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Immigration and Criminal law

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May 31, 2016

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There has recently been a renewed focus on the Visa status of people who have committed serious criminal offences. Depending upon the kind of visa that you have, authorities have long had the ability to cancel the visa if you commit serious criminal offences or are subject to serious criminal penalties. This is alongside the general authority to not grant visas to people with significant criminal records. This has been a fraught issue. Many people live in Australia for long periods of time, often for decades, whilst remaining citizens of other […]


JB v R

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Published under Major Cases

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May 23, 2016

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When prosecutors don’t follow the rules, people suffer. This much we have seen through the trial, imprisonment and now release of “JB”. We don’t know his name because when all of this happened he was a juvenile. JB was 15 years old when he was said to have stabbed another man in a street fight. After being arrested, the prosecution alleged that he confessed to a Support Person at the police station. After spending almost 7 years in gaol he was released, and the Court of Criminal Appeal has recently allowed […]


New Protest Laws

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Published under Law Reform, News, Offences

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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 […]


Advocating terrorism

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Published under Law Reform, News, Offences

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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 […]


Christmas and Family Violence Cases

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December 23, 2015

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The Christmas period is a wonderful chance to catch up with family and friends. It is also a time when conflict can arise in these relationships. Warm temperatures and alcohol do not help. Unfortunately, this can lead to Police involvement and every year we predictably see a January jump in the number of people needing advice and representation. It is a sad reality, but reality nonetheless. Many of these people have either been charged with or asked by police to be interviewed in relation to assault and similar offences, including threatening […]


Presumption of innocence

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November 10, 2014

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On scores if not hundreds of occasions every day in courtrooms across the country, groups of 12 good citizens and true hear the following words (or something closely approximating): “This is … a criminal trial of a most serious nature and the burden of proof of guilt of the accused is placed on the Crown … “It is not for the accused to prove his innocence but for the Crown to prove his guilt and to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. “It is, and always has been, a critical part of […]

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