Peter Breen served as a member of the Legislative Council of the New South Wales Parliament from 1999 to 2007. Peter’s speeches are available on the Parliament’s website.
During this period, Peter was responsible for a number of legislative initiatives including:
- Parliamentary Inquiry into a Bill of Rights: The Parliament’s law & Justice Committee conducted a public inquiry into whether New South Wales should have a Bill of Rights. As a consequence of the inquiry, an Act of Parliament was passed to establish the Legislation Review Committee which ensures that Parliament is alerted to any breaches of human rights during debate on parliamentary bills.
- Parliamentary Inquiry into the use of State arms: The Parliament’s Law & Justice Committee conducted a public inquiry into the use of State arms and other symbols and emblems of government. As a consequence of the inquiry, an Act of Parliament was passed to regulate the use of State arms, symbols and emblems, including an end to the use in New South Wales of Great Britain’s royal arms.
Application to NSW Governor to Exercise the Royal Prerogative of Mercy
Peter has lodged an application for mercy on behalf of a prisoner Bronson Blessington who was jailed in 1988 as a 14 year old at a time when prisoners sentenced to ‘life’ could apply for parole after eight years. The Carr Labor Government retrospectively changed the prisoner’s sentence to life without parole using the so-called ‘cement law’. Peter argued against this law when he was in Parliament saying a life without parole sentence for a juvenile is in many ways worse than the death penalty. See application for mercy.