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Disrespectful Behaviour

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September 28, 2016

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As an advocate who is in court day in and day out, there are a number of things I make sure my clients are aware of before they enter a courtroom. Court etiquette is one of those things, and is very important. I ensure that they know to bow when entering or exiting the courtroom, and to stand when the Magistrate or Judge enters the room. Court etiquette of this type shows respect to the Court. Requirements of courtroom etiquette are passed down through the generations of legal practitioners, and is […]


Derryn Hinch maiden speech

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September 26, 2016

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Derryn Hinch has delivered his maiden speech, and it was a sight to behold. Surprising many, Hinch was elected to the Australian senate earlier this year. The now-senator has had a long career in the media, including working in print and radio. Most recently, he has hosted a television show Hinch Live which aired on Sky News. He has gained public notoriety in recent years for intentionally breaching suppression orders made by the courts, and revealing the names of accused or convicted paedophiles. He has spent time in prison as well […]


NSW to criminalise Revenge Porn

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September 22, 2016

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The NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton announced on 5 September 2016 that the NSW Government will seek to criminalise what is colloquially known as “revenge porn”. Revenge porn can be categorised as “the distribution of intimate or sexually explicit images without the consent of the person, with the intention to cause harm”. The reason why it has been labeled as “revenge” is due to jaded ex-partners, seeking retribution on their ex-partner. The purpose of the new laws is to protect vulnerable people from intimate images being shared. At the present time, only […]


The Bottom Line on Baseline Sentencing

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September 19, 2016

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On 17 November 2015, the Victorian Court of Appeal handed down its decision in DPP v Walters (a pseudonym) [2015] VSCA 303, finding that the baseline sentencing provisions are ‘incapable of being given any practical operation’. To recap, the baseline sentencing provisions were enacted in 2014 – a signature policy of the Coalition Government’s ‘tough-on-crime’ agenda. The system required Victorian courts to base prison sentences for seven serious offences, including murder and incest, on legislated median sentences. However, the system was widely criticised by members of the legal profession for eroding […]


Tackling the Match Fixers: Strike Force Narulda to Investigate Cheating in the NRL

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September 16, 2016

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Strike Force Narulda has officially been launched to investigate allegations of match fixing within rugby league matches. An initiative of the NSW State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad, Narulda has begun interviewing dozens of players, officials and members of the community after a preliminary investigation suggested match fixing took place during the 2015 NRL season. Prior to the launching of the Strike Force it was widely expected that suggestions of match fixing would again be dismissed without recognition of the seriousness of the allegations, as has occurred in the past. Although […]


Consorting with convicted criminal – Andrew Fifita and Jarred Hayne bring offence into the spot light

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September 15, 2016

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The offence of consorting with a convicted offender has been brought to light through the much hyped media coverage of Andrew Fifita and Jarred Hayne. Andrew Fifita has been heavily scrutinised for his support of the well known one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge. Fifita wrote on strapping on his left wrist during at least seven NRL games this season “F.K.L” which is interpreted as either “Free Kieran Loveridge” or “For Kieran Loveridge”. Further, it has been alleged that Fifita has visited and called Kieran Loveridge on numerous occasions. The offence of consorting […]


New Restrictions for P Platers in NSW

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September 12, 2016

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There has been a raft of new restrictions placed on all provisional drivers. These significant restrictions have come into play due to the spike in the rise of fatal accidents among young people. The primary target of these restrictions has been on the use of mobile phones, with any use of a mobile phone completely restricted. Initially, all drivers, including provisional drivers, were allowed to use their mobile phone to; make or receive a call, use the audio playing function for music as well as using the GPS. However, the use […]


Broadcasting Sentencing Remarks

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September 8, 2016

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Queensland is to allow cameras into its courtrooms in a pilot program that has weighed the delicate balance between detriment to victims, offenders and the public interest as against aiding public understanding of, and confidence in, the sentences the courts impose. It might be seen as ironic that the media, from whose ranks so many so often call so loudly for tougher sentencing, has led the push that might result in greater public acceptance of the sentences actually imposed. Studies show that increased awareness of the facts of individual cases improves […]


High Court Judgment – Gerard Baden-Clay

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September 2, 2016

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The High Court has handed down judgment in the Crown’s appeal in the matter of Gerard Baden-Clay. The prosecution had appealed Mr Baden-Clay’s successful appeal against the overturning of his conviction for murder. In other words, the High Court restored the jury’s verdict of “guilty" to murder, that an appeal court had overturned. Gerard Baden-Clay was accused of murdering his wife. At trial, despite their being no persuasive evidence about exactly how Mrs Baden Clay had died, the court convicted Mr Baden-Clay of murder. This matter piqued the interest of criminal […]


Sentencing Statistics in the ACT

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August 29, 2016

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Great care needs to be taken when using statistics during sentencing submissions at courts, as a recent ACT Court of Appeal judgment confirms. The old legal maxim that “every case turns on its own facts and circumstances” holds true as much today as when it was first uttered. The recent ACT decision dealt with a man convicted of driving a motor vehicle without consent, driving whilst disqualified, attempted burglary, attempted aggravated robbery, obstructing police, possessing an offensive weapon, theft, burglary and possessing an article with intent to use it in the […]

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