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Lawlink News Archive 2009

January
February
March
April
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September
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December

December
Early bird rate offered for criminal law conference
Responding to Coronial recommendations
New laws to resolve neighbourhood rows over hedges [Small PDF icon 172kb]
$5000 boost for Sudanese basketball comp in Penrith [Small PDF icon 136kb]
September quarter crime statistics released: Media release | BOCSAR report
Website to guide victims of crime through justice system [Small PDF icon 192kb]
Sheriff rounds up gifts for children in need [Small PDF icon 21kb]
Sheriff’s Santa rides again to Bankstown Hospital [Small PDF icon 21kb]
Drink-driving and recidivism in NSW: Media release | BOCSAR report
Documentary to help domestic violence victims [Small PDF icon 31kb]
NSW Government continues to help asbestos victims [Small PDF icon 100kb]
Tough new graffiti laws commence this week [Small PDF icon 26kb]
The impact of restricted alcohol availability in Newcastle: Media release | BOCSAR report


Early bird rate offered for criminal law conference
Issued: Tuesday, 22 December 2009
The Public Defenders annual criminal law conference is on once again at Taronga Zoo, 27–28 March 2010.

The conference is open to all criminal law practitioners and provides eight continuing professional development (CPD) points across the four required strands of ethics, personal and practice management, substantive law and advocacy.

Speakers will include Justice Virginia Bell, Father Frank Brennan, and Professor Ian Hickie.

The “early bird” registration fee of $350 (otherwise $395) includes morning tea and a light lunch, plus a complimentary 1-hour pass to the Zoo grounds (Saturday only) via the Taronga Centre.

More details can be found in the attached program >>

Registration and payment is required as early as possible to take advantage of the “early bird” rate. Complete the registration form (linked below) and post along with your cheque to:
The Chambers Manager
Public Defenders Office
Carl Shannon Chambers
13/ 175 Liverpool Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Registration form >>

For more information, visit the Public Defenders website or email either Susan_Lock@agd.nsw.gov.au or Ruth_Heazlewood@agd.nsw.gov.au.


$5000 boost for Sudanese basketball comp in Penrith [Small PDF icon 136kb]
Issued: Friday 18 December 2009
The Sudanese-Australian Interstate Basketball Tournament has received a major boost on the eve of the competition, with the Department of Justice & Attorney General providing a $5000 grant.

“The tournament gives young people, some who are relatively new to Australia, a chance to showcase their talents and forge positive new friendships in an atmosphere of social inclusion,” said the Department’s Sudanese Community Liaison Officer Adol Takpiny.

Twenty-four teams, including two female outfits, from around Australia will compete in the tournament at Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre on Saturday and Sunday. While most of the players are of Sudanese heritage, the tournament will also feature young people from Liberian, Sierra Leone, Ethiopian and Chinese backgrounds.

Tournament organiser Mayor Chagai said for some players, the tournament could be a stepping-stone to bigger things.

“The talent emerging from the Sudanese-Australian community is quite extraordinary – most of the players on show this weekend are tall, athletic and capable of slam dunks,” Mr Chagai said.

“Many will be trying to emulate the success of Australian Boomers star Ater Majok, who competed in this tournament in 2006”.

Majok, 21, developed his skills in Blacktown before becoming the first basketball player of Sudanese heritage to represent Australia.

The Star Basketball Recreation Club in Blacktown, run by volunteer Sudanese basketball players, facilitates the annual tournament which is now in its seventh year. The club provides young people, especially those ‘at risk’, with access to free basketball training and other services to assist their health and wellbeing.

The Department of Justice & Attorney General is working closely with the Sudanese community on diversionary programs to prevent crime and on legal education initiatives.

“The law and culture in Sudan is significantly different and it is vital that Sudanese people are given support and encouragement as they adjust to life in Australia,” Ms Takpiny said.

“The Department is pleased to have the opportunity to support the young people who have organised this basketball tournament. Their teamwork and leadership are resulting in positive, practical outcomes.”

The Department of Justice & Attorney General appointed Ms Takpiny as its Sudanese Community Liaison Officer in August 2008.


Sheriff rounds up gifts for children in need [Small PDF icon 21kb]
Issued: Tuesday 15 December 2009
Newcastle Court staff have amassed a mountain of gifts for struggling families this Christmas, in a drive organised by Sheriff’s Officer Todd Barry.

“It is a cause that I feel quite strongly about,” Sheriff’s Officer Barry said.

“As a Sheriff's Officer my job requires me to deal with families who are often battling financial difficulties, be it a situation that they have taken themselves into or one that is out of their control.

“It breaks my heart to see it affect the children.”

Department of Justice and Attorney General staff at the Newcastle Courthouse include registry staff, court officers and uniformed Sheriff’s officers.

Members of the judiciary at Newcastle Court also contributed to the gift drive.

The Salvation Army’s Court Chaplain Ross Gilmore, who is based at Newcastle Court, received the gifts for distribution.

“There is a significant need for quality toys for distribution to families who are struggling this Christmas,” Mr Gilmore said.

“The Salvation Army is greatly encouraged by the support and generosity of the court staff, not only on this occasion but on a continuing basis."

Sheriff’s Officer Barry added that “it is Santa who brings the gifts on Christmas Day and hopefully these toys bring a few smiles.

“We’ll do it again next year,” Sheriff’s Officer Barry concluded.


Sheriff’s Santa rides again to Bankstown Hospital [Small PDF icon 21kb]
Issued: Monday 14 December 2009
Sheriff’s Officers from Bankstown Courthouse will play Santa this Friday at Bankstown Hospital’s Children’s Ward.

Sergeant Allen Daizli and Sheriff’s Officer Kim Hutchins, who will wear the red and white suit, join Bankstown Police to bring joy to sick children for the third Christmas in a row.

Santa will arrive in a red and white Mustang convertible with a police escort, sirens blaring.

Santa’s sack will be full of gifts donated by staff at Bankstown Court and Bankstown Police Station.

When: 10am to noon, Friday December 18.
Where: Bankstown Hospital, Eldridge Road, Bankstown.

Sergeant Daizli and Sheriff’s Officer Hutchins began the tradition seven years ago, working with the police to deliver presents to families of domestic violence.

This is the third year they have been visiting Bankstown Hospital for Christmas.

“We know these children are doing it tough and bringing smiles to their faces is one of the highlights of our year,” Sergeant Daizli said.


