Articles by Zeb Holmes

Zeb Holmes Zeb Holmes is a lawyer with a passion for social justice who advocates criminal law reform, and a member of the content team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.

Mental health

Past Trauma Elicits More Sympathy Than a Mental Health Condition


A study from the United States has found that jurors are generally more sympathetic towards defendants who have experienced a difficult upbringing than those who suffer from chronic brain injuries and disorders such as paranoid schizophrenia and anti-social personality disorder. And while both traumatic childhood experiences and mental disorders (which are often linked) may form …
Facial recognition

Queensland’s Facial Recognition Regime a Complete Failure


The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has failed in its bid to suppress an evaluation report which found that the use of facial recognition software during the 2018 Commonwealth Games was completely ineffective. The Gold Coast Games was subjected to the most expansive and intrusive public surveillance operation to be used by Australian police. The evaluation …
Presumption of innocence

Employee Can be Suspended Pending Outcome of Serious Criminal Charges


St George Rugby League player Jack de Belin has lost his bid for reinstatement to the NRL pending the outcome of the sexual assault claims against him. Judge Melissa Perry of the Federal Court recently handed down a judgment in favour of the NRL and ordered Mr de Belin to pay the company’s costs. NRL …
Fingerprint ink

Fingerprint Evidence in Not Infallible


We previously reported on the problems with fingerprint evidence, including the lack of uniformity in matching techniques and the fact that a human’s interpretation is what ultimately determines whether there is a match. Since our article, additional research has been undertaken which further calls into question the reliability of latent fingerprint analysis. New Research The …
Hate crimes

Australian Police Don’t Take Hate Crime Seriously


It has been reported that of the thousands of hate crimes recorded in police statistics across the nation each year, only a very small proportion are ever prosecuted. Recent findings Data released by Victoria Police suggests that, on average, three hate crime offences occur in that state every day. Over the past four years, Victorian …
Police NSW emblem

Dismissal of NSW Police Officer for Suspected Cocaine Use Was Unlawful


The NSW Police Force has lost an unfair dismissal case in the state’s Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), after it was found that an allegation of cocaine use is not sufficient to terminate an officer’s employment. Background The officer was dismissed from the force after an internal police investigation concluded that he had likely consumed cocaine …
Cannabis plant

Woman Are Less Likely to Support Cannabis Legalisation Than Men


Community attitudes towards the legalisation of cannabis have shifted in recent years, with more and more people calling for marijuana to be legalised in Australia. However, research by North Carolina State University has suggested that women are less likely than men to support cannabis legalisation because they tend to be more religious and conservative, and …
Sign form

The Law on Making a False Declaration


Former One Nation Senator Rod Culleton has been referred to police over allegations he made a false declaration in his candidacy nomination for the upcoming federal election. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has specifically requested that police investigate whether Mr Culleton falsely declared that he was not an undischarged bankrupt when he completed the relevant …
Pair of NSW Police

More Police Does Not Lead to Less Crime


New research undertaken by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has added weight to the argument that increasing the number of police officers does not lead to a reduction in crime. The study BOCSAR researched the impact of extra police on rates of crime and arrests, by comparing the increase in the …
Animal rights

PM Promises Prison for Animal Rights Activists


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reacted to a recent anti-meat protest by promising prison terms of up to 12 months for activists who publish information about farmers who are allegedly cruel towards their animals. A protest on Monday saw disruptions in the Melbourne and Sydney central business districts. Several activists in other areas of Victoria …