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Advocating terrorism

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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 […]


Parliamentary comments – What exactly does it take to prejudice a criminal trial?

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November 6, 2015

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What exactly does it take to prejudice a criminal trial? Many members of the legal community in NSW were horrified earlier this year to see Prime Minister Tony Abbott reading out in parliament what he claimed was evidence against two men who had been arrested for terrorism related offences. In short, the Prime Minister briefed the parliament on information he had received about the arrest. In particular, he provided a detailed account of a video that was said to have been produced by one of the arrested men. There are multitude […]


Police Carrying Guns in Court

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September 17, 2015

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On Tuesday, 4 August 2015 the Deputy Premier of New South Wales, Mr Troy Grant, made a media release stating that Police will now be able to wear their guns in court. This new protocol took effect on 10 August 2015. Prior to this protocol being introduced by the NSW Government, police were not permitted to bring their guns into a courthouse or courtroom unless they sought and gained special permission from a judicial officer.  The media release cites Australia’s heightened terrorism alert and the risk posed to police, judicial officers […]


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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