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Legal Representation and Non-convictions

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November 8, 2016

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Non-conviction orders are the best result you can hope for if you have been found guilty of, or pleaded guilty to, any criminal offence. But getting them is not easy. The courts have long held that a non-conviction, known to many and sought as “a Section 10” (NSW) or “a section 17” (ACT) is, to quote the most quoted High Court case on the subject, “an exceptional outcome”. A recent ACT case shows the tests that have to be applied when considering granting an application for a non-conviction order. Simultaneously, the […]


Supermarket customers are far more comfortable with theft when using self-service check-outs

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August 5, 2016

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Research form the United Kingdom has suggested that supermarket customers are far more comfortable with theft when using self-service check-outs. It certainly seems from the research that people using the checkouts are quite happy to not scan certain items, or perhaps scan them as a cheaper item. Interestingly, theft through self-service checkouts was almost triple the rate of theft on the shop floor. It may well be the case that people who intend to steal are targeting the self-serve checkouts as being a “weak point” in the supermarket’s system. However the […]


ACT drug-driving

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April 20, 2015

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Jeff, James and Jill are three Canberra motorists. Jeff shares a joint of marijuana with a mate on a Saturday night at home and doesn’t drive until going to work on the following Monday. James has a dozen schooners on the Saturday night and also doesn’t drive until heading to work on the Monday. Jill has two bottles of wine on the Saturday night, hops straight in her car and gets picked up by police. She returns a Level 4 blood-alcohol reading and is facing an automatic three years’ disqualification from […]


The cuts to the ALS funding

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March 9, 2015

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I am lucky, sure I worked for my luck, I took chances where I had the opportunity. I am fortunate to have some very caring friends in the legal industry, people who have far more of a social conscience than I, people who remind me how lucky I am. One friend introduced me to an organisation called International Justice Mission https://www.ijm.org and http://www.ijm.org.au. A truly remarkable organisation, a not for profit, that raises funds to place legal professionals in countries where public justice systems are broken or non-existent. They are not […]


Not Guilty Verdict in State’s First Major Drug Analogue Case

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September 2, 2014

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Two weeks ago a District Court Judge found two men not guilty of all charges in New South Wales’s first major drug analogue case. The defendants were represented by Armstrong Legal. The drug analogue provisions are an interesting area of law. They were developed in an attempt to keep one step ahead of clandestine chemists. The Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act NSW contains a schedule of numerous prohibited drugs. Any substance on that list is illegal to possess, manufacture or supply. However, relying on the list alone leaves a gaping loophole. […]


Driving while Disqualified – Banned from driving until 2153

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July 31, 2014

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~~A quite extraordinary story appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald website on July 11th 2014. The story concerned to a man sentenced for a Drive Whilst Disqualified offence at Newcastle Local Court. Nothing that unusual about that. The interesting part is that Mr David Browne has now been disqualified from driving until 2153. His predicament is a perfect example of the problems that Mandatory Sentencing can cause. According to the Sydney Morning Herald story (which you can read here http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-man-banned-from-driving-until-2153-20140711-zt3tf.html), after being disqualified from driving for a comparatively short period of […]


Bushfires

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January 18, 2013

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Malicious Bushfires Unfortunately bushfires are a common part of life in Australia. Most fires are contained quickly and only minor damage occurs. However as we have seen time and time again all over the country, these fires can have devastating consequences. 2013 has so far proved to be a difficult year for bushfires, with weather conditions such that there have been a number of total fire bans across NSW. More disturbing than the fires themselves, is the fact that many bushfires are man-made fires, either accidentally or maliciously lit. For example, […]


Sydney Gun Laws

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November 5, 2012

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Sydney Shootings Over recent weeks there have been a number of reports of shootings in various suburbs of Western Sydney. It is arguable that people have switched off from this violence, and consider it to be part and parcel of the gang activity which is notorious in some of those areas. For many people involved in the criminal justice system, the most interesting part of the situation is the clearly prolific possession of firearms. There are strict gun law in force in NSW and throughout Australia. However, it is clear that […]


Crime & Punishment

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October 19, 2012

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On 18 October 2012 the UK telegraph reported the sentencing proceedings relating to a cannabis farm. This was a particularly unusual case for a number of reasons, including that the offenders were a married couple in their sixties who decided to run a cannabis farm from their farmhouse which produced an estimated £400,000 profit. Perhaps more unusually, the offenders did not use the profits from their business for their own personal gain, the profits were used for charity in Kenya. Their aid work included supporting schools, purchasing computers and other equipment […]


Drug Season

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October 3, 2012

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With the Labour Day long weekend just behind us, and the summer months fast approaching, Sydneysiders are preparing for many weekends relaxing and soaking up the sun. It is also that time of year for music festivals. Parklife, the first major mainstream festival of the season was held in Sydney over the weekend. The NSW police praised the majority of the revellers on their good behaviour while noting the offences that allegedly occurred.   According to a NSW Police media release there were six people charged with offensive conduct, twelve with […]

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