There is no more powerful human narrative than the story of redemption, the assurance that no matter what evil we have done we can atone, strive to be better and ultimately find forgiveness. Not everyone believes in true redemption. But, like the good preacher, a good lawyer has to believe we all can hope to [...]

September 22nd, 2017|Criminal Law, Opinion|


It's funny the way things seem to go on swings and roundabouts. In 1945 the troops returned from World War II celebrating victory over fascism and the arbitrary and excessive use of power by the State. By the early 1950s politicians like American Senator Joe McCarthy had fuelled Cold War fears of Communist subversion, and [...]

August 25th, 2017|Criminal Law|


In a time of increasingly vigorous criticism of some of our court processes, many were taken aback when Victoria’s Supreme Court recently hit back at its detractors, carpeting three politicians, a journalist and a newspaper editor, over public statements criticising the sentencing of terror offenders. A couple of months ago three ministers of the Turnbull [...]

August 18th, 2017|Criminal Law, Litigation, Politics|


The threat last week by One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts to report Fairfax Media journalists to police for stalking, raises some interesting questions. Last Thursday the Senator’s senior media adviser, Sean Black, threatened to complain to police about what he called "continued pestering" and "harassment". His claims followed allegedly persistent emails from journalists seeking answers [...]

August 3rd, 2017|Criminal Law, Defamation, Privacy|


The Roman Catholic Cardinal George Pell has retained a brilliant USSR-born, Jewish lawyer to defend him.  Melbourne-based barrister Robert Richter QC has been retained to defend the Cardinal on historical sex charges. Having worked often with Robert, I can tell you the Cardinal has an excellent man in his corner. But nonetheless, many experienced lawyers [...]

July 28th, 2017|Criminal Law, Litigation, Technology|


Youngest offender ever charged with murder In the early hours of the morning following Australia Day last year, 26 year old Patrick Slater was found dead in a Perth railway station, a 25cm chest wound had penetrated his aorta and both lungs. Last week, in the WA Supreme Court, five young adults and one teenager [...]

July 21st, 2017|Criminal Law, Opinion, Uncategorized|


The sentencing this week in China of three Australian employees of James Packer’s Crown Resorts brings into sharp focus the scary reality of globalisation.  Melbourne-based executive Jason O’Connor and China based staff members Jerry Xuan and Pan Dan all pleaded guilty last Monday to charges of illegally promoting gambling, and were ordered to serve between [...]

June 30th, 2017|Criminal Law, International, Travel|


I was contemplating suicide this week. Not personally contemplating the actual deed mind you - in fact, it may be more accurate to say that suicide was contemplating me. You see, our apartment windows face the ocean and the twice-yearly clean by the burly-blokes-with-beards-and-rope is insufficient for my taste in crystal clear views. So it [...]

June 23rd, 2017|Criminal Law, International|


There’s a common misconception in some circles that only criminals, miscreants and ne’er-do-wells attract the attention of investigators like Federal and State police, corporate and other regulatory watchdogs, the tax man and the like. Most of us blithely go through life believing if we always try to act honestly and honourably there is no risk [...]

June 16th, 2017|Criminal Law, Opinion, Privacy|


The Prime Minister’s call for an overhaul of state parole laws in the wake of this week's terrorist attack in Melbourne has the sniff of political scapegoating. On Monday afternoon 29-year-old Somalian-born Islamic extremist Yacqib Khayre, following a terrorism blueprint published online in the ISIS magazine Ruyimah, posed as a client to call out a [...]

June 9th, 2017|Criminal Law, Opinion, Politics|