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Concealing an Offence

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January 29, 2016

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What obligation does a person have to report that they believe a crime has been committed? The Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has continued looking at the way in which various bodies such as churches, charities and schools have (or to be more precise, have not) responded to allegations of child sexual abuse. Former leaders of these organisations have been brought before the Commission and questioned about why they continued to employ persons who had been accused of serious child sexual abuse, or why those persons were […]


Bushfires and Criminal Law

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January 25, 2016

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The past few months dry conditions, scorching temperatures and loss of homes to bushfire serve as a timely reminder of the strict penalties that apply for fire-related offences in Victoria. Police interviewed a 47-year-old man in relation to the Scotsburn fire near Ballarat which destroyed 12 homes, although the ABC reports that suspicions the fire was deliberately lit have since been ruled out. In Victoria, it is an offence under the Crimes Act 1958 to intentionally or recklessly cause a bushfire. The maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment. The section makes […]


New laws for cyclists – March 2016

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January 21, 2016

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The NSW Government will in March 2016 introduce laws requiring that motorists to leave at least a one metre gap as they overtake cyclists. For many motorists this will be a difficult or impossible task where roads are narrow or there is heavy traffic. Motorists already challenged by road spaces ill-designed and ill-suited to sharing with cyclists will no doubt find this immensely frustrating. The unavoidable reality, however, is an increasing emphasis by Local and the State governments to encourage use of the roadways by cyclists and accordingly the new laws […]


Leveson Inquest

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January 18, 2016

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The question of what NSW Juries are not told in a trial has once again reared its head. Reports in the Sydney Morning Herald have detailed evidence in the Matthew Leveson murder case that was not provided to the jury. This case was a trial for the murder of Matthew Leveson. He was said to have been killed by his boyfriend Peter Atkins. In 2009 Mr Atkins was acquitted of the murder by a jury after he pled not guilty. There is now to be a coronial inquest, which is a […]


Heightened Security around Sydney Trains to Stop Graffiti

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January 12, 2016

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The art sub-culture of graffiti has never been welcome by Police or Parliaments in New South Wales. Surveys indicate that 21% of people in the community feel that graffiti is an indicator of social disorder problems (i.e. lack of education, lack of employment or use of illegal drugs). Quite often graffiti is done in dangerous locations, such as, near train tracks, in train tunnels or on difficult to reach areas of a building. The offence of marking any property or premises with a spray can is an offence that carries a […]


Baden-Clay

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January 4, 2016

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The Prosecution of Gerard Baden-Clay was one of the biggest trials that the Queensland Criminal Courts have seen. Baden-Clay was said to have murdered his wife and dumped her body under a road bridge. The Prosecution’s explanation for why he had done so related to him being involved in an extra marital affair and suffering severe financial stress. At trial, a jury accepted beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Baden-Clay had intentionally killed his wife. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. In a move that has surprised many, the Supreme Court […]

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