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Sentencing Review

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November 29, 2013

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The law of sentencing in NSW is to be massively reworked in the near future. As laws change and develop, there inevitably comes a time where it is necessary to overhaul the entire system – not because the developments need to be undone, but rather because they need to be properly integrated into a system that was not designed with those developments in mind. It’s not that different to building extensions on a house – eventually you need to knock the whole thing down and start over. Over the last 2 […]


Determined to Create Criminals

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November 25, 2013

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I was listening to the morning news today and I heard that Victorian Police are pushing to take driving licences from people who commit…wait for it…any offence whatsoever. Yes, any offence whatsoever. In New South Wales we already have a law that creates an underclass of criminal by virtue of the habitual offender declaration provisions. For those of you that don’t know, a person who commits and is convicted of three “relevant” offences (think serious traffic matters) in five years exposes themselves to an accumulation of individual disqualification periods plus a […]


One Punch Mania

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Published under Law Reform, Major Cases, News

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November 20, 2013

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I was recently asked to take part in a television program reporting of the one punch legislation proposals by the Attorney General in the tragic wake of the death of Thomas Kelly. Whilst one punch can have a tragic result, again the death of Thomas Kelly is an example, in Australia they are a relatively low incidence crime – the results though are anything but low impact. This week I have been discussing the topic again on a Linked In forum. I was explaining the concept of recklessness and intoxication and […]


One Punch Laws

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November 14, 2013

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This week saw the announcement by the Attorney General of NSW of a “one punch” law. The law is designed to make it easier for the prosecution to secure a conviction in matters like the Thomas Kelly killing and manifest an intention to impose a severe penalty for those found guilty. But is the law required? Let us remember Loveridge pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr. Kelly and manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 25 years jail whereas this new law has a maximum of 20 years The reality is […]


Bugmy v The Queen

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November 10, 2013

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The decision handed down by the High Court in Bugmy v The Queen has been the topic of a great deal of discussion, both amongst Criminal Lawyers and the community generally. The Courts in NSW have long recognised that Aboriginal offending often has different causes to other offending. That doesn’t mean that Aboriginal offenders get a pass-out – rather, the offence that has been committed needs to be seen in the context of that person’s Aboriginality, and in particular the social setting in which the offender grew up and lived their […]

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