Last Thursday, Australian High Court Justice Virginia Bell helped launch a new criminal HIV transmission guide for legal practitioners produced by New South Wales’ HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC).
Speaking at the launch, leading civil rights lawyer, David Buchanan, noted that there was a growing tension between the “extraordinary range and depth of the public health forces marshalled against laws that criminalise people with HIV” and public opinion.
However, he said that the movement against criminalisation is not clear-cut, since “the prosecution of people with HIV in [New South Wales] has the potential both to vindicate people’s basic rights to protection from harm, yet also the potential to disrupt one of the world’s more successful exercises in the protection of public health.”
The full text of David Buchanan’s extremely interesting and insightful address (which, at over 3000 words, plus 30 footnotes, was too long to post in its entirety here) can be downloaded (as a pdf file) here. [Update: June 22nd. The previous version was not correctly formatted and resulted in the notes being out of sync. Apologies. This has now been corrected.]
Update July 1st: HALC tells me they have a limited number of hard copies of the guide available on request.
You can now download a pdf version of the guide here.
HALC also tells me they are working on an Australian-wide version of the Guide, although this is not likely to be ready until late in the year. However, they will have two more publications regarding criminal transmission coming out in July and August which I will upload when I receive them.