NSW Courts Articles

Woman Steals Handbag After Convincing Judge of Her Good Character

Every now and again, a story turns up in the media you just couldn’t make up, no matter how hard you tried. This one involves an Illawarra woman who allegedly stole the prosecutor’s handbag from Wollongong District Courthouse, in full view of CCTV, only moments after she conducted an ‘award winning performance’ to convince the… Read more »

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Winning Difficult Bail Applications

A recent Commonwealth case has provided some guidance on meeting stringent bail tests in serious cases. The applicant, a 16-year-old boy known as ‘NK’, was charged under section 102.6 of the Criminal Code Act (Cwth) with ‘funding a terrorist organisation’; an offence which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment and triggers a “rebuttal… Read more »

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Legal Aid Struggling to Help Family Violence Victims

National Legal Aid Chair Suzan Cox QC believes new domestic violence figures highlight the importance of a strong legal aid service to help those unable to afford private legal representation, especially in family law cases. “The data shows that underfunded legal aid commissions are confronting high numbers of disintegrating low-income families who are wrestling with… Read more »

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Mandatory Pre-Trial Defence Disclosures: Removing Legal Protections

The Criminal Procedure Amendment (Mandatory Pre-trial Defence Disclosure) Bill was introduced by the NSW government in 2013, and passed by both houses of Parliament. It is embodied in Part 3, Division 3 of the Criminal Procedure Act (‘the Act’) which essentially requires the prosecution and defence in District or Supreme Court criminal trial proceedings to serve… Read more »

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Anti-Protest Laws: Sending People to Court for Expressing an Opinion

By Andrew Knezevic The ability to peacefully protest is a democratic freedom that has been enjoyed by Australians for many decades, historically protected by the common law. However, an announcement last month by NSW Premier Mike Baird means the right to protest is severely under threat. Civil libertarian groups are especially concerned about the ability to… Read more »

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Technology Fights Domestic Violence

By Sonia Hickey The statistics paint a horribly bleak picture: One woman is killed by her partner every week in Australia. According to figures published by Destroy the Joint’s Counting Dead Women Initiative, 16 women have already died this year as a result of family violence. In 2015, a staggering 79 women were killed at… Read more »

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Delay of Complaint in Child Sexual Assault Cases

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues, several proposals for protecting children against future abuse have already been discussed, including changes in how the law treats complaints made years or decades after an alleged sexual assault. This blog looks at the criminal justice system’s treatment of delayed complaint, and whether… Read more »

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Lab Technician Falsifies DNA Evidence

A lab technician working at a New Jersey State Police drug testing unit has been caught fabricating DNA test results, which has cast a shadow over the reliability of 8,000 criminal convictions. Mr Kamalkant Shah was discovered to have recorded results about a suspected marijuana sample before it was analysed, a technique known as ‘dry-labbing’…. Read more »

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History of the NSW Court System

Today, there are 132 Magistrates and over 100 courthouses across NSW. With a range of jurisdictions including Local Courts, District courts, Supreme courts and the Court of Criminal Appeal, the NSW court system is complex and far more sophisticated than it once was. The Early Magistrates It was 1788 when the first Magistrates in Australia… Read more »

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