Category: Commonwealth Offences

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


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim 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 ...

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


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim 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 ...

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


By Zeb Holmes and Ugur Nedim 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 ...

Commonwealth to Strengthen Laws Against Online Bullying


By Zeb Holmes and Ugur Nedim 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 ...

New Zealand Customs Can Now Require Your Passwords


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

10 Years in Prison for Multi-Million Dollar Tax Fraud


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim 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 ...

Police Get Extra Powers and Courts Close for Commonwealth Games


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim 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 ...

12 Reasons to Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers


Being prosecuted for a criminal or traffic offence can be a nerve-wracking experience. You may be unfamiliar with the process, unsure of the best way forward and concerned about the outcome. But whether you are charged with a less-serious matter such as drug possession, drink driving or common assault, or accused of something as serious as ...