Documentary to help domestic violence victims [Small PDF icon 31kb]
Issued: Friday 4 December 2009
A powerful new documentary that aims to inspire victims of domestic violence to escape the cycle of abuse premiered in Sydney today.

The documentary Home is Where the Hurt Is features first-hand stories told by survivors of physical and emotional domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is one the most underreported of crimes and victims often feel trapped in dangerous and abusive relationships,” said Brendan Thomas, Assistant Director General of the Department of Justice & Attorney General.

“This documentary depicts people relaying their harrowing experiences of domestic violence - women assaulted by their husbands, a lesbian woman locked in an abusive relationship, a man abused by his female partner and the personal story of media personality Mike Munro.

“The stories of these survivors are as confronting as their backgrounds are diverse, but all share the same message: seek help before it is too late.”

Home is Where the Hurt is premiered at Dumaresq Street Cinemas in Campbelltown as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

Forty pairs of shoes were attached to a wall of the cinema to represent the number of people killed in domestic violence incidents in NSW in 2008.

“The documentary is not just for victims of domestic violence. It is a valuable educational resource that will enable the wider community to see what it is like to walk in the shoes of people who experience domestic violence,” Mr Thomas said.

The Department of Justice and Attorney General funded Home is Where the Hurt Is - a joint project of the Domestic and Family Violence Intervention Service, Macarthur Legal Centre and the Campbelltown Domestic Violence Liaison Committee.

The NSW Government has a suite of support services and initiatives aimed at bringing down rates of domestic violence and making it easier for victims to seek help and justice. These include:

  • Allocating $504,000 to establish the new Domestic Violence Homicide Review Panel to review closed cases and recommend improvements to the response to domestic violence by the many agencies involved;
  • Rolling out new guidelines to fast track domestic violence cases through local courts;
  • Allocating $7 million per year to assist women at more than 100 NSW courthouses as part of the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program; and
  • Introducing the Domestic Violence Intervention Court Model (DVICM) in Campbelltown and Wagga Wagga.
“The DVICM aims to improve the policing and prosecution of domestic violence, while ensuring the safety of victims throughout the process,’ Mr Thomas said.

“It involves government agencies such as NSW Police and the Department of Justice & Attorney General collaborating with welfare agencies.”

From 2003 to 2008, the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found 215 people died as a result of domestic violence, equating to 42 per cent of all homicides.

“One person lost through domestic homicide is one too many,” Mr Thomas said.


November
Moves to restrict sentence discounts for sex offenders [Small PDF icon 101 kb]
Muswellbrook Court garden sows seeds of justice [Small PDF icon 20kb]
New sentencing proposal for child killers [Small PDF icon 27kb]
Domestic homicide in NSW: Media release | BOCSAR report
Panel set up to review domestic violence deaths [Small PDF icon 62kb]
Report of the Domestic Violence Homicide Advisory Panel
Attorney General warns of hoax inheritance email [Small PDF icon 38kb]
Forum on crime and sentencing comes to Wollongong [Small PDF icon 30kb]
Peter Collins appointed a new Chair of Legal Aid [Small PDF icon 25kb]
NSW Government calls on Commonwealth to boost Legal Aid funding [Small PDF icon 28kb]
New magistrate for NSW [Small PDF icon 24kb]
New BOCSAR report: How do methamphetamine users respond to changes in methamphetamine price?
Nambucca program to protect women from violence [Small PDF icon 41kb]
Wollongong public forum
The recidivism of offenders given suspended sentences: a comparison with full time imprisonment
Writing on the wall for Graffiti vandals [Small PDF icon 114kb]
BOCSAR releases liquor licensing enforcement and assaults on licensed premises report
Jerrold Cripps QC to chair NSW Sentencing Council [Small PDF icon 41kb]
New laws to fast track lengthy criminal trials [Small PDF icon 35kb]


Moves to restrict sentence discounts for sex offenders [Small PDF icon 101 kb]
Issued: Friday 27 November 2009

NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos has today welcomed the release of a report by The Sentencing Council which recommends legislation limiting the courts’ ability to give criminals discounts on their sentences.

“While reduced sentences for guilty pleas have a part to play in the justice system, it is important they are applied consistently and in accordance with clear principles,” Mr Hatzistergos said.

“This report recommends legislating to restrict the circumstances where offenders may be granted discounts.”

Mr Hatzistergos said that he was concerned that some discount principles overlap and when applied mechanically can lead to perceptions of greater leniency.

“For the public and police to have confidence in the justice system then it is important to see offenders being held accountable for their crimes and that any discounts have a legitimate public purpose,” the Attorney General said.

In its final report under the chairmanship of former Supreme Court Justice Hon. James Wood AO QC, the NSW Sentencing Council also recommends victims be included in the charge negotiations process between the prosecution and the offender.

“This would build a mechanism into the charge negotiations process to guarantee that victims of crime get a fair say,” Mr Hatzistergos said.

“The prosecution would have to sign a certificate to verify they had consulted with victims on the statement of facts submitted to the court during sentencing.”

The report Reductions in Penalties at Sentence was commissioned by the NSW Government to ensure offenders were not receiving excessive sentence reductions.

The report recommends new laws:
  • to ensure no discounts for sex offenders solely on the basis that they will be designated prohibited persons under Child Protection laws and prevented from working with children;
  • to ensure no discounts for offenders on the basis that their assets have been confiscated;
  • to ensure any discounts do not result in a penalty that is ‘unreasonably disproportionate’ to the serious nature and circumstances of the offence; and
  • to require the court take into account the circumstances in which the offender pleads guilty.

“It also recommended that further education of the judiciary about facilities and programs available in jail would reduce the risk of hardship discounts being granted unnecessarily,” Mr Hatzistergos said.

“This will ensure that courts apply the principle that there is no presumption that an offender who gives assistance to the authorities will suffer harsher treatment in prison.

“The Council affirmed the existing requirement that the offender provide evidence that their prison time will be more onerous before courts can take this into account.”

The NSW Government is consulting with the heads of the NSW judiciary about the report and will make any necessary changes to the law early next year.


Muswellbrook Court garden sows seeds of justice [Small PDF icon 20kb]
Issued: Thursday 26 November 2009
Prisoners have planted a drought-resistant native garden on the grounds of Muswellbrook Courthouse.

