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ACT Intensive Diversion Program

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Published under Law Reform, News, Offences

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July 4, 2016

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While many Australian States’ and Territories’ politicians continue to engage in legislative law-and-order auctions, it is refreshing to see one jurisdiction holding out. The ACT, notwithstanding that it is going to an election in October this year, has just introduced a program that hopes to break the offending cycle, but not by the blunt instrument of ever-longer mandatory sentences. ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell, who is not standing for re-election in October, has unveiled a new program that aims to reduce recidivism among young offenders and engage youths who are considered at-risk […]


Sentencing and Bail in NSW Election

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March 27, 2015

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Magistrates and judges often say to defendants in criminal cases that the points they (and sometimes their practitioners) are making are points for legislators, not judicial officers. That is because Parliament makes the laws, and the judiciary implements them: this is the bedrock of the doctrine of the separation of powers and the backbone of the rule of law in a representative democracy. With a NSW state election only days away, though, defendants (also known as citizens and voters), can make their points in the most powerful way possible – via […]


Parliamentary inquiry into CBD violence

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November 13, 2014

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The NSW parliament has recently called for submissions on “Measures to Reduce Alcohol and Drug-Related Violence.” In particular, the Legislative Assembly Committee was interested in whether the recent changes to Lock Out laws in NSW have had any positive effect. In addition, the Terms of Reference asked for feedback on “other measures” that may reduce the incidence of violent crime in the Sydney CBD. There can be no doubt that there has been a great deal interest in drunken violence in Sydney, and in particular the danger of Coward Punches. However, […]


ACT Not Following NSW and Victoria With Mandatory Sentencing for One-punch Assaults Resulting in Death.

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September 15, 2014

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There used to be a joke long before self-government that you could tell with your eyes shut when you were entering the ACT, such was the difference in the quality of the road surface. This was a game played most often on the Kings Highway (the Coast road) between South Canberra and Bungendore as the road left the ACT for Queanbeyan and then came back into the Territory around the Burbong Bridge and out again a few kilometres further on (just past the turn-off for the new Headquarters Joint Operations Command […]


Driving while Disqualified – Banned from driving until 2153

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July 31, 2014

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~~A quite extraordinary story appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald website on July 11th 2014. The story concerned to a man sentenced for a Drive Whilst Disqualified offence at Newcastle Local Court. Nothing that unusual about that. The interesting part is that Mr David Browne has now been disqualified from driving until 2153. His predicament is a perfect example of the problems that Mandatory Sentencing can cause. According to the Sydney Morning Herald story (which you can read here http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-man-banned-from-driving-until-2153-20140711-zt3tf.html), after being disqualified from driving for a comparatively short period of […]


Mandatory Sentencing

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January 22, 2014

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The Premier of NSW has just announced a new package of legislative reforms to make late night drinking safer in Sydney. Let me start by saying that I have no problem with the noble intent behind the legislation. I have written before about the senseless waste of life caused by people who are fueled by substances and anger. However, this package of reforms introduces a poisonous concept to the system of sentencing – I speak of the principle of mandatory minimum sentencing. To my knowledge this is the first suite of […]

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