Sentencing Karen Ristevski’s Killer

The appalling Ristevski sentence highlights a real problem in our criminal justice system and serious consideration should be given to amending aspects of our criminal procedure.  A person accused of a crime who pleads guilty, is often given the benefit of a reduction in sentence as consideration for his guilty plea. It is dependent upon ...

With Friends Like These …

John Howard’s disgraceful comments that Pell’s convictions for raping and molesting children doesn’t change his opinion of Pell at all, are clearly the ramblings of an individual who is struggling for relevance and has lost touch with reality. For Tony Abbott to express similar support, once again confirms that he has lost the capacity, if he ...

Global Pariah

The Catholic church is fast becoming a global pariah. In an extraordinarily self-righteous pronouncement, the church announced that is going to ignore the findings of the Royal Commission and will flaunt the laws in SA requiring the reporting of any admissions of child sexual abuse. Presumably they already adopt the same attitude in relation to those ...

You Scratch My Back, I’ll Watch Yours

  It is a well entrenched principle of sentencing in the criminal law that certain features of a case may be regarded as mitigatory in their effect on punishment. Such features might include a plea of guilty, a demonstration of remorse, forgiveness by the victim or assistance given to the investigating authorities. The absence of these features does ...

Mixed Blessings

  For better or worse the involvement of the British Empire in the settling of Australia has left us with many of the trappings of British, and particularly English, life. We have benefited as a nation from a heritage of parliamentary democracy, our legal system and, of course, cricket. However we have had good cause to question the ...

One Law for Prince or Pauper

  Retired Victorian Senior Crown Prosecutor and lecturer at the Australian Catholic University, Geoffrey Horgan QC has recently suggested that it would be hard for George Pell to receive a fair trial if indeed he was to be charged in relation to alleged child abuse. If he is right, we have a serious problem. While Victorian Police were ...

Not As Easy As It Looks – A Judge in Chains

Criticism has been made of the approach taken by a District Court judge in sentencing a man convicted of dangerous driving causing death.   In his article headed - “SA Judge Paul Muscat says it is ‘disheartening’ for courts to pass harsh mandatory sentences on killer drivers who are of good character” Mr Sean Fewster criticized the judge for ...