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Criminal Sentencing in NSW

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September 12, 2012

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Criminal sentencing is a topic that has been heavily discussed in NSW and the rest of Australia in recent years. Most recently, the case of the death of Thomas Kelly in Sydney’s Kings Cross has highlighted strong opinions regarding sentencing for violent offences. On several social media sites, blogs, and news websites, members of the public have made comments claiming that the justice system in entirely inadequate. Some outrageous claims, including that the judiciary together with the criminal defence “sharks” (otherwise known as lawyers) conspire to manipulate the system to allow […]


The Right to Silence – United Kingdom vs Australia

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September 12, 2012

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On 14 August 2012 NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced that the right to silence in the criminal justice system would be amended. This announcement was in response to a perceived upsurge of gang violence in Sydney’s Western Suburbs. During the announcement, Mr O’Farrell referred to the British system which is very similar in principle to what is proposed to be introduced here. However, Mr O’Farrell appears to have failed to realise that there are basic safeguards in place in Britain that do not form part of his proposal. For example, under […]


The Right to Silence in NSW

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September 12, 2012

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A fundamental right afforded to a person accused of a crime, is the right to silence. In essence, the right to silence allows an accused person to say nothing during both the investigation and if they want to during the trial of a criminal charge without any adverse inference being drawn from that silence. The principle of the right to silence in Australia dates back to the abolition of the Star Chamber in 17th Century England. The Star Chamber was an English Court of law established to ensure that prominent people […]

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