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What is a conviction?

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October 28, 2016

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The hope of most people when they are facing a criminal charge is to avoid a conviction, but just what is “a conviction”? While it might seem like a simple concept, a Full Court (three judges) of the ACT Supreme Court has just wrestled with the issue – in a judgment running to 22 pages and almost 12,000 words. And the answer? Well, it seems that there are convictions and there are convictions. It can be a “finding of guilt” or it can be a part of sentencing after a finding […]


Revenge Porn

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October 24, 2016

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The NSW Government has announced it will introduce new laws to address community concerns about the rising levels of “Revenge Porn”. Revenge porn is somewhat of a misleading name. It usually describes when a person, usually a recently spurned romantic partner, posts revealing or explicit photographs of the other person online. Unlike pornography, the pictures are seldom posted with an intended to titillate or arouse. Rather the purpose is as set out in the first half of the name: revenge. New technologies have made it easier than ever to share photos […]


Bail Powers ACT

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October 19, 2016

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Bail is one of the most contentious issues in the criminal-justice system. On one hand, the community demands protection from those who might commit offences. On the other, it supports the presumption of innocence. It is always a balancing act. The ACT Government has plans to go out on a limb and introduce a bail regime that would give the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions extraordinary powers, particularly the ability to keep a person in gaol even though a court had said they should be free. Both the ACT […]


Consorting Laws – ACT

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October 14, 2016

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The ACT’s status as one of only two states or territories with a Human Rights Act or Charter has saved it – for now – from a harsh new regime of consorting laws. Consorting laws make associating with certain classes of people unlawful, punishable by prison, and they give police broad discretion about who is allowed to contact who. NSW adopted a tough revamp of its consorting laws in 2012 – and the ACT was set to introduce something similar when outgoing Attorney-General Simon Corbell issued a recent discussion paper. The […]


Speed Camera Tomfoolery

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October 11, 2016

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The Sydney Morning Herald has published incredible photos of someone who thought he was smarter than the West Australian Highway Patrol. As the Sydney Morning Herald story reported, this man parked his tow truck in front of a speed camera. The tow truck (and the Holden Rodeo loaded on the back of it) then entirely blocked the view of the speed camera in both directions, meaning that no one speeding past that location could be identified and photographed. Unfortunately for this man, his actions were promptly reported to police, and he […]


Major offences in another jurisdiction cannot be considered first offences in NSW

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October 6, 2016

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In the Road Transport Act 2013, if there are two major offences committed within a 5 year period, then the new offence is classed as a second or subsequent offence. The impact of a second or subsequent is that the available penalties are far greater. For example, if someone is caught for a second mid-range drink driving charge (PCA) within 5 years, then the term of imprisonment increases from 9 months to 12 months and the mandatory interlock provision will be applied. Prior to the Road Transport Act 2013 commencing, a […]


NSW Government Legalises Medical Marijuana

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October 3, 2016

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Doctors in New South Wales can legally prescribe medicinal marijuana to their patients, after Parliament enacted amendments to the regulations last month. Though this is welcome news to medical marijuana advocates, the process to obtain cannabis products is lengthy, complicated and highly regulated. On 1 August 2016, the NSW Parliament brought into force the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Designated Non-ARTG Products) Regulation 2016, a series of amendments to the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966. Previously, medical marijuana was only legally available to participants in clinical trials or through NSW […]

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