News Category: Crime

The British took over Australia on the pretext it was uninhabited. This led to the slaughter of Indigenous people, then placing them on reserves and finally incarcerating many of them.

Colonising First Nations: From the Killing Times to Reserves to Incarceration


The British colonisation of the continent now referred to as Australia was based on terra nullius, meaning the land was neither owned nor occupied. As the High Court of Australia acknowledged in 1992, this was a lie, which was obvious to the First Nations peoples and the invaders at the time. The problem for the …
Jock Palfreeman

Australian Prisoner Rights Activist Ends 33-Day Hunger Strike


Sydney man Jock Palfreeman has ended his month-long hunger strike inside correctional facilities in Bulgaria. The 32-year-old began his protest on 21 April, with the aim of drawing attention to rights violations in the local prison system, as well as his persecution for speaking out against them. Mr Palfreeman is into his eleventh year of …
Fake news

Should It be a Crime to Publish Fake News?


Integrity campaigners have labelled the spread of disinformation during the recent Federal Election campaign as ‘intolerable’, and are calling for criminal laws specifically designed to deter such conduct in the future. One campaigner, former NSW supreme court justice Anthony Whealy, says falsehoods, particularly some spread via the United Australia party’s advertising, are “unacceptable”. The former …
David and Xiaoran

Police Use of Strip Searches Skyrockets in NSW


At the 11 May Midnight Mafia festival at Sydney Olympic Park, NSW police officers searched 272 punters following an indication from a sniffer dog. Of these, 32 were charged with possession and eight were issued with new on-the-spot fines. This means that police and their canine helpers got it wrong 85 percent of the time. …
Kidnapping

The Crime of Kidnapping in New South Wales


A mother and daughter have been sentenced to imprisonment for detaining, assaulting and attempting to force a woman to transfer title to a car. Judge Warwick Hunt of the Downing Centre District Court heard that between 3.40pm and 7pm on 16 August 2017, 55-year old Carol Raymonde, her daughter, 22-year old Yvonne Raymond and four …
What is a Penalty Unit?

What is a Penalty Unit?


Many regulatory and criminal offences in Australia come with maximum penalties that consist wholly or partly of fines that are calculated in penalty units. For example, the maximum penalty for the criminal offence of drug possession in New South Wales is 2 years in prison and/or a fine of 20 penalty units. Similarly, the crime …
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 …
NZ Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick

The NZ Cannabis Legalisation Referendum: An Interview With NZ Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick


New Zealand justice minister Andrew Little announced on 7 May that all three political parties that from the minority coalition government have agreed to the foundational elements of a legal and regulated cannabis market that the nation is set to vote on at next year’s national election. The minister confirmed that the referendum outcome will …