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Schoolies Week

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November 16, 2012

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Schoolies is now upon us. The official time for schoolies 2012 is the three weeks between 16 November and 7 December. The term “schoolies” is synonymous with hoards of 17 and 18 year old descending upon coastal regions and indulging in a week or two of hard partying to let loose after finally finishing their long years of schooling. During the celebrations, “schoolies” are, for the most part, simply teenagers seeking blow off some steam with their peers in a safe manner and have no intention of wrongdoing. However, it is […]


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 […]


Criminal Sentencing in NSW

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September 12, 2012

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Criminal sentencing is a topic that has been heavily discussed in NSW and the rest of Australia in recent years. Most recently, the case of the death of Thomas Kelly in Sydney’s Kings Cross has highlighted strong opinions regarding sentencing for violent offences. On several social media sites, blogs, and news websites, members of the public have made comments claiming that the justice system in entirely inadequate. Some outrageous claims, including that the judiciary together with the criminal defence “sharks” (otherwise known as lawyers) conspire to manipulate the system to allow […]


The Right to Silence – United Kingdom vs Australia

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September 12, 2012

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On 14 August 2012 NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced that the right to silence in the criminal justice system would be amended. This announcement was in response to a perceived upsurge of gang violence in Sydney’s Western Suburbs. During the announcement, Mr O’Farrell referred to the British system which is very similar in principle to what is proposed to be introduced here. However, Mr O’Farrell appears to have failed to realise that there are basic safeguards in place in Britain that do not form part of his proposal. For example, under […]


The Right to Silence in NSW

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September 12, 2012

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A fundamental right afforded to a person accused of a crime, is the right to silence. In essence, the right to silence allows an accused person to say nothing during both the investigation and if they want to during the trial of a criminal charge without any adverse inference being drawn from that silence. The principle of the right to silence in Australia dates back to the abolition of the Star Chamber in 17th Century England. The Star Chamber was an English Court of law established to ensure that prominent people […]

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