Articles by Zeb Holmes

Statistics on NSW Drugs Busts Exaggerated


The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has announced it has mistakenly double-counted a large number of drug busts over the past seven years – an admission which many believe further bolsters the argument that the war on drugs is futile. BOCSAR director Dr Don Weatherburn admitted fault for the exaggerated data, which experts ...

US Inmates Hold Mass Strikes Against Unfair Exploitation


Prison inmates across the United States are holding a two-week strike against unfair labour exploitation, overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. Participants are also calling for the appropriate classification of inmates, highlighting that many non-violent offenders, especially those convicted of drug offences, have been given the highest levels of classification. Strikes underway Prisoners in over a dozen states ...

Brain Stimulation Could Reduce Likelihood of Offending


A new study has found that electrical brain stimulation could reduce the likelihood of offending, which researchers hope may help to subdue the violent impulses of psychopaths and other offenders in the lead up to their release into the community. Study dynamics Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Nanyang Technological recruited 86 adult participants. ...

Disability and Jury Service in NSW


The ACT Legislative Assembly has passed laws which broaden the range of people who can serve on a jury. People with disabilities will be no longer be automatically exempt from jury duty in the nation’s capital. Rather, courts will decide on a case-by-case basis whether a person will be able to perform the role of ...

Courts Struggle to Interpret Emojis


Legal researchers at Melbourne and Deakin Universities have looked into the problems that arise when emojis are used in the courtroom as evidence. The study by Professors Elizabeth Kirley and Marilyn McMahon, entitled ‘The EmojiFactor: Humanizing the Emerging Law of Digital Speech’, discusses how courts are struggling to keep up with the ways emojis are ...

Calls for New Offence of ‘Industrial Manslaughter’


Families of deceased Victorian workers are leading the campaign for a new offence of industrial manslaughter to make corporate bosses responsible for deaths resulting from workplace negligence. 21-year old Jack Brownlee and 34-year old Charlie Howkins were laying pipes at a worksite in the Ballarat suburb of Delabombe when the trench collapsed, killing Mr Brownlee ...

Sydney Psychologist Suggests Homicidal Teen Should Commit Murder


A psychologist practising on Sydney’s North Shore has come before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) after a referral from the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC). Dr Elise Lowick, a specialist in emerging psychosis, was facing suspension or deregistration over a string of inappropriate communications with a troubled year 12 student, including one which ...

The Law Treats De Facto Partners Differently to Married Couples


It is frequently claimed by opponents of same-sex marriage that homosexual couples already enjoy the same legal rights as those who are married. But that is not actually the case – there are a range of laws which clearly distinguish between de facto couples and married ones, often making it easier for the latter to ...

Banks Accused of Facilitating Money Laundering


Australia’s big four banks have been allowing organised crime groups to launder up to $5 million a day, according to federal and state policing agencies. Money laundering occurs when funds obtained through illegal activities such as drug trafficking is channelled into seemingly legal assets and enterprises such as businesses, property, gambling and trust funds in ...

Incorrect Identification Leads to Wrongful Conviction


A recent case in Western Australia has highlighted the consequences for innocent people of police incorrectly identifying suspects. The case involved a 24-year-old Indigenous man who was arrested thirteen years ago and charged with causing grievous bodily harm. Police mistakenly identified the man as a 17-year old with the same name, and prosecuted him through ...