On 23 March 2017 and 24 March 2017, new appointments were made to the Federal Court of Australia and the Australian Takeovers Panel.
The Federal Government has introduced the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Bill 2017 into Parliament. The Bill contains a number of provisions designed to improve access to copyrighted material for people with disabilities, to reform and modernise library, archive and educational institution exemptions, and to align the term of protection for unpublished material with the term of protection for published material. The Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on 22 March 2017 by Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Mr Paul Fletcher.
The concept of joint criminal enterprise (‘JCE’) has posed certain problems for the Australian jurisdiction, especially regarding its extension offence, extended joint criminal enterprise (‘ECJE’). Whilst the recent UK case R v Jogee (2016) abolished ECJE due to a lack of physical culpability on the part of the other participants, ECJE’s position in Australia seems to be safe due to the verdict in Miller v The Queen.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have launched a suit in the Federal Court against German car company Audi, its Australian subsidiary, Audi Australia, and its parent company, Volkswagon. The ACCC alleges that the companies engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct between 2011 and 2015 when it claimed that its cars were environmentally friendly but later complaints revealed that it had fitted its cars with software to cheat emission tests.
During a criminal trial, members of a jury are exposed to arguments given by the defence and prosecution teams. Lawyers from both sides will often use persuasive language to convince the jury to agree with their arguments. To do so indirectly, lawyers might offer an opinion to the jury by telling them their options for consideration but lawyers will often draw the jury's attention back to elements which favour their side. This questions the extent of impartiality being practiced throughout the trial by the jury.
The Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform Bill 2017 (NT) passed the Northern Territory Parliament on Tuesday (21 March 2017), after a long and emotional debate. The Bill was passed 20 votes to four and had bipartisan support. The Bill updates the Criminal Code Act to decriminalise abortion, and allows women seeking abortions who are no more than 14 weeks pregnant to be assessed by a single medical practitioner, with those between 14 and 23 weeks required to be assessed by two medical practitioners.
A Police Officer's role is to serve and protect the community. As stated in the New South Wales Police Force's website home page, a police officer's general job includes investigating "armed robberies, serious assaults, deceased persons" and that's just to name a few. A police officer is a trusted member of society to make the citizens feel safer. But what makes a member of the police community become involved in illegal activities and then what happens to them? Which organisations, particularly in NSW are there to hold the police officer liable for their actions?
Yesterday (21 March 2017), the Queensland Parliament passed the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2016 (the Bill), being legislation which removes the so-called gay panic defence from the Queensland Criminal Code (the Code) (see our article Queensland Introduces Bill To Amend Provocation Provisions To Limit “Gay Panic” Defence). In a Media Release, the Queensland Attorney-General, Yvette D'Ath (the AG), stated that in passing the legislation, the government was honouring an election commitment to remove the archaic piece of legislation. The main thrust of the Bill is the amendment of section 304 of the Code, removing unwanted sexual advance as a partial defence of provocation for murder.
“What was the motive?” is asked in virtually all crime shows. There’s a body, the death looks suspicious, and the detectives search for why the person was murdered. But is the prosecution in NSW actually required to prove the accused had a motive to murder the victim? In a word: no.
Early last month (8 February 2017), NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced in a Media Release the implementation of a youth crime overhaul for the Northern Territory including diversion workers, heavier use of NGO's, greater support through bail conditions and the expansion of youth justice and victims' conferencing.
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