Blog

Public Message – General Deterrence

In Western Australia as in other jurisdictions, the courts are overwhelmed with processing a tsunami of drug and drug-related offending.  Allegations of sexual offending aside, drug-related criminality dwarfs all other categories of offending in this State.  As is commonly appreciated, methamphetamine or ‘ice’ is the prevalent drug of choice amongst those who regularly take or are caught up within a drug-addicted lifestyle.  Seized methamphetamine Counter-intuitively the success of State and Federal law enforcement agencies in tackling and reducing the smuggling of organic [...]

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Spent Conviction Orders

How to avoid a disclosable criminal record if pleading guilty or on being found guilty of a criminal offence? The modern workplace invariably requires an employee to disclose any past criminal conviction(s). All things being equal, employers will generally not even consider a person for employment if they have a criminal record. As Barrister Chambers we hear this time and time again. However, the criminal justice system in Western Australia recognises that a person should sometimes be given a chance where [...]

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Child sexual abuse: the importance of objectivity

After the 2 nd World War there was a steady flow of orphaned or unwanted children from Britain who were sent to Australia for a better life and to populate Australia. These children and their poor parents were sold the promise of a new, exciting and wonderful life in Australia. The reality when they arrived was very often very different to the promise. Many of these children were put into religious institutions of all denominations and although some had a [...]

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Smartphones make young bones

Driving a car is a risky business at the best of times and it has been exacerbated by the proliferation of electronic gadgets and has become a lot riskier still. The recent trial of Aine Marie McGrath, 25, charged with Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death, in the Perth District Court, is a prime illustration of this danger. En-route to a local pub for a quick drink after work, Ms McGrath and her friend Sarah Kelly, the passenger, collided with a utility vehicle, [...]

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Australian Vs US Gun Control

28 April 1996, a date that will go down as a pivotal moment for gun control in Australia. A lone gunman called Martin Bryant, a 28 year old man with significant intellectual disabilities, carried out a mass shooting at the historic Port Arthur tourist site in South Eastern Tasmania. By the end of the shooting, Mr Bryant had killed 35 people and wounded 23. He eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 35 sentences of life imprisonment and 25 [...]

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