Category: Commonwealth Offences

Tax Office

What are the Penalties for Tax Fraud in Australia?


A sister and brother have been ordered to pay a total of more than $2.3 million in taxes, administrative costs and interest after a court found that ‘thou shall not pay tax’ is not only absent from the Bible, but any such commandment would not necessarily be enforceable if it were. Christian missionaries Fanny Beerepoot …
NSW Police logo

Sydney Police Officer Pleads Guilty to “Vile, Cowardly and Intolerable” Threats


Senior Constable Sean Daniel Murphy, a 57-year-old officer with 30 years in the NSW Police Force and two awards for bravery to his name, has pleaded guilty to ‘using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend’ after calling federal Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s office and making threats towards her 11-year old daughter on 3 …
Tortured hooded man

Torture is a Crime, but it’s Still Widely Practised


The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1984. Since it came into force in June 1987, it’s prohibited torture under international law. Article 1 of the convention defines torture as any act carried out by a public official “by …
NSW Police Force sign

Sydney Police Officer Accused of ‘Vile, Cowardly and Intolerable’ Conduct


A Sydney police officer has been charged under the Criminal Code Act 1995 after allegedly threatening a public official in a phone call to Federal Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. Ms Hanson-Young says the threats made by the officer were about her 11-year old daughter, and took to twitter to report: “I am shocked & horrified …
Online bullying victim

Commonwealth to Strengthen Laws Against Online Bullying


Commonwealth cyberbullying legislation is currently contained in a number of sections of the Criminal Code Act 1995. Section 474.17 of that Act, for example, makes it an offence punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment to use a carriage service (which includes the internet) to menace, harass or cause offence. The section provides that a …
NZ Airport

New Zealand Customs Can Now Require Your Passwords


New Zealand is reported to have become the first country in the world to pass laws requiring travellers to reveal their personal passwords to electronic devices such as phones and computers at the border, and Australia is likely follow in the near future. It’s been in force for just a week, but travellers to our …
Malcolm Turnbull

Government to Give Itself Greater Power to Seize the Assets of Citizens


A Senate committee has just given the Turnbull government the green light to nationalise a scheme that allows government to seize citizens’ assets unless their legitimate origins can be explained, even if the owner of the wealth hasn’t been charged with let alone convicted of an offence. On 6 August, the Senate Legal and Constitutional …
Human Rights Lawyer Julian Burnside

Crimes Against Humanity: An Interview with Human Rights Lawyer Julian Burnside


The Norwegian freighter MV Tampa entered Australian waters on 29 August 2001, carrying 433 asylum seekers who’d been stranded on a fishing boat in the Indian Ocean. The vessel crossed the maritime boundary close to Christmas Island, despite having been refused entry by Australia. Australian authorities responded by sending special forces troops to board the ship …
Tax fraud

10 Years in Prison for Multi-Million Dollar Tax Fraud


A 12-year investigation has culminated in the sentencing of a businessman behind what has been described as Australia’s biggest tax fraud. The NSW Supreme Court has sentenced Gold Coast businessman Michael Issakidis to a full term of ten years in prison, with a minimum term of 7 and a half years, after he was found …
Commonwealth games

Police Get Extra Powers and Courts Close for Commonwealth Games


It has been reported that case-activity at Queensland’s second busiest courthouse will be significantly reduced during the Commonwealth Games in April, due to traffic and congestion expected on the Gold Coast. Courtrooms shut down Between April 3 and 15, only two courts will operate from a total of ten at Southport Magistrates Court. Only a …