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[…]

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[…]

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[…]