“The garden project has enabled inmates to give something back to the community and to improve their employment skills for when they are released from jail,” said Muswellbrook Courthouse registrar Donna Keegan.

Working under close supervision, a group of eight inmates from the minimum security St Heliers Correctional Centre carried out the task of cleaning the courthouse grounds and planting the low maintenance garden. The project was completed in 10 weeks, with inmates working one day a week for five hours as part of their Community Service Orders.

“The biodiversity of the court grounds is now thriving and the garden will become increasingly attractive during summer as the flowers come into bloom,” said Ms Keegan.

The inmates will maintain the garden under supervision when the court is not sitting.

The native garden was inspired by similar projects undertaken by Muswellbrook Council and Chamber of Commerce to beautify the town’s main street.

The native garden was a joint initiative of Muswellbrook Courthouse and Corrective Services NSW. It was funded by the Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Green Grants program, which has supported dozens of environmentally friendly projects at courts around NSW.


Wollongong public forum
Issued: Thursday 12 November 2009
A free public education forum on how criminals are sentenced will be held in Wollongong on Monday, November 16.

The forum is the fourth in a series organised in response to a survey by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) and the NSW Sentencing Council, which indicated a community interest in finding out more about the NSW justice system.

Guest panellists at the forum will include:
  • The Hon John Hatzistergos MLC, Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations
  • The Hon James Wood AO QC, former Supreme Court Judge, and Chair of the NSW Sentencing Council and the NSW Law Reform Commission
  • Howard Brown, Vice-President, Victims of Crime Assistance League (VOCAL)
  • Brendan Thomas, Assistant Director General, Crime Prevention and Community Programs Division
The Wollongong ‘Process of Justice’ Public Forum will be held at:
Venue: City Beach Function Centre, Marine Drive, Wollongong
Time: 5.30 – 7.30 pm (light refreshments and registration from 5.00 pm)
Date: Monday, 16 November 2009
Registration: Numbers are limited. Register now to attend by emailing communications@agd.nsw.gov.au


The recidivism of offenders given suspended sentences: a comparison with full time imprisonment
Issued: Wednesday 11 November 2009
This morning the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research released a new Crime and Justice Bulletin: The recidivism of offenders given suspended sentences: A comparison with full-time imprisonment.

The report can be accessed on Lawlink >>

View press release >>


BOCSAR releases liquor licensing enforcement and assaults on licensed premises report
Issued: Thursday 5 November 2009
The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research today released it’s Liquor licensing enforcement and assaults on licensed premises report.

View media release >>
View report (PDF) >>


October
New magistrate appointed [Small PDF icon 112kb]
Nowra Elders to help Aboriginal children at risk [Small PDF icon 26kb]
Southern Highlands solicitor appointed magistrate [Small PDF icon 96kb]
Court Information Bill 2009 [Small PDF icon 331kb]
Civil weddings now double the number of religious [Small PDF icon 31kb]
Security procedures boosted to protect judges [Small PDF icon 35kb]
New Designing Out Crime Centre opens
New magistrate (Teresa O'Sullivan) for the NSW Local Court [Small PDF icon 20kb]
New magistrate (John Chicken) for the NSW Local Court [Small PDF icon 113kb]
BOCSAR releases new crime reports
$87 million waiting to be claimed from estates [Small PDF icon 33kb]


BOCSAR releases new crime reports
Issued: Wednesday 7 October 2009
The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has today released the following reports:

NSW Criminal Courts Statistics 2008
Link to media release >>
Link to pdf report >>

Why are Indigenous imprisonment rates rising?
Link to media release >>
Link to pdf report >>

LGA Crime mapping reports 2008 (Blacktown, Campbelltown, Kogarah, Lake Macquarie, Orange, Port Stephens, Sutherland Shire, Tamworth Regional, Wollondilly, and Wyong)
Link to Crime Maps >>


September
Crown Solicitor's office wins special commendation
Samoan tsunami information
Two new magistrates for NSW Local Courts [Small PDF icon 24kb]
$1 million Gosford Court renovation complete [Small PDF icon 24kb]
Camps to steer Lismore teens away from violence [Small PDF icon 24kb]
New Assistant Crown Solicitor
Two-year CREDIT trial begins
Homeless to do charity work to pay off fines [Small PDF icon 108 kb]
Government must set an example in Alternative Dispute Resolution DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 29 OCTOBER
June Quarterly Crime Statistics released
Court ordered drug treatment cuts reoffending
ADR Blueprint:pre-action protocols report now available for public comment
Evaluation of NSW court liaison services report released


Crown Solicitor’s Office wins special commendation
Issued: Wednesday 30 September 2009
The Crown Solicitor's Office New South Wales was presented with a "Highly Commended" Award for Excellence in Government Legal Service at the recent 2009 Government Lawyers' dinner.

Doug Humphries, Registrar of the AAT and Councillor of the Law Society of NSW, announced the commendation as a celebration of the CSO's success as a commercial office.

The Awards are the premier recognition for government legal service in New South Wales.

Usually given to an individual or small team judged as having made a significant contribution in a project or task or innovation in the delivery of Government Legal Service, the unique commendation covered all staff at the CSO.

The nomination of the whole of the CSO was based on its outstanding and record achievements over the last 12 months on key performance criteria namely client service, new instructions, revenue and profit.

In accepting the commendation, Crown Solicitor Ian Knight praised the CSO's committed and dedicated staff for the outstanding achievements in the past 12 months and for its success as a commercial office competing with the private sector.

He said that excellence in legal services is possible in a public sector environment and should be pursued. "I acknowledge that without the support of the Director General and Attorneys General, the commercialisation of the CSO would not have been the success it has been," said Mr Knight.

The CSO's nomination highlighted its ethical standards, integrity, professional independence and compliance with model litigant, equitable briefing and other key policies. It also showcased the important service the CSO provides to the community and other public sector agencies through its implementation of equity and diversity policies and the training and education of solicitors across the public sector.

Director General, Laurie Glanfield said: "The CSO for many years now has demonstrated the highest level of excellence for a government legal office and I am sure will continue to do so for many years. A well deserved award! Congratulations to everyone for their dedication and commitment to providing first class professional legal services to government."


