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ACT Infringement Notice changes

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April 11, 2016

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You might be familiar with the infringement-notice system for certain traffic matters. Where years ago you had to go to court for just about everything, including minor speeding matters for instance having smooth tyres or even a vehicle that created “undue noise”, now we have a relatively comprehensive system of traffic-infringement notices, issued on the spot by police. These allow, simply by the payment of the relevant fine, for the disposal of the matter. No longer do so many minor matters, most often speeding tickets, clog the courts – and force […]


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 […]


Pill Testing

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March 24, 2016

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Emotions have run high about the issue of drugs in our community for a long time – with deeply held views often in conflict. The Howard Government held to a “zero-tolerance”, “tough-on-drugs” policy while other administrations in the states and territories instituted a “harm-minimisation” approach, including safe heroin-injecting rooms and the birth of drug courts, diverting offenders into rehabilitation rather than the harsher penalties provided under criminal law. The new battleground is the plethora of music festivals and what should be done about the multitude of drugs being found in searches […]


Delay In Sentencing – Ronald Coles

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March 21, 2016

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Ronald Coles conducted a scam where he sold people extravagant paintings with promises of high returns. Mr Coles would then re-sell the artwork multiple times to numerous other investors without disclosing how many owners there were to each painting or what they could expect of the proceeds. This 10 year long scam collapsed when Mr Coles could no longer avoid his clients’ increasing demands for money. Many of the investors had invested their superannuation. Police executed a search warrant on 21 January 2009 and seized 413 paintings valued at more than […]


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 […]


Advocating terrorism

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March 14, 2016

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A teenager in the western suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne couldn’t really find him or herself facing five years’ jail for making some silly joke about his or her “terrorist” mates, could they? You bet he or she could. A new section of the Commonwealth Criminal Code (s80.2C) makes it an offence to  advocate “the doing of a terrorist act; or the commission of a terrorism offence … and the person engages in that conduct reckless as to whether another person will engage in a terrorist act; or commit a terrorism […]


Revenge Porn

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March 1, 2016

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What exactly is Revenge Porn? There is a lot of focus in the media currently about the need for a national approach and national legislation in relation to revenge porn. But what exactly is revenge porn? There is no clear legal definition of what constitutes ‘revenge porn’, but colloquially it is when one person uploads to the internet, or otherwise distributes through another medium, explicit images of another person without their consent. It has received the title revenge porn as most cases involve one person uploading explicit images to the internet […]


NSW Sheriff Officers now have the power of arrest

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February 9, 2016

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On 21 June 2011 the NSW Parliament assented to the Court Security Amendment Act 2011. That amendment gave court sheriffs the power to arrest any person who is assaulting another person in the Court premises or has just assaulted a person within the Court premises. The NSW Government finally proclaimed the amendment in the last few months after a significant breach of Court Security at the Downing Centre Courthouse in October 2015. Mr Ali Chahine appeared in Court for allegedly breaching his bail conditions on a charge of Drug Supply. When […]


Police pay over $100,000 for a toy dinosaur

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February 3, 2016

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On 30 October 2015 the Kiama Local Court ordered costs against the NSW Police for more than $100,000. This is a case which should never have gone to Court. Mr Caton and his friends were stopped by Police in Queanbeyan in late December 2013. Police enquired as to whether any of the men had any weapons. Mr Caton pulled out a toy and stated, “I’ve got a dinosaur, roar!”. Senior Constable Todd Finnegan forced Mr Caton from his car, shoved him to the ground and handcuffed him. Senior Constable Patrick Hicks […]


New laws for cyclists – March 2016

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January 21, 2016

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The NSW Government will in March 2016 introduce laws requiring that motorists to leave at least a one metre gap as they overtake cyclists. For many motorists this will be a difficult or impossible task where roads are narrow or there is heavy traffic. Motorists already challenged by road spaces ill-designed and ill-suited to sharing with cyclists will no doubt find this immensely frustrating. The unavoidable reality, however, is an increasing emphasis by Local and the State governments to encourage use of the roadways by cyclists and accordingly the new laws […]

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