Tasmania’s experiment with a reduced parliament appears destined for the history books with the recent acknowledgment by Premier Lara Giddings that legislation to restore 10 seats to Tasmania’s House of Assembly will take place as soon as the Budget ‘turns around’. For almost half a century, Tasmania’s House of Assembly had comprised 35 seats but was reduced to 25 seats in 1998 in an attempt to reduce the influence of the Tasmanian Greens. Whilst tri-partisan support for a restored House of Assembly existed just last year, the Liberal Opposition withdrew their support following budget cuts to essential services including health and education. However with polling suggesting that the Labor Government is likely to lose a number of its parliamentarians at the next election, Premier Giddings is banking on improvements in the Budget and the hope that an increased parliament will see her government cling to power.
DUAO - 2012 - Vol 37(1)
Developments around the country
DownUnderAllOver is a round-up of legal news from both State and federal jurisdictions, and contains topical articles and short pieces from Alternative Law Journal committees around the country.
Recent reforms to Victorian laws will curtail the longstanding common law doctrine of ‘double jeopardy’.
The rule against double jeopardy states that no one should be tried or punished twice for the same offence. This rule protects citizens from oppression by ensuring that the State cannot keep prosecuting a citizen until they are finally convicted. Double jeopardy laws perform a valuable role in protecting citizens against multiple prosecutions by authorities and in providing certainty and finality to the law.
It is clear that Victoria Police must take a new approach to handling confrontation with people in mental health crisis following the release of the findings of the coronial inquest into the 2008 police shooting of Melbourne teenager Tyler Cassidy. The Coroner called for ‘urgent’ reform of police training to ‘safely manage vulnerable youth and people in crisis’.
Following on from discussion in this journal of criminal organisations’ control legislation in other states, including the High Court decision Wainohu v New South Wales (2011) 243 CLR 181, it is apposite to note potential new battlegrounds emerging in WA over the equivalent in this state: the Criminal Organisations Control Bill 2011 (WA). The Bill was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on the last sitting day of 2011.
The Supreme Court of Western Australia has dismissed an application by a mentally impaired man, Mr Adrian Pindan, to stay proceedings against him in which the Director of Public Prosecutions (‘the DPP’) sought orders that Mr Pindan be declared a serious danger to the community and be detained in custody for an indefinite period for control, care or treatment, pursuant to the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act 2006 (WA) (‘the Act’). See Director of Public Prosecutions (WA) v Pindan  WASC 13 (13 January 2012).