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NSW Driver Fatigue Work Diary Exemptions Expire Soon

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April 28, 2016

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From 1 May 2016 there will be changes to work diary requirements for heavy vehicle drivers. Drivers operating under Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) and Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) will now need to carry and complete their work diary for all journeys. What’s changed? Previously in NSW work diaries only needed to be filled in when drivers travelled outside of a radius of 100 km from their base, or if they had made such a trip within the past 28 days. This applied to all drivers, whether they were operating under Standard […]


Medicinal Cannabis in Queensland

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April 26, 2016

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On 1 April 2016 public consultation in respect of the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016 was closed. The Bill, which sets out a regulatory framework for the prescription and dispensing of cannabis in a medical setting, will now be debated in the parliament before becoming law (if it is adopted and passed). Precisely when this debate and/or passing into law will occur is murky but there are general indicia, such as the imminent re-categorisation of cannabis as a dangerous drug under the Drugs Misuse Act, or the recent empowering of […]


Barbaro and sentencing practice in Queensland

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April 21, 2016

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On the 19th of April 2016 the Attorney-General for Queensland, the Honourable Yvette D’ath, [LINK: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2016/4/19/barbaro-amendments-herald-important-changes-for-legal-profession] announced the passing of amendments to the law in Queensland which will “reinstate the ability of a court to receive submissions from both prosecution and defence on the appropriate sentence, or the bounds of the range of appropriate sentences that should be imposed.” This announcement likely relates to the passing of the Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Bill (No.2) 2015 which, according to the Attorney-General, was necessary “to improve the consistency of sentencing and efficiency […]


Zaburoni HCA

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April 18, 2016

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The High Court has allowed an appeal by a man convicted of intentionally infecting his partner with HIV. Godfrey Zaburoni was tried in Queensland for the offence of Unlawfully Transmitting a Serious Disease to Another with Intent to do so. This is one of the most serious offences on the books in Queensland, and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. He was found guilty and was sentenced to nine and a half years in gaol. Zaburoni had accepted that he did in fact transmit HIV to his then partner through […]


Use of Drones: what are the rules?

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April 14, 2016

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Drones are becoming a popular purchase in NSW. They are often used by individuals to capture pictures or videos for personal use. Along with their increasing popularity, has come increasing reports of the trouble they can cause, such as the drone that crashed into a train on the Harbour Bridge in 2013. ( http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/i-dont-know-whether-its-a-bomb-or-not-train-driver-flummoxed-after-drone-hits-sydney-harbour-bridge-20131126-2y76m.html). The Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CTH) regulate the use of drones in NSW (and in fact all over Australia). There are different rules for the use of drones for commercial users (for example, people who use […]


Policy on Police Pursuits

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April 12, 2016

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Engaging in a police pursuit, also known as offence under "Skye's Law" named after a young girl killed in a police pursuit, is an extremely serious offence where a term of imprisonment is realistic even if you have no prior criminal record and are otherwise a person of good character. The seriousness with which Courts regards such offences is a product of the clear danger posed to innocent members of the community. Because of the danger, there are carefully considered and detailed policies in place to guide Police Officers in deciding […]


ACT Infringement Notice changes

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April 11, 2016

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You might be familiar with the infringement-notice system for certain traffic matters. Where years ago you had to go to court for just about everything, including minor speeding matters for instance having smooth tyres or even a vehicle that created “undue noise”, now we have a relatively comprehensive system of traffic-infringement notices, issued on the spot by police. These allow, simply by the payment of the relevant fine, for the disposal of the matter. No longer do so many minor matters, most often speeding tickets, clog the courts – and force […]


Eddie Obeid – High Court of Australia

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April 8, 2016

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The legal community has been in a frenzy of speculation about the trial of Eddie Obeid before the NSW Supreme Court. Obeid is of course a former member of the NSW Upper House. The trial was dramatically abandoned earlier this year after new evidence was unexpectedly revealed. Thanks to the expiry of some non-publication orders, we now know that Obeid appealed to the Court of Appeal and, later, the High Court to try and stop his trial. His argument was that the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to try him […]


Changes To The Act Child Sex Offender Register

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April 4, 2016

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In 2015, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed an amendment bill making changes to the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005 (‘the Act’). The main focus of the bill was to change who is considered a “registrable offender”, and consequently who is placed on the ACT Child Sex Offenders Register (‘the Register’. The changes to the Act came into effect 1 October 2015. The recent changes mean after 1 October 2015 any Court who sentences a person under the age of 17 years, charged with a Registrable Offence, must make a specific […]

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