Vol 41(3) 2016 - Visualising Law

Editors for this issue: The Editorial Committee

  • Risks and rights
  • Consumers and credit
  • Detention and detection

Pages 147 to 222

Protecting human rights in detention: Rights, monitoring and OPCAT

Bronwyn Naylor
People held in detention are inevitably at risk of abuse. The recent Northern Territory revelations have only reminded us of this reality. Australia’s failure to ratify the UN OPCAT was highlighted in the recent UN Periodic Review: ratification would require comprehensive independent monitoring of all places of detention. Effective monitoring is vital; at the same time it cannot on its own ensure rights protections, and this article argues that both enforceable rights, and robust monitoring, are essential if Australia is to address rights abuses in detention in Australia. Price: $9.90
Article

‘Finding diamonds in the rough and helping them shine’: Prospects for penal reform in the UK

David Brown

In February 2016, then Conservative UK Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a speech on the necessity for penal reform to address the ‘scandalous failure’ of the penal system. This rare prime ministerial intervention built on similar speeches and moves by the then UK Justice Minister, Michael Gove, raising the prospect of a reframing of the right wing narrative around crime and punishment. This article summarises these developments and assesses the prospects of a right wing, austerity-driven Conservative government achieving penal reform through a program of privatising and commercialising criminal justice services, in particular offender management.

Price: $9.90
Article

Special intelligence operations and freedom of the press

Keiran Hardy and George Williams

Earlier this year, the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor published a report on controversial disclosure offences in s 35P of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (Cth). Those offences have attracted substantial criticism for limiting the ability of journalists to report on ASIO’s activities. This article argues that the changes recommended in that report will do little to reduce the impact of s 35P on press freedom, and that more significant changes are required.

Price: $9.90
Article

Going to a Double D: The 2016 federal election and the Constitution

Oscar Roos and Kelly Green

This article sets out the key constitutional issues surrounding the 2016 federal election and its aftermath. The authors discuss the double dissolution mechanism in the Australian Constitution which was used to trigger the 2016 election and the recent changes to the Senate voting system. The authors also examine how and why the newly elected senators will divide into long and short term senators after the 2016 election, whether the new Parliament will proceed to a joint sitting, and the prospects of another early election.

Price: $9.90
Article

Unfair but not illegal: Are Australia’s consumer protection laws allowing predatory businesses to flourish?

Gerard Brody and Katherine Temple

Australia’s consumer protection laws do not prohibit business models or practices that are unfair. While the prohibition on unconscionable conduct has been used to attack some very sharp practices, many predatory business models still flourish. In the context of the 2016 review of the Australian Consumer Law, this article suggests that a new prohibition on unfair trading, drawing on similar prohibitions in other jurisdictions, will ensure our consumer protection laws remain up-to-date and relevant to the modern services-driven economy.

Price: $9.90
Article

Small amount credit contracts and payday loans

Nicola Howell

Small amount loans — often known as payday loans — have frequently been criticised for their costs. Recently, these loans became subject to a national price cap. However, even before this, responsible lending obligations had been imposed on all consumer credit providers. In light of the decision in ASIC v The Cash Store (in liquidation), this article argues that price regulation and responsible lending regulation are both needed to adequately protect vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers, and that the regulator needs to play an active role in enforcing the laws.

Price: $9.90
Article

Property, negligence and the intergenerational inequity of climate change

Paul Babie

The law of tort and novel legislative actions can fetter the ability of the holder of private property to use goods and resources in ways that cause climate change harms. Yet, such claims are typically limited to harm already caused, as opposed to harms to future generations which climate change will cause. This article explores how a recent decision of the United States District Court may allow for the development of tort and legislatively created actions to redress claims on the basis of future climate harms.

Price: $9.90
Article

Want to make a difference with your life? Get a job in corporate law

John Eldridge

This article argues that altruistic young lawyers ought to eschew conventional social justice careers in favour of a career in corporate law. It proceeds by way of two propositions. First, it suggests that the positive impact made by a decision to pursue a social justice career is much smaller than it first appears. This is because, in the vast majority of cases, taking a social justice job does not cause there to be additional social-justice workers in the world: the decision instead simply displaces a similarly-qualified person who would otherwise have filled the role. Secondly, the article highlights the extraordinary good which can be effected by working in a high-income field and donating a significant portion of one’s earnings to highly effective charities.

Price: $9.90
Article

Learning law through a lens: Using visual media to support student learning and skills development in law

Natalie Skead and Kate Offer

Excellent oral and written communication skills are crucial for any lawyer. Indeed, the ability to communicate appropriately, effectively and persuasively both in writing and orally to a diverse audience has been identified nationally as an essential learning outcome for all law graduates. Communication, and particularly oral communication, is a ‘two way street’: it is a shared experience between two or more people, involving both speaking and listening. Despite this binary nature of oral communication, the ability to listen critically and deeply is often overlooked in law teaching. In this article we examine two separate but related visual media projects aimed at facilitating and supporting the development of broad-based oral communication skills in law students at an Australian law school. 

Price: $9.90
Article

A double first in child sexual assault cases in NSW: Notes from the first witness intermediary and pre-recorded cross-examination cases

Penny Cooper

This article sets out the background to the introduction of children’s champions, also known as witness intermediaries, as well as the commencement of pre-recorded testimony in New South Wales. The first cases under the new arrangements are described and the future of the scheme is considered in light of developments in other jurisdictions.

Price: $4.40
Comment

ASIO, the ‘protest years’ and Whitlam’s dismissal

Michael Head

The Protest Years, the second instalment of the government-funded ‘official history’ of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, published late last year, is part of a multi-volume project commissioned to defend ASIO’s role as the central domestic intelligence agency of Australia’s political, corporate and military-security establishment. Nevertheless, the book, like Volume 1 (reviewed in (2015) 40(4) AltLJ) partially reveals the lawlessness with which ASIO operated for decades, and no doubt still does. This volume also sheds light on the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975.

Price: $4.40
Comment

Wilful exposure: Why is it discriminatory in Queensland?

Craig Burgess

The placement of a man’s genitals appears to be the reason why men are more likely to be arrested for nude sun-bathing in Queensland than women. Nudist groups claim the Summary Offences Act 2005(Qld) definition of wilful exposure is discriminatory while others maintain it is the authorities’ failure to apply the Act that is at issue. This Brief suggests reformation of the laws could overcome the confusion.

Price: $4.40
Brief

From the defendant’s seat to the bar table: a suggested design feature for the new act Supreme Court

Heather Cork

This Brief argues that the current seating arrangements for criminal defendants in the ACT Supreme Court interferes with the presumption of innocence and the defendant’s right to participate in their defence. Given the recently announced plans to redevelop the ACT Law Courts precinct, the Territory Government should take the opportunity to consider, instead, seating defendants at the bar table next to their defence counsel.

Price: $4.40
Brief
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