Category: Criminal Law

Supreme Court Slams Law Firm for Failing to Provide Itemised Bill


By Blake O’Connor and Ugur Nedim A NSW Supreme Court judge has slammed Sydney law firm Brydens Lawyers for failing to provide a former client with an itemised bill of costs. Mr Tan Than Le was seriously injured in 2005 after being struck by a forklift at his workplace. Mr Le, who has limited English ...

Replacing Prison Bars with GPS Tracking Devices: An Interview with Professor Mirko Bagaric


The Australian prison system is failing, as incarceration rates are at an all-time high. As of June last year, there were 38,845 adult prisoners in corrective services custody, making the national imprisonment rate grow to 208 per 100,000 adults. The number of inmates on remand (awaiting the finalisation of their cases) has skyrocketed in recent years. At the ...

Top DNA Analyst Sacked for Allegedly Fabricating Records


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim DNA evidence has become an increasingly important component of criminal investigations and prosecutions since its use became widespread in the 1990s. Today, police around the country can access the National Criminal Investigation DNA database, which contains the DNA profiles of hundreds of thousands of individuals. These profiles can be matched with ...

Casual Conversations Do Not Amount to Consorting


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim Since their enactment in 2012, the use of the new consorting regime by NSW police has come under significant controversy. The consorting law legislation was introduced into parliament by the O’Farrell government, ostensibly in response to rising gun violence attributed to motorcycle club members and organised crime gangs. Under section 93X of the NSW ...

Woman Faces Prison for Giving Cannabis Oil to Sick People: An Interview with Jenny Hallam


If you ask the South Australian police what they think of Jenny Hallam, they’ll call her a criminal. Ask many others, and they’ll say she’s their angel. Ms Hallam, a marijuana reform activist, is facing up to 10 years in prison after police raided her house earlier this year and charged her with manufacturing a ...

The Healing Hand of Restorative Justice: An Interview with ANU’s Dr Miranda Forsyth


The Australian criminal justice system has come under criticism for incarcerating growing numbers of people. With recidivism rates closing in on fifty percent – meaning nearly half of those released from prison are back within 2 years – many believe a punitive system that produces “revolving door” criminals can’t be the answer. But, there are alternatives. Restorative ...

Can I Sue a Lawyer for Incompetence?


By Blake O’Connor and Ugur Nedim Law firm Shine Lawyers is facing civil proceedings in the Queensland Supreme Court for allegedly breaching its fiduciary duties to a client by failing to competently represent him in a compensation case. Adelaide lawyer Andrew Rogers is suing the firm over a personal injury claim dating back to 2001. ...

Is War Looming with China and North Korea?


Veteran documentary maker John Pilger’s new film the Coming War on China screened on television last Sunday night. In it, Pilger “breaks the silence” on the US government’s recent military build-up that’s aimed directly at China. The Australian journalist explains that the US has succeeded in virtually encircling China in “a perfect noose” of 400 military bases, ...

RIP Government Accountability in Australia: A Privacy Guide for Journalists


By Ugur Nedim and Paul Gregoire With the scope of online and telecommunications surveillance today, it seems we’re very much living in an Orwellian age. Last week, the complete version of the Australian government’s mandatory metadata regime came into effect. Although the data retention laws were enacted on October 13, 2015, it wasn’t until last Thursday that all internet ...

Decriminalisation and a Regulated Drug Supply Market are the Key to Success


The Portugal model of drug decriminalisation is acknowledged globally as a resounding success. In 2001, the Portuguese government decriminalised the personal use and possession of all illegal drugs. Since then, rates of HIV infections and overdoses have dramatically decreased. And despite what detractors predicted, drug use did not skyrocket after decriminalisation. A lesser known fact is that Costa ...