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Immigration and Criminal law

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May 31, 2016

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There has recently been a renewed focus on the Visa status of people who have committed serious criminal offences. Depending upon the kind of visa that you have, authorities have long had the ability to cancel the visa if you commit serious criminal offences or are subject to serious criminal penalties. This is alongside the general authority to not grant visas to people with significant criminal records. This has been a fraught issue. Many people live in Australia for long periods of time, often for decades, whilst remaining citizens of other […]


Changes to the Animal Welfare Act

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May 27, 2016

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Canberrans face prosecution if they fail to look after their pets in a revamp of the law to start from July 1.The new legislation makes it an offence to breach a duty of care to one's pet, where previously cruelty had to be proved. In March 2016, Minister for Transport and Municipal Services, Meegan Fitzharris, introduced the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2016 (‘the bill’) to the ACT Legislative Assembly. When introducing the bill, Minister Fitzharris stated changes to the Animal Welfare Act 1992 (‘the Act’) have been created “in order to […]


New ACT fire ban penalties

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May 25, 2016

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The ACT Government is looking to provide a maximum two-year prison sentence for people found guilty of lighting fires during total fire bans. Previously, the offence was a fine-only provision with the maximum penalty capped at $7500. But now, not only will offenders be liable for up to two years’ prison but they can face a fine of up to $30,000 as well. That’s four times the current maximum. The proposed changes, introduced into the Legislative Assembly in late autumn, are expected to come into effect before the next fire season. […]


JB v R

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May 23, 2016

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When prosecutors don’t follow the rules, people suffer. This much we have seen through the trial, imprisonment and now release of “JB”. We don’t know his name because when all of this happened he was a juvenile. JB was 15 years old when he was said to have stabbed another man in a street fight. After being arrested, the prosecution alleged that he confessed to a Support Person at the police station. After spending almost 7 years in gaol he was released, and the Court of Criminal Appeal has recently allowed […]


The decision of R v Ahmed [2008] NSWDC 380

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May 19, 2016

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The decision of R v Ahmed [2008] NSWDC 380 – why it is relevant to drive while suspended and disqualified charges, whether pending or finalised: The facts: Ms Ahmed had been suspended for the accumulation of demerit points. She continued to drive and was charged with two counts of Driving While Suspended. Her suspension concluded and subsequently she appeared at Local Court on 5 February 2008 in respect of both offences. The legislation The Road Transport Legislation relevantly provided that a person who commits the offence of driving while suspended or […]


New Plan For Criminal Infringement Notices In The Act

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May 15, 2016

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A new proposal as part of an ACT Discussion paper may see Police given the power to issue Criminal Infringement Notices (CIN) for level two drink driving offences. You can be charged with a level two PCA, commonly known as drink driving, if you are the driver of a vehicle and your blood alcohol concentration is between 0.05 and 0.079. The proposal outlines if you are a first offender charged with this offence, you may be given a CIN that includes a fine, demerit points, and a default disqualification period. The […]


New Protest Laws

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May 11, 2016

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The right to protest and the boundaries placed on the ability to protest have long been a contentious part of the criminal law. The issue has flared again after recent protests in NSW over various mining initiatives, with the state government acting to amend the Inclosed Lands Protection Act, the Crimes Act and the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act to tighten up just what protesters can and can’t do. The Industry, Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts says the changes “create a workable model that ensures that the ongoing protection […]


Drink Driving Acts with Kids in the Car

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May 8, 2016

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In recent years the NSW Local Courts have had a particular focus on people who commit Drink Driving acts with children in their car. The entire judicial system has long frowned on people who put not only their own lives at risk, but also the lives of their children, by driving a vehicle with alcohol in their system and children in the backseat. In 2011 the law was amended so that the courts were compelled to regard having children in your car as an aggravating feature while you drove drunk. This […]


Domestic violence: Is it on the rise?

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May 6, 2016

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Domestic violence is undoubtedly one of the most publicised areas of crime in Australia, particularly in Canberra since the death of Tara Costigan at the hands of her partner. The issue is at the forefront of the minds of legislators and the Courts in the Australian Capital Territory. Recently the former federal Labor leader Mark Latham claimed domestic violence was actually decreasing since 2007. But do the figures add up? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there was a peak in domestic violence-related homicides in Australia in 2007, and […]


Abortion Law in NSW: How the Law Works

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May 4, 2016

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Many would be surprised to discover that it is still an offence under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) to procure an abortion. This seems to go against the widely held belief within the community that that abortion is easily accessible and legal in NSW. Section 82 outlines a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for a woman who administers to herself a drug or by any other instrument or means with the intent of procuring a miscarriage. Anyone else who administers drugs to a woman or by any other instrument or […]

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