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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 […]


Grant Davies and spousal witnesses

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March 17, 2016

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The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has continued to produce shocking revelations about the actions of people who didn’t do what they should have done when allegations of Child Sexual Abuse were brought to their attention. Grant Davies had pled guilty to abusing more than 10 children he was teaching dance to. Whilst over the years many people had brought the matter to the authorities’ attention, in this manner the complaint that finally brought about Police action was made by Grant Davies’ wife and other members of […]


Punishment v Rehabilitation

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March 10, 2016

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One of the primary purposes of sentencing is to rehabilitate an offender so that they don’t find themselves in front of the Court again. This is obviously in the interests of the offender and the community – no one wants to be sent to gaol and no one wants to be the victim of a serious crime. One of the key sentencing principles is “to promote the rehabilitation of the offender”. However, recidivism rates in Australia are alarmingly high. The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted a Prison Census in 2014 which […]


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 […]


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 […]


The Oscar Pistorius Trial – Guilty of Murder

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December 18, 2015

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No Prosecution in living memory has captured the attention of the South African media in the way the Prosecution of Oscar Pistorius did. The defendant was a famous athlete, and the prospect of him being thrown in gaol on the charge of murder was as tantalizing as it was gripping. The trial was the first occasion that a trial in South Africa had been broadcast live on television, the media even going so far as to set up a dedicated channel for the period of the to broadcast the trial. At […]


Intent, Proof and Gerard Baden-Clay

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December 11, 2015

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The Queensland press is in a frenzy following the Court of Appeal’s decision to set aside Gerard Baden-Clay’s conviction for the murder of his wife Alison, and to substitute it for a conviction of the lesser offence of manslaughter. As is unfortunately typical of news outlets in this state where decisions of the Courts are concerned, an understanding of the law and a more than superficial recognition of the reasons for the decision is sorely lacking in the coverage.  The lack of accurate reporting has led to an understandable sense of […]


Mark Bosnich avoids conviction despite pleading guilty to a serious traffic offence

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July 9, 2015

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In late April former Socceroo Mark Bosnich avoided being convicted despite pleading guilty to a serious traffic offence. According to the Police Facts, Mr Bosnich was involved in a dispute with a cyclist over lane positioning. The cyclist rode past Mr Bosnich's car and struck the rear view mirror with a bike lock. Subsequent to that, Mr Bosnich "turned the steering wheel in the direction of [the cyclist] and moved forward causing the front grill and bumper of the vehicle to collide with the victim’s rear bicycle wheel." Fortunately, the cyclist […]


Dallas Buyers Club

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June 26, 2015

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Recent studies have shown that Australia has the highest per capita percentage of illegal downloaders in the international online community. These statistics are especially relevant in respect of the recent Supreme Court decision relating to the illegal downloading of the movie the Dallas Buyers Club. The Supreme Court determined that the company producing the movie was allowed to pursue those who had illegally downloaded the movie for damages. This is a precedent setting decision. In June 2015, a letter to be sent to those alleged downloaders (to be determined by IP […]


Written Notice of Pleading

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May 11, 2015

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Police officers issue offenders with Written Notice of Pleading forms for certain offences. The little yellow slip is routinely given to offenders charged with possess prohibited drug, drink driving offences, less serious assaults or other traffic offences. Written Notices of Pleading are forms that people charged with offences can send to the court instead of having to attend in person. Essentially, the form asks a person to indicate to the court whether they are pleading guilty or not guilty and provide the court with further information about their matter. If a […]

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