Samoan tsunami information
Issued: Wednesday 30 September 2009
If families and friends are concerned about the safety of loved ones who may be uncontactable or missing following the recent natural disaster in Samoa and American Samoa, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) can be contacted on 1300 555 135. More information can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website (http://www.dfat.gov.au/) >>

If you require support in relation to the anxiety and trauma of not being able to contact a loved one, please telephone the Family and Friends of Missing Persons Unit (FFMPU) counselling service on 1800 227 772 between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.


Two-year CREDIT trial begins
Issued: Friday 18 September 2009
A two-year trial of the Court Referral of Eligible Defendants Into Treatment (CREDIT) program commenced in Tamworth and Burwood courts on 24 August 2009.

CREDIT aims to reduce reoffending rates by giving local courts defendants the support they need to access a range of programs and services including education, training, treatment, rehabilitation and social welfare assistance. CREDIT is targeted at defendants who are motivated to address issues that relate to their offending behaviour.

The design of the program draws on the principles of ‘problem solving courts’ that use therapeutic jurisprudence as an important component of their processes. These courts use a collaborative problem-solving approach to address underlying issues that contribute to an offender’s behaviour.

For more information on the CREDIT program visit http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/cpd.


New Assistant Crown Solicitor
Issued: Tuesday 15 September 2009
Kirralee Sanders has been appointed as the new Assistant Crown Solicitor - Commercial/Property (Litigation) - at the NSW Crown Solicitor's Office.

Recruited after the recent extension of the Crown Solicitor's practice groups, Kirralee is a highly accomplished technical lawyer. She has worked in the legal profession for over 12 years with leading law firms both in Australia and internationally, most recently with Allen & Overy in London as part of the Corporate group.

Asked about her appointment, Kirralee said, "The Crown Solicitor's team of lawyers is acknowledged as one of the best government teams in Australia. I am excited to be joining such a team especially at this time when it seems that more and more clients are recognising the exceptionally high quality of services provided by the Office at a fraction of the cost delivered by its competitors."

With extensive experience in providing top shelf commercial legal advice and representation and dealing with complex legal information, Kirralee brings a depth of knowledge in the fields of IP law, technology law, insolvency law and contract and corporate law.

Admitted to practice in 1998, she holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws and a Masters of Law (specialising in Information Technology, IP and Telecommunications).

Kirralee's considerable experience covers a wide range of commercial and corporate matters (both contentious and non contentious) including procurement and probity issues, contracts, finance and security, trusts, torts, intellectual property/ technology and licensing as well as risk management - specifically in the public sector context.

Kirralee has a down to earth and pragmatic approach to legal matters which is highly valued and respected by her clients both in the public and private sectors. She worked in-house as Asia Pacific Legal counsel for Fujitsu and was seconded to a number of Commonwealth public sector agencies as part of her prior employment.

"My focus will be on using our technical expertise and genuine passion for our clients to build on the successes and achievements of the team during the past few years," says Kirralee.


Government must set an example in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Issued: Tuesday 15 September 2009
Attorney General John Hatzistergos this morning released the second ADR Blueprint Draft Recommendations Report: ADR in Government at the Government Lawyers Conference at Parliament House.

The Report’s draft recommendations include that the Model Litigant Policy be strengthened to give greater emphasis to the role of ADR in resolving civil claims and litigation, and that the Government prepare an annual public report on its use of ADR.

The Report also recommends that ADR clauses be included in all appropriate government contracts.

Download the Report:
[ADR Blueprint Draft Recommendations Report 2: ADR in Government SSmall PDF icon 269 kb] [Word version 137 kb]

Interested stakeholders and members of the public have the opportunity to comment on the draft recommendations contained in the Report before they are finalised and implemented. Comments are due by 29 October 2009* and should be sent to:

Director ADR
Department of Justice and Attorney General
Locked Bag 5111
Parramatta NSW 2124
Email: Natasha_Mann@agd.nsw.gov.au
Telephone: (02) 8688 7451

*Deadline extended


ADR Blueprint: pre-action protocols report now available for public comment
Issued: Wednesday 2 September 2009
People would be required to take all reasonable steps to resolve their disputes without going to court, according to the first ADR Blueprint Draft Recommendations Report released by the Department of Justice and Attorney General today.

The Report develops proposals contained in the ADR Blueprint Discussion Paper released by the Attorney General John Hatzistergos on 7 May 2009. It takes into account responses received from stakeholders to the ADR Blueprint, and contains draft recommendations for reform.

This is the first of several ADR Blueprint Draft Recommendations Reports to be released by the Department.

Interested stakeholders and members of the public have the opportunity to comment on the draft recommendations contained in the Reports before those recommendations are finalised and implemented. Comments on Draft Recommendations Report 1 are requested by 29 October 2009.

Download the Report:

[Small PDF icon 207kb]

Written submissions to the Report should be emailed to the Director ADR: Natasha_Mann@agd.nsw.gov.au or posted to Director ADR, Department of Justice and Attorney General, Locked Bag 5111, Parramatta NSW 2124, by 29 October 2009. Enquiries can be directed to telephone: (02) 8688 7451.


August
The Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment Program report released
Rates of participation in burglary and motor vehicle theft report released
Equitable Briefing Statistics January to March 2009
New DVD to help people experiencing mortgage stress [Small PDF icon 22kb]
Minimum standards for domestic violence behaviour change programs: issues paper now available for public comment
Is your privacy protected?
Two new magistrates for NSW [Small PDF icon 24kb]
Major review of the rights of victims of crime in NSW [Small PDF icon 153kb]
Help during Missing Persons Week for those in darkness


Equitable Briefing Statistics January to March 2009
Issued: Monday 31 August 2009
The NSW Attorney General is committed to the policy of equitable briefing by government agencies. As such, agencies are required to report to the Attorney General on their briefing practices. These are collated and reported on a quarterly basis for the whole-of-government. The following statistics represent the whole-of-government statistics for equitable briefing practices during the period January to March 2009.

% of Briefs referred to Female Senior Counsel:14.7
% of Fees paid to Female Senior Counsel:3.99
% of Briefs referred to Female Junior Counsel:25.5
% of Fees paid to Female Junior Counsel: 21.2

The Bar Association of NSW advise the following statistical breakdown for counsel in NSW:

Senior Bar Female36 (549)6.2%
Junior Bar Female453 (2,165)20.9%

Please note that the NSW Ombudsman will not agree to provide statistics as he is concerned about perceived erosion of his independence. Therefore the above statistics need to be read as "whole-of-government" except for NSW Ombudsman.


