The presumption of innocence is in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it’s in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe and many other legal doctuments.
It has a long history, and the Western Australian government is going to remove it, because it believes apparently that their is one set of crimes, so bad, so terrible that it is worth removing these protections is jusified?
So what terrible crime is this being done for?
It’s worth noting also that some of the proposed legislation is based on legislation already in place in Western Australia, and women have reported being harassed by police on the street on suspicion of street based sex work based on what they are wearing. What happens in situations like that if the presumption of innocence is removed? What happens when people are carrying large sums of money, or literature from sex worker organisations? What happens to people who are not sex workers, but who are congregating with people who are? What happens to people the cops don’t like who are found in a “known sex work area”? Will we have a situation like in certain places in the US where being arrested for street based sex work becomes a matter of being visibly trans* or being a WOC, only the people arrested will then be treated as legally guilty from the moment of arrest and have no recourse to the presumption of innocence?
Our legal system is far from perfect but I would recommend being very worried, and very angry when long standing protections are removed. Sex work shouldn’t ever been a crime, even if you think it shouldn’t happen on suburban streets, then surely the crime of operating a business outside of a business area should be a minor matter, similar to a cafe putting out more chairs on the footpath than they are licensed for, it should not be a reason to change hundreds of years legal history.