ENTERTAINMENT -v- EVIDENCE

The concept of an impartial jury is central to the operation of our criminal justice system. For hundreds of years we have put our faith in those twelve ordinarily citizens, unbiased and unswayed by extraneous and irrelevant considerations, to stand as the fail-safe system and last line of defence between citizen and state. But of [...]

December 7th, 2018|Criminal Law, Opinion|

A MEAL EATEN COLD

The Italians say Revenge is a meal that’s best eaten cold. I guess Jimmy Bulger would have agreed. James Joseph Bulger Junior grew up in abject poverty on the dirt-poor streets of South Boston in the 1930’s and 40’s, along with his two younger brothers, William, better known as “Billy,” and the baby, John, whom [...]

November 8th, 2018|Criminal Law, International|

THE IRE OF THE BEHOLDER

Like beauty itself, art is undoubtedly very much in the eye of the beholder. A couple of years back, a world-renowned Brisbane-born street artist, whose celebrated work is permanently exhibited in the Australian National Gallery and regularly sells for thousands of dollars in the swank art-houses of Sydney and Melbourne, was accused of painting graffiti [...]

October 19th, 2018|Criminal Law, International|

LEAVE STRESS

Recent legislative changes in New Zealand introducing 10 days paid leave for victims of domestic violence, are likely to throw up some thorny issues on both sides of ‘The Ditch.” The innovative initiative rightly has been lauded as a welcome boon to New Zealand’s victims of domestic abuse, particularly given the high rates of home-spun [...]

October 10th, 2018|Domestic Violence, Employment Law, Family Law|

A CERTAIN UNCERTAINTY

It has long been accepted that the element of certainty is essential to the rule of law. Long-standing legal principle dictates that the law should be certain and accessible, so it can be easily enforced and people can know where they stand. But in an ever more complicated world, that task is becoming increasingly complex. [...]

August 30th, 2018|Criminal Law|

THE THIN BLUE LINE

Everyone who’s ever punt-kicked a Sherrin has chimed in to have their say on the recent brew-ha-ha between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers. But the controversy may be set to spread far beyond Aussie rules football. For those who don’t follow the AFL, in round 20 of this year’s AFL clash between [...]

August 24th, 2018|Criminal Law, Sport|

THE ROAD AHEAD

By the time the ambulance arrived the young man in the front passenger seat was already dangerously close to death. His once fit, handsome best mate was now crumpled and bloodstained beside him, folded in awkward angles across the twisted steering wheel, his pelvis and both arms shattered in various places. The other two passengers, [...]

August 17th, 2018|Criminal Law, Traffic Law|

DEPUTY DOG

With the festival season back in full swing, plenty of music lovers are sure to find themselves once more confronted by the canine constabulary. The infamous Police Drug Detection Dog has become such an integral part of the law-enforcement landscape that nowadays no festival frolic is complete without a good going over by some deputy [...]

July 18th, 2018|Criminal Law|

ONE SIZE FITS ALL?

Somebody please tell me - when are the politicians going to learn? Justice just isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. When the Victorian government announced last week plans to introduce a mandatory minimum jail term of six months for anyone convicted of assaulting police or paramedics, lawyers predictably warned the move would almost inevitably lead to injustices. [...]

May 28th, 2018|Criminal Law|

WHO’S PAYING FOR MY BUS FARE?

Society's more forgettable characters sometimes prove to be life's most memorable ones. About twenty years ago I appeared for a hapless heroin addict called to give evidence at an investigative hearing which required him to be cross-examined by a very experienced and capable Queen’s Counsel. Arguably, there was little merit to my client, and undoubtedly [...]

May 21st, 2018|Criminal Law, Entertainment|