A law unto themselves, absent model principles

Bill Rowlings* questions how ‘professional’ is the Legal Profession Board of Tasmania. It’s a quango that only recently worked out it needs to abide by model litigant principles, a decade after it was created. And it seems to particularly dislike the right of people to question, scrutinise and dissent.

It is a body which annually seeks funding approval from the Attorney-General and reports formally to the AG each year, making it a quango despite its claims of “independence”. It has 10 statutory functions. Handling complaints is the third listed, but seems to dominate its activities overwhelmingly. Educating the public is one of its activities which appears to have received a very much lower priority.

Govt right to proceed cautiously with bail reforms

By Dr Karen Gelb

In the aftermath of Melbourne’s Bourke St tragedy, in which a driver ran amok in the CBD in January 2017, the Victorian Government announced changes to the state’s bail system along with a two-stage major review of Victoria’s bail laws.

The first tranche of reforms is due to begin on 1 July this year, with the second set of amendments still to be debated in the upper house of Parliament.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has continued to chastise Daniel Andrews for delaying commencement of the bail reforms, calling instead for them to begin at the end of March.

Questing for justice

The education of lawyers can last a lifetime…sometimes somebody else’s, in jail. James Moore explains why it is important for civil society to question our laws and legal structures.  20 March 2017

East Timor is mad as hell…

Australians with intimate knowledge of our sleazy dealings over oil reserves with East Timor are delighted the Labor Party has announced a change in policy. John Martinkus explains why.  19 April 2016

Remember, police are regularly wrong

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

Parliament votes on it knows not what

As the wrong parliamentary committee considers such a vital question as Australian citizenship, it will be deliberating on a crucial liberties and rights issue that is nowhere defined in law.  24 July 2015

Watchdog needed for prosecutors

DPPs have enormous power in the justice system, ACT barrister Jack Pappas writes, agreeing with SA’s legal fraternity that such power should be closely watched and subject to independent oversight. 11 July 2015

Saving Mary Jane from a firing squad

Barrister Felicity Gerry tells the story of saving one life when the two Bali 9 men were executed: Mary Jane Veloso’s story stands for the plight of trafficked women worldwide. 10 July 2015

Analysing ‘right to appeal’ rulings

Just two cases have been fully appealed under new ‘right to appeal’ provisions now in SA law, and soon to be introduced to Tasmania. Barbara Etter analyses decisions so far. 24 June 2015

ASIS-ASIO are Govt’s bully boys

Read an extraordinary tale of spook intrigue, bugging foreign cabinet ministers, raid on lawyer’s office, denials, duck-shoves, spurious spin…all in the name of Australia, but deeply un-Australian. 17 June 2015