student Narelle Sherwill participated in the submission

A law student and senior Charles Darwin University lecturer have made a parliamentary submission about Australia’s advocacy against the death penalty.

Senior lecturer Felicity Gerry QC and Bachelor of Law student Narelle Sherwill made the submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s “Inquiry into Australia's Advocacy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty”.

The submission focused on the intersection between human trafficking and death penalty cases and recommended that Australia develop a comprehensive policy document to reaffirm its position on abolishing the death penalty worldwide.

Narelle, who is an external student based in Albury Wodonga, took part in the submission as part of a Reprieve Australia internship arranged through the CDU School of Law clinical program.

“This was the first time I have put my opinion out into the real world in a way that could really make a difference,” she said.

“I also enjoyed the practical engagement side of the task.”

Narelle said research for the submission was drawn from existing academic sources and Ms Gerry’s own research and recent experience assisting in the current reprieve for Filipino woman Mary Jane Veloso, who had been arrested and sentenced to death for drug smuggling in Indonesia.

The inquiry was launched by the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade in July, 2015. It will review the ways Australia promotes worldwide abolition of the death penalty internationally, and will offer further steps the country could take to strengthen its advocacy.