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Medicinal Cannabis – Changes hit the big smoke

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October 23, 2014

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Changes to legislation surrounding the legality of medicinal cannabis are afoot in New South Wales after recommendations made by Nationals MP Kevin Anderson. The proposed new laws mirror the approach taken in numerous countries, including the United States of America. About 20 countries – as well as more than 20 states in the United States – have legalised medical cannabis. Premier Mike Baird announced in September that a clinical trial will be run by a working party in NSW and will report back by the end of the 2014. Further to […]


Not Guilty Verdict in State’s First Major Drug Analogue Case

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September 2, 2014

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Two weeks ago a District Court Judge found two men not guilty of all charges in New South Wales’s first major drug analogue case. The defendants were represented by Armstrong Legal. The drug analogue provisions are an interesting area of law. They were developed in an attempt to keep one step ahead of clandestine chemists. The Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act NSW contains a schedule of numerous prohibited drugs. Any substance on that list is illegal to possess, manufacture or supply. However, relying on the list alone leaves a gaping loophole. […]


Motorcycle Lane Filtering: Riding on the Safe Side

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August 21, 2014

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We are often warned, in road safety campaigns, about the dangers of not paying attention to motorcycles on our roads. Finally, legislators in one state have heeded the message and have attempted to create a safer environment for all road users. In February, New South Wales became the first state to announce changes to legalise lane filtering by motorists, after a two month trial period in Sydney’s CBD. The reforms were aimed at increasing road safety for both motorcyclists and drivers and also easing traffic congestion. The new laws came into […]


Punishment by Postcode

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July 8, 2014

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The front page of Friday’s Daily Telegraph caught my attention. The heading reads: “Driving Under the Affluence”. The paper coined the phrase to describe statistics suggesting that Courts in wealthier suburbs are less likely to impose gaol for high range PCA offences. It’s a catchy headline, but if it’s accurate, this idea that where you live directly affects your sentence, is concerning. We live in a society that values “blind justice”. The image of Lady Justice, blindfolded as she weighs the case with her scales, reminds us of this. In less […]


Record Fines of $1.25 Million for Speeding Trucks Company

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June 11, 2014

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Last week a NSW Magistrate imposed fines of $1.25 million against trucking company Scott’s Transport. The fines were for 165 speeding and speed limiter compliance offences. The company’s director and manager were held personally responsible for the offences. The fines are a record win for the Roads and Maritime Services in their crackdown on compliance in the transport industry. The Magistrate’s decision sends several clear messages. Firstly, the authorities are taking offences involving heavy vehicles extremely seriously. For several years now the Roads and Maritime Services has been has been conducting […]


Sentencing Review

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November 29, 2013

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The law of sentencing in NSW is to be massively reworked in the near future. As laws change and develop, there inevitably comes a time where it is necessary to overhaul the entire system – not because the developments need to be undone, but rather because they need to be properly integrated into a system that was not designed with those developments in mind. It’s not that different to building extensions on a house – eventually you need to knock the whole thing down and start over. Over the last 2 […]

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