Minimum standards for domestic violence behaviour change programs: issues paper now available for public comment
Issued: Friday 21 August 2009
NSW Cabinet has agreed that a government interagency working group should further progress the work on minimum standards for domestic violence behaviour change programs by developing minimum standards and best practice guidelines in consultation with key stakeholders. The minimum standards will inform decisions about the funding of behaviour change programs and will inform referrals made by government agencies to these programs.

An Issues Paper has been released that relates to a discrete aspect of the development of the minimum standards, the broad processes of a two-tier regulatory framework to encourage compliance to the standards, the scope and definition of programs to which minimum standards will apply, and key aspects of the minimum standards.

Download the Issues Paper:
[Small PDF icon 49kb]
[MS Word 204kb]

Responses to this paper and ensuing consultations will assist in developing the content of the minimum standards as well as the scope and definition of programs to which the minimum standards will apply. Responses will also assist in further developing the regulatory framework including procedures for compliance and monitoring practice.

Written submissions to the Issues Paper should be emailed to the Crime Prevention Division: cpd_unit@agd.nsw.gov.au or posted to the Manager, Domestic and Family Violence Team, Department of Justice and Attorney General, Locked Bag 5111, Parramatta NSW 2124, by 25 September 2009. Enquiries can be directed to telephone: (02) 8688 6761.

Targeted consultations will be held throughout September 2009.


Is your privacy protected?
Issued: Friday 14 August 2009
Will the law protect your privacy against unwanted intrusion from your neighbour’s security cameras? What action can you take if your ex-partner posts your private videos on YouTube? How can the media’s role in promoting free speech be balanced against the need to protect individual privacy?

Never before has it been so easy for one person to invade the privacy of another. Advances in technology allow moments once considered private to be captured and broadcast to the world. Yet, despite increasing public concern about this gradual erosion of privacy, the law remains largely unclear.

In a report released today, the NSW Law Reform Commission recommends that there should be an action for invasion of privacy. The report clarifies when an individual should be able to claim compensation and places limitations on the action.

The Chairperson of the NSW Law Reform Commission, the Hon James Wood AO QC, comments that “the action is only applicable where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy that is not overridden by public interests such as freedom of speech. We advocate a common sense approach, whereby privacy interests are weighted against other important concerns such as the public’s ‘right to know’ and the protection of national security”.

The report recommends that the new cause of action only be introduced as part of national law reform so that privacy law would be uniform throughout Australia.

Copies of Invasion of Privacy (Report 120) may be obtained from the Commission or downloaded from the Commission’s website www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lrc.


Help during Missing Persons Week for those in darkness
Issued: Sunday 2 August 2009
“Not knowing is like living in darkness”. That’s the campaign tagline of this year’s National Missing Persons Week and it captures how many people feel when a loved-one goes missing.

The NSW Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit provides free counselling and other services to people left behind ‘in darkness’, and is anticipating one of its busiest periods of the year during Missing Persons Week, which runs from August 2-8.

“Missing Persons Week raises awareness about the plight of people who have disappeared, and it can result in happy endings with people being found safe and well,” said Sarah Wayland, Coordinator of the Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit.

“However, the week can also be a painful time for people whose loss remains unresolved and the Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit will be there for them if they need support.”

Research shows that for every person that disappears, there will be around 12 people directly affected.

“The stress of not knowing what has happened to someone can cause sleeplessness, affect work performance and lead to family tensions as each person deals with the disappearance in different ways. We help people develop strategies to cope with their situation,” said Ms Wayland.

The Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit also provides referrals to search agencies and can assist with reunions if a person is found and wishes to reestablish contact with their family. The unit, which formed in 2000, is part of the Attorney General’s Department of NSW.

National Missing Persons Week 2009 will examine the issues surrounding the disappearances of people with dementia or memory loss. Australia has an ageing population and the risk of dementia increases with age. A significant proportion of the 35,000 people reported missing to police in Australia each year have dementia.

“People with dementia who go missing tend to do so inadvertently after wandering away from care. Memory loss can make it extremely difficult for them to find their way home,” Ms Wayland said.

Community members are encouraged to contact police if they see an older person with dementia who appears to be lost.

For more information about Missing Persons Week visit: www.missingpersons.gov.au.

For more information about the Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit visit: www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/missingpersons.


July
New laws target billion dollar ID crime industry [Small PDF icon 160kb]
Operation to target high incidence of petrol theft [Small PDF icon 36kb]
Chief Justice to head corruption inquiry in Caribbean [Small PDF icon 20kb]
Aboriginal artists brighten Nowra Court
Major upgrade of Supreme Court building
Courts given greater say in sentences on appeal [Small PDF icon 24kb]
Report backs NSW approach to serious sex offenders [Small PDF icon 46kb]
New funding will help local women seeking AVOs (Maitland) [Small PDF icon 26kb]
New funding will help local women seeking AVOs (Newcastle) [Small PDF icon 26kb]
Sydney barrister appointed a District Court judge [Small PDF icon 21kb]
IR Judge appointed to NSW Supreme Court [Small PDF icon 20kb]
Renovation of Parramatta Courthouse complete [Small PDF icon 36kb]
Study finds more juveniles held on remand [Small PDF icon 27kb]
Fee relief for mentally ill and people with disabilities [Small PDF icon 24kb]
New Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor for ODPP [Small PDF icon 108 kb]


Aboriginal artists brighten Nowra Court
Issued: Wednesday 15 July 2009
Some of Nowra’s most gifted Aboriginal artists will showcase their work at an upcoming exhibition at Nowra Courthouse.

“The artistic talent emerging from Nowra is extraordinary and this exhibition will give the community an insight into what our local Aboriginal artists are capable of,” said Gail Wallace, Nowra Circle Sentencing Coordinator.

The exhibition will feature up to 70 traditional and contemporary artworks created by established artists and TAFE students.

Ms Wallace said the two-week exhibition would brighten-up the courthouse and help to break down barriers between Aboriginal people and the justice system.

“This exhibition is designed to challenge negative stereotypes of Aboriginal people and to encourage more Aboriginal people to visit their local courthouse,” said Ms Wallace.

“Nowra Courthouse offers a range of valuable services, such as birth registrations and information about wills and family law, however some members of the Aboriginal community are still not utilising these services because they are intimidated by the courts.”

