Articles by Sonia Hickey

‘Robo Cops’ Are Being Used Worldwide – But Does the Public Want Them?


A pilot programme using a robotic police officer in San Francisco has ended as quickly as it began after the machine waged a war on the homeless. The idea seemed sound enough: The San Francisco animal rescue group SPCA, (a non-profit organisation) employed the services of a $6 per-hour rented Robo Cop to monitor the ...

Top Ten (Clean) Lawyer Jokes to Kick Off 2018


In a profession as serious as law, it’s sometimes easy to forget to have a sense of humour. So we’ve collated ten lawyer jokes to kick off the working year. Disclaimer: The content in this article does not constitute legal advice. Joke 1: A lawyer dies and goes to Heaven. “There must be some mistake,” ...

Court Order No Longer Required for Hormone Treatment


Before 30th November 2017, Australian residents under the age of 18 were required to seek court approval before being eligible for hormone treatment to change their gender. According to Dr Michelle Telfer of Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia was the “only country in the world that require[d] court involvement” in that process. But last Thursday, ...

Suspected Murderer Evades Fresh Prosecution


He admitted burying his boyfriend’s body. He directed police to its whereabouts. He lied repeatedly under oath. But because of double-jeopardy laws and deal struck with police, murder suspect Michael Atkins will never go to prison for his actions. The story so far Matthew Leveson was just 20 when he died in 2007 after a ...

Sydney Criminal Lawyers Participate in Strong Women Challenge


ActionAid is a women’s rights organisation with far-reaching impact. The organisation was established in the UK in 1972, and its Australian arm has been operating for more than 40 years. ActionAid fights for women’s rights across a number of fronts, aiming to eradicate exploitation and injustice. It has branches in 45 countries across the globe. ...

Schoolies Face Hangover From Hell


A group of ‘schoolies’ on the Gold Coast could be facing court for wilful damage after trashing a Gold Coast hotel room, ripping plaster off walls, and damaging furniture and carpets. The group went on a rampage inside a luxury penthouse at Mantra Sun City Resort on the Surfers Paradise, before posting pictures on social ...

When sending a ‘dick pic’ is not sexual harassment


A Coles baker who was fired for sending pictures of his penis to his manager has been cleared of ‘sexual harassment’. The story so far Brisbane man Jay Higgins was asked by his male manager via text message to provide a medical certificate for an injured thumb. The baker replied by sending a “picture of ...

The Law Firm Without Lawyers


There’s a new law firm in Darwin calling itself the first in Australia with no lawyers. The firm has an office, but you make appointments with a computer and, when you attend, you sit at a screen and answer a series of questions. The firm, aptly called ‘The Law Firm Without Lawyers’, says its business ...

Same-Sex Marriage: What Happens Next?


Unless you’ve been trapped on a deserted island somewhere, you’ll know Australia’s controversial, prolonged and expensive public survey has voted in favour of same-sex marriage. Across the nation, banners waved slogans such as ‘Love Wins’ and ‘Equality at Last’. But not everyone was happy about the outcome, with 38.4% of those who returned their surveys ...

French Court Finds that Sex with Child Wasn’t Rape


In NSW, it is a crime for a person to have sexual intercourse with another who is under the age of 16-years, or 18 if there is a relationship of ‘special care’. Similar ‘age of consent’ laws apply in countries like the United States and United Kingdom. However, no such age of consent applies in ...