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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 […]


Non-conviction disposals – a comparison between New South Wales and Queensland

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August 16, 2016

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In recent days, for reasons which are presently unclear, there has been some media attention given to the ability for courts in New South Wales to dispose of an offender without imposing a conviction against them. As the cynic might expect, this attention is not favourable and is accompanied by the shrill suggestion that there should be no way to avoid a conviction for contraventions of the law. A conviction is, in essence, a record against a person’s name that they have committed an offence against our law. In the ordinary […]


A celebration of Origin: Alcohol Ignition Interlock in New South Wales and Queensland

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June 20, 2016

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This second article in our ‘State of Origin’ series will explain the way in which mandatory Alcohol Ignition Interlock (“Interlock”) requirements operate between New South Wales and Queensland. This topic will pose the question ‘If I travel interstate to watch the Origin, what happens to my Interlock requirement?’ Alcohol Ignition Interlock It is the law in New South Wales as well as in Queensland that a person whose driver licence is disqualified by a court for certain drink driving offences, must be subject to a mandatory Interlock requirement after they are […]


Barbaro and sentencing practice in Queensland

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April 21, 2016

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On the 19th of April 2016 the Attorney-General for Queensland, the Honourable Yvette D’ath, [LINK: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2016/4/19/barbaro-amendments-herald-important-changes-for-legal-profession] announced the passing of amendments to the law in Queensland which will “reinstate the ability of a court to receive submissions from both prosecution and defence on the appropriate sentence, or the bounds of the range of appropriate sentences that should be imposed.” This announcement likely relates to the passing of the Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Bill (No.2) 2015 which, according to the Attorney-General, was necessary “to improve the consistency of sentencing and efficiency […]


Zaburoni HCA

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April 18, 2016

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The High Court has allowed an appeal by a man convicted of intentionally infecting his partner with HIV. Godfrey Zaburoni was tried in Queensland for the offence of Unlawfully Transmitting a Serious Disease to Another with Intent to do so. This is one of the most serious offences on the books in Queensland, and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. He was found guilty and was sentenced to nine and a half years in gaol. Zaburoni had accepted that he did in fact transmit HIV to his then partner through […]


Baden-Clay

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January 4, 2016

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The Prosecution of Gerard Baden-Clay was one of the biggest trials that the Queensland Criminal Courts have seen. Baden-Clay was said to have murdered his wife and dumped her body under a road bridge. The Prosecution’s explanation for why he had done so related to him being involved in an extra marital affair and suffering severe financial stress. At trial, a jury accepted beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Baden-Clay had intentionally killed his wife. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. In a move that has surprised many, the Supreme Court […]


Intent, Proof and Gerard Baden-Clay

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December 11, 2015

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The Queensland press is in a frenzy following the Court of Appeal’s decision to set aside Gerard Baden-Clay’s conviction for the murder of his wife Alison, and to substitute it for a conviction of the lesser offence of manslaughter. As is unfortunately typical of news outlets in this state where decisions of the Courts are concerned, an understanding of the law and a more than superficial recognition of the reasons for the decision is sorely lacking in the coverage.  The lack of accurate reporting has led to an understandable sense of […]


Schoolies, Sex And The Law

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November 20, 2015

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Every twelve months, at the conclusion of the secondary school year, graduating students from all over Australia converge in Queensland (and no doubt elsewhere) to celebrate ‘schoolies’. For most, schoolies is a time of excitement, festivity and fun. For some, schoolies will include having sex with another person. For a few, this sex will be a crime. The term ‘sex’ can encompass a variety of activities but, as a matter of law and for the purpose of this article, sex has its widest meaning and includes non-penetrative but overtly sexual acts, […]


Social Supply – NRL Arrests

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March 13, 2015

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The use and supply of prohibited drugs, primarily by young people, has been a cause of concern in local media and the community in recent times. Campaigns run in print media have denounced the legal system's approach with respect to the use and supply of prohibited drugs, calling on stiffer sentencing. It has been a difficult issue to escape. In late February, seven current or former Gold Coast Titans players and Karmichael Hunt of the Queensland Reds were served with notices, by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission,to attend court. The […]

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