The exhibition will be launched at Nowra Courthouse at 11:45am on Thursday, July 16.

All artworks will be for sale, with all proceeds to go directly to the artist.

Ms Wallace said the court would continue to build cooperative relationships with Aboriginal communities through programs such as Circle Sentencing and Care Circles.

“Nowra pioneered the Circle Sentencing program which gives Aboriginal Elders an important role in the sentencing and rehabilitation of Aboriginal offenders,” Ms Wallace said.

“The state’s first Care Circles program recently began in Nowra, which is enabling respected members of the Aboriginal community to assist the court in making decisions about the welfare of Aboriginal children who are at risk of abuse or neglect.”


June
Youth Conduct Orders to arrest juvenile crime [Small PDF icon 33kb]
Increased use of free dispute mediation services [Small PDF icon 24kb]
Kempsey Police to consult Dunghutti Community Justice Group
Equitable Briefing Statistics released
Parliament passes the Personal Property Securities (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2009
$3 million to establish new Information Commissioner [Small PDF icon 54kb]
Parliament passes court order debt repayment law [Small PDF icon 23kb]
Waverley Court reaches out to Aboriginal community [Small PDF icon 34kb]
The wrong answer to the wrong question: the Charter of Rights and abuses of over-centralised power
Sydney SC appointed Supreme Court Judge [Small PDF icon 20kb]
Law Society of NSW welcomes State Government budget
Investing in better legal services for NSW [Small PDF icon 78kb]
Submission to the National Human Rights Consultation Committee [Small PDF icon 458kb]
New Commissioner of Land & Environment Court [Small PDF icon 24kb]
NSW Recorded Crime Statistics Quarterly update released
John Hatzistergos MLC signs pledge to support the fight against heart disease
Grieving families given more say in Coronial matters [Small PDF icon 34kb]
New agency to help the vulnerable with finances [Small PDF icon 24kb]
Former Law Council President appointed a Judge [Small PDF icon 23kb]
New Commissioner for Land & Environment Court [Small PDF icon 21kb]
New laws on inheritance pass Parliament [Small PDF icon 33kb]
New Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions [Small PDF icon 24kb]
Free insurance advice clinic for storm victims [Small PDF icon 21kb]
Country NSW to get two new Children's Court Magistrates [Small PDF icon 153kb]
First President appointed to NSW Children's Court [Small PDF icon 146kb]
NSW Sheriff's Office moves to Parramatta [Small PDF icon 21kb]


Kempsey Police to consult Dunghutti Community Justice Group
Issued: Wednesday 24 June 2009
Kempsey police have agreed to use the Dunghutti Aboriginal Community Justice Group as their formal consultative body on a range of law and justice issues that affect local Aboriginal people.

“The Dunghutti Community Justice Group comprises 30 Aboriginal volunteer members who are combining their expertise and local knowledge to develop practical solutions to crime issues facing Kempsey,” said the group’s coordinator Debra Morris.

“The group is delighted to be working with Kempsey police to help reduce re-offending and to break down barriers between Aboriginal communities and the law.”

Dunghutti Community Justice Group members will receive training that will allow them to assist police in the cautioning of young offenders and to participate in Youth Justice Conferencing.

Youth Justice Conferencing enables a victim to confront an offender about the impact of their crime and discuss a suitable outcome plan, such as repairing damage to property or community work.

The coordinator of NSW Police Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers, Cleonie Quayle recently attended a meeting with the Dunghutti Community Justice Group in Kempsey to discuss better communications strategies between police and the Aboriginal community.


Equitable Briefing Statistics released
Issued: Monday 22 June 2009
Despite more than half of honours graduates from NSW Law Schools being women, they remain significantly under-represented at the Bar.

Recognising the inequity, the Attorney General’s Department (AGD) implemented an Equitable Briefing Policy in April 2004. It requires that all reasonable endeavours be made to identify female counsel in the relevant practice area and to genuinely consider engaging such counsel.

The policy also requires the regular monitoring and reporting of the gender of counsel engaged.

The implementation of the AGD Equitable Briefing Policy has led to an increase in the number of female counsel being briefed from less than twenty percent to over thirty percent. The AGD aims to increase this proportion to fifty percent.

The more work that is referred to female counsel, the more experience they will gain. In turn, the continued development of female counsel provides them with greater opportunity.

NSW Cabinet approved adoption of the policy across the whole of the NSW public sector on 8 July 2008, with NSW sector agencies to begin quarterly reporting from October 2008.

The statistics for whole-of-government for the period October to December 2008 are provided below:

Percentage of briefs referred to female senior counsel:16.1%
Percentage of briefs referred to male senior counsel:83.9%

Percentage of fees paid to female senior counsel:12.2%
Percentage of fees paid to male senior counsel:87.8%

Percentage of briefs referred to female junior counsel:28.0%
Percentage of briefs referred to male junior counsel:72.0%

Percentage of fees paid to female junior counsel:18.6%
Percentage of fees paid to male junior counsel:81.4%

The Bar Association of NSW advises the following statistical breakdown for counsel in NSW:

Female senior counsel:6.2%
Male senior counsel:93.8%

Female junior counsel:20.9%
Male junior counsel:79.1%


Parliament passes the Personal Property Securities (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2009
Issued: Thursday 18 June 2009
The NSW Parliament has passed the Personal Property Securities (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2009. The legislation provides for the referral of power to the Commonwealth Parliament to establish a single national legislative scheme for the regulation and registration of security interests in personal property.

Passage of the Bill will allow the Commonwealth Government to introduce the Commonwealth Personal Property Securities (PPS) Bill 2009 into the Federal Parliament.

The reforms will establish national comprehensive rules governing security interests in personal property. Central to the reforms will be a clear set of rules for security interests in personal property and for ordering priorities between competing secured interests in personal property, and the creation of a single national personal property securities register.

The proposed new PPS arrangements will apply consistently throughout Australia and make it easier for businesses to operate across State and Territory borders. They should promote more certain and consistent outcomes, lower transaction and compliance costs for all parties involved in PPS transactions and encourage more diverse financing options.

