townsville crime stolen car crash 2020
A 2020 incident in which a 14-year old driving a stolen car crashed, killing four teenagers (AAP/Michael Chambers)

Politicians make laws all the time that make citizens culpable for negligence. Rightly so.

Drivers should understand they face severe penalties, maybe imprisonment, if their negligence causes a death on the road. Company directors should understand they face severe penalties, including imprisonment, if their negligence causes death in a workplace. And bankers should understand the severe penalties if they haven’t paid attention to transactions that might fund slavery, child exploitation or organised crime.

This is now part of the legal system. But the legislators at the top of the system get off scot-free. What if they faced the same sanctions?