CLA on Australia Day 2019 asked SA Attorney-General Vickie Chapman for a Royal Commission into 400 convictions over 30 years based on faulty forensic evidence. She refused. But, the situation is identical to the ‘Lawyer X’ issue in Victoria, where a Royal Commission is inquiring into “illegal” evidence accepted by the courts. Here, author Andrew Urban and SA legal academic Dr Bob Moles explain why she must change her mind so that she abides by the rule of law.
Zak Grieve withdrew from a murder plot before the event, refusing to go through with it. But that didn’t save him from two legal evils, mandatory sentencing and the ‘joint criminal enterprise’ doctrine. Under the latter, he was guilty because he knew of the plot in advance, and didn’t stop it. Under mandatory sentencing, Zak – the 19-year-old who wasn’t there, who had no previous criminal record – received a longer sentence in prison than the actual killer! Now a group of activists, including CLA’s Felicity Gerry QC, have lodged a petition for mercy in the Northern Territory to try to overcome legal inflexibility in pursuit of justice and a fairer go.
How many refugees and asylum seekers are on Nauru and Manus. How long have they been there now? What is their future? How many have left either for their home country or for other destinations? It’s hard to know, because precise details are kept from us. Whatever the number is, some people have been there since 2012, and their current situation is unconscionable.
Real justice – as opposed to expensive, unproductive ‘law and order’ auctions around election times – helps the victims heal as well as punishing the perpetrators, says WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin. He gives examples of progressive justice systems being introduced throughout Australia, many of them learning from the practices that imbued Aboriginal culture over tens of decades of history in Australia. Read his Sir Ninian Stephen 2018 lecture.
Police always think they’re right: it’s Copper 101. Watchers of Ch 10’s morning program, where police protesteth too much, might recall they’re wrong every time someone is acquitted, which is very regularly. 9 Mar 2016
Insidiously, fundamental justice cornerstones of our society are being eaten away as government Acts and actions diminish respect for, and operation of, the Rule of Law, Lou Coutts says. 4 June 2015
The Australian government should follow up the Bali state executions by leading an international campaign against the death penalty…and reining in the AFP, CLA and others say. 20 May 2015
The human flotsam of Asia is coming closer to our shores, questioning the cocoon we live in. A longer-term answer is needed, better than sending boats back to sea. 19 May 2015