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 children wanted to 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[…]