Cardinal George Pell was found guilty of five charges for child sexual offences.

High Court quashes child sexual assault convictions for Cardinal George Pell: Pell v The Queen — [2020] HCA 12

In a much-anticipated decision, the High Court has today delivered judgment for the appeal of Cardinal George Pell, the highest ranking Catholic official to ever be charged and convicted of child sexual assault offences.  By an unanimous judgment, those convictions have now been quashed and Cardinal Pell is a free man.  This case will obviously Read more about High Court quashes child sexual assault convictions for Cardinal George Pell: Pell v The Queen — [2020] HCA 12[…]

“Stay Clear of This Place!”: Cheng v Lok, a successful defamation suit against an erroneous Google Review

How badly can a negative, and wholly inaccurate, Google review affect your reputation and business? Can the law properly protect your reputation in the age of anonymous, online publication? These very contemporary questions was the subject of Cheng v Lok 1 , a recent defamation action brought by Adelaide barrister Gordon Cheng (in an unaccustomed Read more about “Stay Clear of This Place!”: Cheng v Lok, a successful defamation suit against an erroneous Google Review[…]

Recent amendments to the Evidence Act 1995 NSW: Tendency and Coincidence  

The law relating to tendency and coincidence evidence has recently been amended in NSW in a very significant way, in particular for child sexual assault offences. The Evidence Amendment (Tendency and Coincidence) Bill 2020 is due to commence on 1 May 2020 and will significantly amend the tendency and coincidence provisions in the Evidence Act Read more about Recent amendments to the Evidence Act 1995 NSW: Tendency and Coincidence  […]

Hearings, trials, appeals, bail and sentencing: Court Response To COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an extraordinary challenge for the criminal justice system, never seen before in Australian law.  Within a very short period, the Courts, as an essential service in the community, have sought to adapt to the changing environment brought about by evolving health crisis with the need to adopt social distancing practices Read more about Hearings, trials, appeals, bail and sentencing: Court Response To COVID-19[…]

Bail and the COVID-19 pandemic: vulnerabilities of prison inmates

SUMMARY: Rakielbakhour v DPP [2020] NSWSC 323. Correctional facility inmates not included in COVID-19 epidemic response laws The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis on many fronts.  From 31 March 2020, new laws came into effect that prohibits persons from leaving their place residence without a reasonable excuse.  This is one of many reforms that is Read more about Bail and the COVID-19 pandemic: vulnerabilities of prison inmates[…]

Police Powers and COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Lockdown Laws in New South Wales

At midnight on Tuesday 31 March 2020, strict new laws came into effect for residents in New South Wales which have effectively brought about a tough lockdown as part of the Government’s response to slow the transmission of the coronavirus causing COVID-19. By virtue of the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020, the NSW Read more about Police Powers and COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Lockdown Laws in New South Wales[…]

O’Brien Solicitors: “Business as Usual” during COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors continues to operate during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Some key operational changes to the firm are listed below. Importantly, our areas of specialisation- Criminal Defence, Civil Litigation for Police Misconduct, and Defamation – continue to accept new clients. Additionally, all current legal matters with existing clients are progressing as per Read more about O’Brien Solicitors: “Business as Usual” during COVID-19 (Coronavirus)[…]

Defamation claim of the Yolngu people in the Northern Territory versus Channel 7 and the Sunrise program

Our principal lawyer Peter O’Brien, and solicitor Stewart O’Connell, were in the news last week. This publicity related to the defamation claim of the Yolgnu people in the Northern Territory versus Channel 7 and content broadcast on their Sunrise program. You can discover more about the media coverage in the following links: Guardian: Channel Seven settles defamation Read more about Defamation claim of the Yolngu people in the Northern Territory versus Channel 7 and the Sunrise program[…]

What would you tell a child to do if they were about to be strip searched?

We recently had an question asked to us via our Facebook page by a concerned mother: What would you tell a child to do if they were about to be strip searched? We would suggest that in that situation, the young person asks to speak to a lawyer. In addition, it would be appropriate to Read more about What would you tell a child to do if they were about to be strip searched?[…]

Press Release – Benjamin Batterham Found Not Guilty by Newcastle Jury

Benjamin Batterham, now 36 years old, was at his home, in Hamilton, an inner city suburb of Newcastle, having drinks with a friend in the early hours of 26 March 2016 when he saw a man in his house, coming out of his baby daughter’s room. The man was holding what would later be found Read more about Press Release – Benjamin Batterham Found Not Guilty by Newcastle Jury[…]

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