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Our Perspectives on Current Criminal Law Issues

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[…]

Indigenous crime is down, imprisonment up. Wait, what?

Indigenous crime rates are down, and down by a lot. BOCSAR has recently released statistics on the period from 2001 to 2015, which show that arrests of Indigenous people for violent offences have dropped by 37 per cent, and for property crime by 33 per cent. Amongst young Indigenous males, arrests for violent crimes have Read more about Indigenous crime is down, imprisonment up. Wait, what?[…]

NTRC Day One: Setting the Stage

The first substantive day of hearings of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children introduced a few of the larger themes that the commission will be dealing with. Those themes are: The “Inquiry Mentality” A key concern amongst Indigenous leaders is that the current royal commission will merely be another talkfest (the Read more about NTRC Day One: Setting the Stage[…]

What’s Happening in The Northern Territory?

There are several Don Dale-related legal proceedings happening in the Northern Territory, so at times they tend to blend into one another. Each of these proceedings, though, has different legal (and social) significance, so it is worth spending a bit of time to untangle them from each other. There are three main proceedings: the royal Read more about What’s Happening in The Northern Territory?[…]

Northern Territory Royal Commission: Day One

Day One of the Royal Commission wasn’t day one in any substantive sense – it was merely a directions hearing, the purpose of which was “to inform key stakeholders and the public about the nature and scope of the Commission”. Regarding the scope of the Commission, it has become clear today that the inquiry will focus Read more about Northern Territory Royal Commission: Day One[…]

Juvenile Justice Done Wrong, and How to Do It Right

Before the Northern Territory Royal Commission begins in October, let’s take a short breather to remind ourselves what it is we’re examining. Don Dale showed us the worst of what juvenile detention can be. Four Corners broadcast footage of children as young as thirteen being abused, assaulted and belittled. These children – denied opportunities and Read more about Juvenile Justice Done Wrong, and How to Do It Right[…]

Under cross-examination, ADF Vice-Chief admits guilt of institution

During cross-examination by Peter O’Brien, Vice-Chief Ray Griggs talked openly about the ADF’s failure to protect victims of child sexual abuse. Griggs’ comments came on the very last day of the Royal Commission’s 8-day inquiry into the Australian Defence Force. Peter has been representing three survivors of child sexual abuse at the Royal Commission. One Read more about Under cross-examination, ADF Vice-Chief admits guilt of institution[…]