Further background to the reforms is set out in the Better Regulation Statement [Small PDF icon 29kb] >>

Both the NSW referral legislation and the Commonwealth PPS Bill may be viewed and downloaded on the NSW Parliament website >>


May
Pacific Island Elders to help bring offenders to justice [Small PDF icon 24kb]
NSW Government acts on Coroner's recommendations [Small PDF icon 134kb]
Forum on prison sentences comes to Campbelltown [Small PDF icon 34kb]
Former Bar Association President appointed Judge [Small PDF icon 24kb]
New Deputy Chief Magistrate appointed [Small PDF icon 23kb]
Kempsey midnight basketball slam dunks crime [Small PDF icon 27kb]
Plan to prevent crime in Marrickville [Small PDF icon 26kb]
Second round of bikie laws pass Parliament [Small PDF icon 33kb]
One-stop shop for victims of sexual assault [Small PDF icon 44kb]
Five kilometre pro-bono walk to mark Law Week [Small PDF icon 81kb]
Free information forum on mortgage problems at Wagga [Small PDF icon 26 kb]
Free information forum on mortgage problems at Albury [Small PDF icon 39 kb]
Resolving everyday legal disputes made easy [Small PDF icon 45kb]
Law Week 11-17 May: Media Releases
House-breaking child sex offenders to face life [Small PDF icon 26kb]
No connection to book [Small PDF icon 22kb]
Plan to reduce crime in Canada Bay gets green light [Small PDF icon 32kb]
Blueprint for Alternative Dispute Resolution in NSW Discussion Paper

April
Free legal advice in State's west during Law Week [Small PDF icon 28kb]
Westmead Coroner's Court declared safe
Amendments will streamline criminal trials [Small PDF icon 34kb]
Baby found at waste depot to be laid to rest
Screws tighten on number plate thieves [Small PDF icon 25kb]
Government to work with victims and Hardie [Small PDF icon 25kb]
Free help for people with mortgage problems [Small PDF icon 26kb]
Top 10 baby suburbs surprise results [Small PDF icon 37kb]
Agreement on fines for lawyers who overcharge [Small PDF icon 30kb]
NSW seeks to fine overcharging lawyers [Small PDF icon 40kb]
Judge appointed President of Children's Court [Small PDF icon 29kb]
Sydney SC appointed as Supreme Court judge [Small PDF icon 24kb]
NSW to ask Feds to go after bikie companies [Small PDF icon 33kb]
NSW Recorded Crime Statistics 2008 annual report released
Support for people who know missing persons: free public forum Saturday 4 April [Small PDF icon 50 kb]
Sydney SC appointed as District Court Judge [Small PDF icon 24kb]
New Judge for the Land and Environment Court [Small PDF icon 25kb]
New Public Trustee Office for Bathurst [Small PDF icon 24kb]


Westmead Coroner’s Court declared safe
Issued: Thursday 30 April 2009
Asbestos fibres have been removed from Westmead Coroner’s Court and independent tests show the building is safe for reoccupation.

The Attorney General’s Department of NSW is implementing all recommendations made by Vernon Dalton AM, who conducted an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the discovery of asbestos at the site.

Recommendations already implemented include:
  • Sealing the area under the main building at Westmead Coroner’s Court with concrete
  • Sealing a door in the basement of the court, which leads to the underfloor space
  • Reporting the outcomes of decontamination procedures and retesting of the site to the Attorney General’s Department of NSW and Workcover NSW.
Westmead Coroner’s Court was closed in February after asbestos fibres were detected in a basement storage area and in an isolated component of the basement’s air conditioning system.

The building was unoccupied at the time of the closure following the transferral of the Westmead registry to Glebe Coroner’s Court last December.

The Attorney General’s Department has identified over 100 past and present employees who may have worked in the affected section of the building. Each person has been offered free medical health examinations.

The Department will continue to conduct annual testing for asbestos at Westmead Coroner’s Court.

Mr Dalton’s independent report is now available on Lawlink >>


OFFICE OF THE STATE CORONER
Baby found at waste depot to be laid to rest
Issued: Monday 27 April
The body of an unidentified baby boy discovered at a Sydney waste facility will be buried on Thursday.

Baby Nicholas was found at the Macarthur Resource Recovery Park at Narellan in Sydney’s southwest on 11 February 2009.

A funeral for baby Nicholas will take place at 11.00am on Thursday 30 April at the Chapel of the Resurrection at Rookwood Cemetery, Rookwood.

The service will be non-denominational and members of the public are welcome to attend.

Anyone with information about baby Nicholas should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Camden Detectives on (02) 4655 0552. Police have also encouraged the mother of the child to come forward.

Staff at the Office of the State Coroner named the unidentified baby “Nicholas” after the Patron Saint of Children.

The post mortem results on baby Nicholas are yet to be finalised.


March
Spouses to get estates when no wills are left [Small PDF icon 56kb]
Appointment to Victims Compensation Tribunal [Small PDF icon 27kb]
Deputy Chief Magistrate goes to District Court [Small PDF icon 24kb]
Funding boost will help women seeking AVOs [Small PDF icon 25kb]
Council awarded $50,000 crime prevention grant [Small PDF icon 43kb]
Sheriff's Officer commended for help during fires [PDF VERSION]
Tamworth to trial new offenders program [PDF VERSION]
Focus on legal advice for the elderly [PDF VERSION]
Spotlight on standard non-parole periods [PDF VERSION]
New legal advice service for Tweed Valley [PDF VERSION]
Law change would keep bad drivers off the roads [PDF VERSION]
Plan targets crime prevention in Parramatta [PDF VERSION]
Impact of DNA testing | Full report
New appointments in the Land and Environment Court [PDF VERSION]
Keeping them safe: A shared approach to child wellbeing - Government response
District Court Judge to head Children's Court [PDF VERSION]
Lawyer fees for will disputes curbed from today [PDF VERSION]


February
Asbestos at Westmead Coroner's Court [PDF VERSION]
What caused the decrease in sexual assault clear-up rates? Media release | Full report in PDF
Does receiving an amphetamine charge increase the likelihood of a future violent charge? Media release | Full report in PDF
New appointments within NSW courts [PDF VERSION]
Legal advice offered for people who are deaf [PDF VERSION]
Fees for Protective Commissioner to be reduced [PDF VERSION]
ADB breakfast seminar for lawyers
Leichardt and Woollahra LGA crime mapping reports released
Clearer legislation for young people making decisions about their health care
Free insurance advice for flood victims [PDF VERSION]
New graffiti laws ban marker pens [PDF VERSION]
Circle Sentencing Program to expand [PDF VERSION]
New Supreme Court Judge appointed [PDF VERSION]
Justice experts to lead public forums on crime and sentencing [PDF VERSION]
Drug Court celebrates 10th anniversary [PDF VERSION]
NSW Courts attract international attention [PDF VERSION]


ADB breakfast seminar for lawyers
Issued: Tuesday 24 February
The Anti-Discrimination Board will be running a breakfast seminar for lawyers. It will specifically deal with principles of equal opportunity, law relating to discrimination and harassment, OH&S, employment law and management of a legal practice. Participating would fulfill the mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) requirement of rule 176.

