News and Insights

14 / 7 / 2022

What is extra-curial punishment?

Extra-curial punishment is any form of loss or disadvantage that occurs to an offender that is not imposed by the court on sentence. It is “punishment that is inflicted upon an offender otherwise than by a court of law”: R v Wilhelm [2010] NSWSC 378 per Howie J at [21].

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14 / 7 / 2022

RECKLESS WOUNDING OFFENCES IN NSW

Wounding means the breaking of the inner layer of skin. A wound does not need to be caused by a weapon; punching someone and splitting their lip could amount to a wound. Bruises, scratches or marks which only break the outer layer of skin do not amount to wounding.

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27 / 6 / 2022

Non-Parole Periods and Offences Committed Whilst in Custody

The relationship between non-parole periods and offences committed whilst in custody has been something of a hot topic in the ACT for the past year.

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27 / 6 / 2022

Child Sexual Offence Evidence Program Scheme

Under the NSW Child Sexual Offence Evidence Program Scheme all cases of sexual offending involving a complainant under the age of 18 in Sydney and Newcastle are part of a separately managed list with its own procedures and specialised judges.

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6 / 6 / 2022

Drug Supply Offences in NSW

Under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) (‘DMTA’), you can be criminally liable for the possession, supply, and manufacture of illicit substances. These can include prohibited drugs, prohibited plants, and unprescribed medication, among other substances. 

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6 / 6 / 2022

Severity Appeals from the ACT Magistrates Court 

If you have been convicted and sentenced for a criminal offence in the summary jurisdiction of the ACT Magistrates Court, there is a statutory right to appeal your conviction and/or your sentence to a single judge of the ACT Supreme Court. 

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10 / 5 / 2022

No Convictions Orders made for Sexual Offences

The recent NSW Court of Criminal Appeal decision of R v AB [2022] NSWCCA 3 has opened up the question of whether it can ever be appropriate to make a No Conviction Order when sentencing an offender to multiple counts of child sexual assault. The short answer (according to the judgement) is yes but only in the “most exceptional and rare circumstances”.

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10 / 5 / 2022

The law of self-defence in the ACT

In ACT, you may be found not guilty of a criminal offence if a court is satisfied that you were carrying out your actions in self-defence. This can be self-defence of yourself, or another. Self-defence is usually raised in offences relating to violence, and includes charges such as murder and resisting arrest.

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28 / 4 / 2022

Geriatric offending

We all know someone who has experienced cognitive and behavioural changes associated with dementia and more specifically, frontotemporal degeneration, caused by progressive cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobe.

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21 / 4 / 2022

ASSAULT OCCASIONING ACTUAL BODILY HARM (NSW)

We all know someone who has experienced cognitive and behavioural changes associated with dementia and more specifically, frontotemporal degeneration, caused by progressive cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobe.

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8 / 4 / 2022

PAROLE IN NSW

The term parole refers to the release of a prisoner under supervision, prior to the expiry of a sentence of imprisonment. The rationale behind the granting of parole before the end of a total sentence is that it provides a safer pathway for the re-integration of an offender into the community, when compared to simply releasing the offender at the end of their sentence, with no period of supervision in the community.

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1 / 4 / 2022

Coroners, Coronial Law and Inquests in the ACT

Coroners and coronial law are predominately concerned with how and why people die, whether a death raises any concerns for public health or safety, and whether the death could have been prevented. At certain times Coroners also look into the causes of disasters and fires which have caused substantial property damage.

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21 / 3 / 2022

Revenge Pornography – Intimate Images Offences 

Offences of revenge porn or unlawfully capturing/distributing intimate images are part of a relatively new category of criminal offences in most Australian jurisdictions. Almost all forms of these types of offences are considered serious and can often result in the imposition of custodial sentences.

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15 / 3 / 2022

Conviction appeals in NSW

If you are found guilty after a hearing in the NSW Local Court (or Children’s Court), you have an automatic right to appeal your conviction to the District Court. You must lodge your conviction appeal within 28 days of your conviction. The date of the conviction is the date of sentencing so if your matter is adjourned for sentence, the clock starts ticking on your 28 days when your sentence is determined not necessarily on the date that the Local Court found the offences proven.

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8 / 3 / 2022

Extraordinary AFP Powers for Terrorism Offences

A police officer in the ACT that suspects on reasonable grounds that a person intends, or has the capacity, or is preparing to commit a ‘terrorist act’, is permitted to rely on new and additional powers not available for standard offences. These additional powers could be described as ‘extraordinary’, as is made clear by the aptly-named Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Act 2006 (ACT).

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7 / 3 / 2022

COMMON ASSAULT (NSW)

Things you need to know about common assault in NSW. This article is intended to provide general information about matters that often come before the court and is not legal advice. For legal advice, please reach out to us and speak to one of our lawyers.

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17 / 2 / 2022

Fraud and Dishonesty Offences

Fraud can include a wide variety of activities including obtaining property or money from a person or the government through dishonesty, cybercrime, using false identification and tax evasion.

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10 / 2 / 2022

Firearms and Weapons Offences in NSW

Possession of an unregistered firearm in a public place is an offence under section 93I of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). It is normally dealt with in the Local Court but can sometimes be dealt with in the District Court. The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment. If dealt with in the Local Court, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and/or 50 penalty units (i.e. a fine of up to $5,500). If there are aggravating circumstances, the maximum penalty is14 years imprisonment.

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28 / 1 / 2022

Are false memories real?

