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Court ruling highlights need for Senate inquiry into sect - Brown.

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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

Court ruling highlights need for Senate inquiry into sect - Brown

Senator Brown, 21st February 2007

The Family Court case involving members of an Exclusive Brethren family who breached court orders highlights the need for a Senate inquiry into the Exclusive Brethren, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

In the Family Court in Launceston yesterday Justice Robert Benjamin imposed four-month suspended prison sentences on the mother, son and her son-in-law who denied the father access to his children (see the Age, page 1 today)

"Nobody is above the law," Senator Brown said.

"This is not an isolated incident. There are harrowing stories of people who leave the sect being ex-communicated for life from their children, parents or grandparents. A Senate inquiry is needed to investigate widespread claims of parents being denied access to their children, children being prohibited from attending universities and unions being exlcuded from Brethren workplaces," Senator Brown said.

The Greens' proposed Senate inquiry will be voted on next week when Parliament resumes.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603