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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 […]


Nightclub Violence

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May 2, 2016

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Canberra is taking a very different course to Sydney in the nationwide fight against early-morning, alcohol-fuelled violence around inner-city nightclubs. While both the NSW and ACT governments are shaking up licensing laws, the ACT has steadfastly refused to copy NSW in introducing mandatory minimum sentences for one-punch assaults that lead to death. ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said, “We know that increasing penalties does not prevent violence. People don't think about the penalty they're going to get when they're drunk and punch somebody." Mr Corbell has instead unveiled a revamp of liquor […]


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 […]

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