When a person is charged with a criminal offence and they plead not guilty, at times it is not just the legal ingredients of the offence they are denying but the facts of what happened. Defendants will often agree broadly with what happened but challenge discrete aspects of the facts. In my experience the truth often falls somewhere in the middle.

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21 / 1 / 2022

Hugo Grotius and Criminal Law

Hugo Law Group’s namesake is the Dutch theologian and jurist Hugo Grotius (10 April 1583 – 28 August 1645). Hugo is said to be “indisputably the supremo of Roman-Dutch jurists” whom King Henry IV dubbed “the miracle of Holland”.

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12 / 1 / 2022

Alcohol Interlock Rules in the ACT

Drink driving offenders in the ACT may face a range of situations in which, in addition to outright licence disqualification, they may also have to install and abide by an interlock device.

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7 / 1 / 2022

The State of the Crime: Geographical Jurisdiction in Criminal Law

The location in which alleged criminal conduct occurred is almost always the first issue facing police and prosecutors in deciding who is responsible for prosecuting and the Court in which the proceedings are brought. These considerations are often broadly described as “geographical jurisdiction”.

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14 / 12 / 2021

Strike Force Sainsbery – Police Investigation into COVID-19 Grant Fraud in NSW

On 9 November 2021 NSW Police and Service NSW made a joint media announcement to mark the establishment of Strike Force Sainsbery, a taskforce created to investigate fraudulent applications for COVID-19 business support payments.

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10 / 12 / 2021

Beyond Bugmy v The Queen: Addressing Indigenous Incarceration Rates

30 years on from the conclusion of The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (‘RCIADIC’), the experience and interaction of Indigenous peoples with the Australian criminal justice system remains as daunting as ever.

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24 / 11 / 2021

Privacy and COVID Check-In Data

Can police use your COVID check-in data in criminal proceedings? The short answer is – maybe. ‘Unprecedented times’ is the catch phrase that aptly describes the last 18 months, and with those unprecedented times has come a new era of ‘check-ins’ and check-in data.

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17 / 11 / 2021

Who is who in the courtroom?

The court is a busy place and there are many court personnel who work hard to ensure that matters move efficiently through the court system. If you have never been to court before, you may find it hard to work out who is who in the courtroom. Identifying court personnel will become easy once you know who to look for.

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8 / 11 / 2021

Bail Laws and Crowding at Canberra’s Gaol

The Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC), Canberra’s much-lauded ‘human rights compliant’ prison is not only over-populated but has the highest daily cost per prisoner rate in the country, costing taxpayers $415.00 per detainee per day.

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8 / 11 / 2021

A New Combined Offence for Drink and Drug Driving (s111A Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW)

The Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Drink and Drug Driving Offence) Act 2021 (‘amendment act’) came into force on 28 June 2021.

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21 / 10 / 2021

The Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act: Civil forfeiture orders in the ACT

The Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act 2003 (ACT) (the COCA) is a legislative scheme in the Australian Capital Territory designed to give effect to an overarching public policy of deterrence.

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21 / 10 / 2021

Licence Appeals in NSW

Being without a licence can cause extreme hardship and cause problems in terms of employment.

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6 / 10 / 2021

The New Meaning of ‘Consent’ in Sexual Assault Charges

In NSW, the Crimes Act now provides a definition of what ‘consent’ means in the context of sexual activity. Consent, according to section 61HE, is when a person “freely and voluntarily agrees to the sexual activity.” This was not always part of sexual assault laws in NSW.

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1 / 10 / 2021

The COVID Outbreak in NSW and ACT Gaols

In late August 2021, news first broke that COVID had made its way into NSW prisons. By September 7 there were 150 confirmed cases between the Parklea Correctional Centre and Silverwater Correctional Complex. Soon after, there were known active cases of COVID in Silverwater, Parklea and The Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre. By 15 September, COVID had made its way into the Alexander Maconochie Centre in the ACT.

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29 / 9 / 2021

Insights August – September 2021

A selection of news and highlights from August and September 2021

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15 / 9 / 2021

How the NSW Children’s Court does justice differently

Navigating a criminal charge can be difficult at the best of times and is even more daunting when you are under 18 years of age.

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8 / 9 / 2021

ACT Women’s Pro Bono Parole Program

The Hugo Law Group ACT Women’s Pro-Bono Parole Program provides free legal advice and representation to all female detainees inside the Alexander Maconochie Centre in relation to their parole applications.

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6 / 9 / 2021

Pill Testing: the results are in

Facing stiff resistance almost nationwide, pill testing trials offered in the ACT may be finally helping pierce the many stigmas associated with the practice. Possessing a small amount of drugs is often thought of as a minor offence but it can still potentially see a sentence of up to two years imprisonment. It might seem counterintuitive then to offer to test these drugs to ensure they are safe to take.

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3 / 9 / 2021

Criminal Cartels, Markers and Immunity

A criminal cartel occurs when individuals and/or businesses enter into an agreement.

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9 / 8 / 2021

Speeding Offences in NSW

Speeding is one of the most common types of traffic offences in NSW. If you’ve been caught speeding, a range of different penalties can apply, from fines and demerit points to licence suspension.

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8 / 8 / 2021

The Limits of Canberra’s cannabis legislation

In a first for Australia, the ACT has become the country’s only jurisdiction to legalise low-level personal cannabis possession and cultivation. Before getting too excited or outraged, depending on your stance on this, it is important to understand the limited scope of these changes.

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2 / 8 / 2021

The new section 32: Mental Health applications under section 12

Criminal proceedings concerning a client who is mentally or cognitively impaired can be challenging for all parties involved, particularly when a person is charged with serious offences.

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