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Roger Rogerson and Glenn McNamara’s trial has ended with verdicts of guilty.

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July 11, 2016

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Roger Rogerson and Glenn McNamara’s trial has ended with verdicts of guilty. This high profile trial had been before the Supreme Court for a significant time. A first trial was aborted last year in peculiar circumstances, and suppression orders forbade reporting of the reasons why. A verdict having now been reached, those circumstances can be revealed. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the presiding judge discharged the first jury after McNamara’s barrister made reference to Rogerson being involved in “killing two or three people” whilst he was a member of the […]


JB v R

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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 […]


Eddie Obeid – High Court of Australia

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April 8, 2016

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The legal community has been in a frenzy of speculation about the trial of Eddie Obeid before the NSW Supreme Court. Obeid is of course a former member of the NSW Upper House. The trial was dramatically abandoned earlier this year after new evidence was unexpectedly revealed. Thanks to the expiry of some non-publication orders, we now know that Obeid appealed to the Court of Appeal and, later, the High Court to try and stop his trial. His argument was that the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to try him […]


Leveson Inquest

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January 18, 2016

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The question of what NSW Juries are not told in a trial has once again reared its head. Reports in the Sydney Morning Herald have detailed evidence in the Matthew Leveson murder case that was not provided to the jury. This case was a trial for the murder of Matthew Leveson. He was said to have been killed by his boyfriend Peter Atkins. In 2009 Mr Atkins was acquitted of the murder by a jury after he pled not guilty. There is now to be a coronial inquest, which is a […]


The Oscar Pistorius Trial – Guilty of Murder

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December 18, 2015

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No Prosecution in living memory has captured the attention of the South African media in the way the Prosecution of Oscar Pistorius did. The defendant was a famous athlete, and the prospect of him being thrown in gaol on the charge of murder was as tantalizing as it was gripping. The trial was the first occasion that a trial in South Africa had been broadcast live on television, the media even going so far as to set up a dedicated channel for the period of the to broadcast the trial. At […]


Defence Disclosure in ACT

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May 22, 2015

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The ACT Government has proposed a revamp of court procedures that have the potential to impact heavily upon a citizen’s right to a fair trial. The proposals require an accused person to: Tell the Prosecution what legal and factual issues the accused person has with the Prosecution’s expert evidence. Give the Prosecution advance notice of the expert reports that the accused person may seek to use at trial. While noting that such a change might be justified on the basis of avoiding delay and noting also it would be easy to […]


The Oscar Pistorious Trial

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October 20, 2014

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The Oscar Pistorious trial started a million conversations all over the world. Whether it was domestic violence, gun control or South Africa's horrific crime rate, the trial was something that almost everyone has an opinion about. Now that it is over and we have a verdict, the interest level seems to only have increased. As a criminal defence lawyer, there were two main points of interest for me. The first is the lack of a jury. South Africa abandoned the jury system in 1969. The justifications for this change are complex, […]


Robert Hughes and Majority Verdicts

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April 16, 2014

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When majority verdicts were introduced in NSW in 2006, there was an outcry from some stakeholders in the legal system. Ever since we have had juries, verdicts have had to be unanimous. This was regarded by many as being a fundamental principle of the jury system, and it was unsurprising to hear angry responses to the suggestion that it should be in some way watered down. The main justification provided for the change was to prevent or at least to reduce the number of trials where the jury was not able […]


Peter Cowan Appeal – Daniel Morcombe Murder

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March 21, 2014

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On Thursday, the Queensland Attorney General announced that the sentence handed down to Brett Peter Cowan for the murder of Daniel Morcombe was to be appealed. Morcombe disappeared from a bus stop on the Sunshine Coast in 2003. There was a highly publicised search for him and a controversial inquest. Cowan went to Trial earlier this year for the murder of Morcombe, and was found guilty by a jury. Once he was found guilty, orders preventing the media from reporting his criminal history were lifted, and Cowan’s history of child sexual […]


The trial of Simon Gittany for the murder of his partner Lisa Harnum

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February 17, 2014

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The trial of Simon Gittany for the murder of his partner Lisa Harnum captured the attention of the media in Sydney in a way few other matters have recently. This was due, in no small part, to the dramatic nature of Miss Harnum’s death. She died after being thrown from the balcony of their 15 storey apartment in the Sydney CBD. The Crown case rested upon a number of pieces of evidence. The most compelling of those was the fact that Mr Gittany had clearly had a fight with Miss Harnum […]

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