Political prosecutions are commonplace in authoritarian jurisdictions but they seen more in democracies now too. Their existence is a major problem and represent a crime against democracy.
The way in which criminal cases involving potential injustice are dealt with in NSW is flawed and lead to serious problems – Kathleen Folbigg is an example of the systemic failure. An alternative approach is offered in this lecture.
Expert evidence is crucial to the outcome in many legal cases before the courts. The law surround the use of experts has been developing for more than 200 years. This article looks at the current law in Australia involving the use of expert opinion evidence.
The most important requirement in all criminal trials is that the onus of establishing guilt is to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt. This standard of proof stays immovably with the prosecution throughout a trial. In Kathleen Folbigg’s case an essential element that needed to be proved beyond reasonable doubt was that she intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to her children.
The prosecution said that she smothered them, but failed to prove this was the case.
The criminal justice system cannot function to allow fair trials unless those deciding whether an offence has been committed understand that they need to apply the highest standard of proof when considering the evidence presented to them.
This article explores issues beyond reasonable doubt to provide insight for those in the legal profession and members of the public.
Expert evidence plays a key role in the decisions of courts every day across the world. In some cases, experts provide knowledge and information integral to the outcome of the judicial decision. However, experts have not always played a role in legal decision making, and this article traces the history of expert evidence, the problems and solutions developed over the last few hundred years.
Offshore detention has been a policy of the Australian government since the Howard years. Mark Basa is currently held on Christmas Island – but how much does offshore detention cost and who profits from it. The Guardian recently published an article about the company that manages the detention centre on Nauru.
Finding out why a person has died, described in modern times as finding the ‘manner and cause’ of death has been the role of a coroner at least since the thirteenth century.
Their role has changed in the last century, with a greater focus on the growing relevance of death prevention and coronial recommendations. Governments have found this role particularly uncomfortable because it can expose obvious failures and require reform of systems.
Prisoners are often categorised as either mad, bad or sad. What does this mean really and should compassionate treatment be available to all prisoners?
Internal security has been a focus of governance for as long as civilisation has focused on maintaining power. WWI and WWII brought an explosion of interest in internal security agencies, and along with it, rising costs and reduced legal rights.