Peter O’Brien on Current Issues in Juvenile Justice

The Northern Territory is not alone when it comes to flagrant human rights abuses against some of the most vulnerable children in our community. Cases like Udin Sarfin’s and Saiful Baco’s illustrate the Commonwealth’s preparedness to put political expediency and populism before its concerns for basic civil liberties, including commitments under the United Nations Convention Read more about Peter O’Brien on Current Issues in Juvenile Justice[…]

Royal Commission finds sexual abuse rife in the Australian Defence Force

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its report into the Australian Defence Force (ADF) this week.   The Commission’s discoveries are horrific.   It found that at the institutions investigated, the HMAS Leeuwin, the Army Apprentice School in Balcombe and the ADF Cadets, child sexual abuse was widespread.   These Read more about Royal Commission finds sexual abuse rife in the Australian Defence Force[…]

Improper practices in youth detention: a national crisis?

In the wake of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, we have been heartened to see other State and Territory governments conduct reports into the conditions of their own juvenile detention centres. However, what has emerged from these reports are chilling stories of abuse, self-harm & the Read more about Improper practices in youth detention: a national crisis?[…]

Why Access to Justice is Access to a Lawyer

When you think of what ‘justice’ means, your mind may turn to a familiar image of a blindfolded lady holding scales. We trust that, like those scales suggest, a good criminal justice system will afford fairness to those accused of breaking the law, ‘blind’ to a defendant’s wealth, power or status. We know better than Read more about Why Access to Justice is Access to a Lawyer[…]

Victoria passes new legislation reversing onus of proof for child abuse matters

In recent days the Victorian government passed an Australian-first piece of legislation that signals a huge reform in how child abuse cases are to be prosecuted. Entitled the Wrongs Amendment (Organisational Child Abuse) Act 2017, it has the effect of reversing the onus of proof onto organisations accused of failing to prevent child abuse. This Read more about Victoria passes new legislation reversing onus of proof for child abuse matters[…]

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission: The Good & The Bad

Earlier this year, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (‘LECC’) replaced the previous Police Integrity Commission (‘PIC’) and a number of other institutions as the central committee for oversight of police in NSW. However, the benefits for accountability and efficiency are weakened by the government’s lackluster implementation and its failure to reform a key area of Read more about The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission: The Good & The Bad[…]

Peter O’Brien interviewed about Dylan Voller on 60 Minutes

Last night, Dylan Voller was interviewed on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes program. He spoke bravely about his past, the psychological impact of his detention and his hopes for the future. Peter O’Brien, Dylan Voller’s lawyer, also appeared on the program. He spoke about Dylan and the toxic environment of the youth detention centre where he was Read more about Peter O’Brien interviewed about Dylan Voller on 60 Minutes[…]

Asylum seekers on Manus Island: the new High Court case & why it’s important

In a case that could change immigration policy as we know it and provide fresh hope to refugees trapped in uncertainty, the High Court of Australia is hearing a new challenge to the Australian government’s detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. O’Brien Solicitors‘ client, the plaintiff, is a detainee who Read more about Asylum seekers on Manus Island: the new High Court case & why it’s important[…]

Inside the Numbers: the Child Abuse Royal Commission

The mind has difficulty processing numbers that are too large. Earlier this week the Royal Commission heard that members of the Catholic Church allegedly abused 4,444 children between 1980 and 2015. The abuse of so many children is, as Dan Box of The Australian said, “criminality on a scale previously unimagined.” With numbers that large, you Read more about Inside the Numbers: the Child Abuse Royal Commission[…]

Dylan Voller gives evidence before the NT Royal Commission

As a firm, we are extremely proud of Dylan Voller for his appearance before the NT Royal Commission. Dylan gave evidence about truly inhumane treatment he has suffered, yet remained articulate and courageous throughout. We hope that Dylan’s bravery in telling his story will lead to real change in the criminal justice system. See key Read more about Dylan Voller gives evidence before the NT Royal Commission[…]