The trainer is Margaret White B.Juris, LLM, Cert.IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, who is a senior workplace relations consultant with the ADB. She has many years' experience as a lawyer and educator and has a high level of expertise in EEO, discrimination, harassment and related issues. Margaret has run MCLE seminars for numerous government and private lawyers during her eight years with the Board.

Date:Monday 23 March 2009
Time:7.00 - 8.30 am
Venue:Hyde Park Forum, Level 1, Hyde Park Inn, 271 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000
Fees: $150 + GST (includes breakfast)

For more information about the seminar please contact Margaret_White@agd.nsw.gov.au, telephone: (02) 9268 5528.

To register please fill out the registration form and fax it to Milly Stylli, fax number (02) 9268 5500. If you have any questions about your registration, telephone (02) 9268 5530.


January
Central West barrister appointed as magistrate [PDF VERSION]
Call for submissions on new surrogacy laws [PDF VERSION]
Surrogacy paper available on Lawlink
More help for homeowners in mortgage stress [PDF VERSION]
Government welcomes news of fewer Section 10s [PDF VERSION]
New BOCSAR report: The impact of the high range PCA guideline judgment on sentencing for PCA offences
BOCSAR 40th Anniversay Symposium: registrations close Monday 9 February
Public Defenders Annual Criminal Law Conference - 7 & 8 March 2009
Record demand for free legal information
Public comment sought on Dust Diseases paper
NSW Government’s tough stance on crime working
Join the review of the Dust Diseases Claims Resolution Process


Record demand for free legal information
Issued: Wednesday 7 January 2009
NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos is encouraging anyone with a legal problem to take advantage of the State Government’s free legal information service – LawAccess NSW, which answered a record number of enquiries last year.

Mr Hatzistergos said LawAccess, which began in 2002, provides free legal information, advice and referrals on a large range of issues from child custody and divorce to traffic offences and debt.

“LawAccess NSW answered just under 180,000 enquiries last year,” he said.

“The number of people helped by LawAccess rose by 23 per cent in 2008 and 95 per cent of users surveyed said they were highly satisfied with the service.

“The most common enquiries were child care arrangements under family law, debt and credit issues, traffic offences, domestic violence and divorce.

“The rise in demand can be attributed to a state-wide awareness campaign to reach rural and regional local assistance centres such as Centrelink, who are able to refer people on.”

The service, which works closely with Legal Aid NSW, Community Legal Centres and Local Courts, is available by phoning 1300 888 529 or visiting www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au

Mr Hatzistergos said people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities can contact LawAccess through the Telephone Interpreter service on 131 450.

“Over the last 12 months, around 1250 calls were made to the telephone interpreter service, which is a 58 per cent increase on the previous year,” he said.

“The service is helping to ensure people from different cultural backgrounds are not disadvantaged by language barriers and can learn about NSW laws.”

LawAccess is a partnership between the Attorney General’s Department of NSW, Legal Aid NSW, the Law Society of NSW and the NSW Bar Association.

This year, LawAccess will promote its interpreter services on 17 SBS community radio stations. The first radio promotions in Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese will coincide with the Chinese New Year and Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

To contact LawAccess: 1300 888 529 or www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au


Public comment sought on Dust Diseases paper
Issued: Tuesday 6 January 2009
Public comment is being invited on a new issues paper about the process for making asbestos-related compensation claims in the Dust Diseases Tribunal.

NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos said the paper was part of a government review of the Dust Diseases Claims Resolution Process (CRP), which was introduced in 2005 to improve the handling of claims and to reduce costs.

“Dust diseases can take up to 30 years to manifest and once they take hold, sufferers need to have their case heard quickly,” Mr Hatzistergos said.

“Currently, parties are required to exchange information early and undertake mediation.

“We are now working to determine if further reforms are needed to reduce legal, administrative and other costs.”

Copies of the discussion paper and information on how to make a submission are available at www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lpd or by phoning 8061 9238.

Submissions close on 20 February 2009.


NSW Government’s tough stance on crime working
Issued: Tuesday 6 January 2009
Attorney General John Hatzistergos today welcomed a report showing NSW courts are imprisoning higher numbers of criminals.

Mr Hatzistergos said the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) report on bail and sentencing trends between 1993 and 2007 showed the Government’s approach to bail and sentencing laws was delivering results.

“There is a common misconception that courts are becoming more lenient in administering justice to perpetrators of serious crime,” he said.

“This can diminish public confidence in the justice system and detract attention from the deterrent effect of the penalties.

“However, this report disproves this misconception”.

Mr Hatzistergos said the report showed that defendants were twice as likely to be refused bail as they were 15 years ago.

“NSW now has the most stringent bail laws in Australia and we remain committed to ensuring the community is properly protected while defendants are awaiting trial”, he said.

BOCSAR also found NSW courts were sentencing more offenders to prison and for longer periods of time.

“Due to our tough law reform agenda, NSW now has the strongest sentencing regime in the country”, Mr Hatzistergos said.

“The Government is committed to reducing re-offending by offering opportunities for rehabilitation wherever possible.

“Nevertheless, the trend in imprisonment is consistent with the community’s views on the need for strong punishment.

“It also helps reduce and prevent crime by keeping offenders off the streets and by sending a strong message of deterrence to others”.


Join the review of the Dust Diseases Claims Resolution Process
Issued: Monday 5 January 2009
Feedback is being encouraged from members of the public to assist the NSW Government review the Dust Diseases Claims Resolution Process (CRP).

Key considerations in the review include:
  • the impact of the CRP on legal, administrative and other costs
  • whether further reforms should be implemented to reduce legal, administrative and other costs.

An Issues Paper has been prepared to facilitate discussion for the review.

To view the Issues Paper, submit your comments or to learn more about the review refer to the website: www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lpd
































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