: DUAO - Vol 36(3)

DUAO - 2011 - Vol 36(3)

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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.

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Mandatory sentencing for gross violence?

Tom Kelly
Victoria

Attorney-General Robert Clark has asked the Sentencing Advisory Council to provide advice on a plan to introduce mandatory sentencing for intentionally or recklessly causing serious injury in circumstances of gross violence.

The plans include four year minimum sentences for adults and two year minimum sentences for 16- and 17-year-old juveniles.
(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 212

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Defensive homicide benefits family violence victims

Jake Collom
Victoria

In 2005 defensive homicide was added to the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) as an alternative verdict to murder. This new offence was intended to be applied predominantly in cases of family violence motivated killing where the accused believed, unreasonably, that the killing was necessary in self defence.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 212

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Human headline silenced for 5 months

Leanne O'Donnell
Victoria

Media identity Derryn Hinch aka @humanheadline tweeted 
on 20 July:

Big day tomorrow. Back to Austin for blood tests and condition update. Then Mag. Court 11a.m. for sentencing. #liver

On 21 July 2011, Magistrate Rozencwajg sentenced Hinch to five months home detention, the conditions of which included a ban on gainful employment, media appearances and use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The decision to impose a home detention order was due to the Magistrate considering Hinch's fragile health, as he received a liver transplant only two weeks before the court appearance.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 212

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LRCWA Review of Coronial Practice Discussion Paper released

Rebecca Scott Bray
Western Australia

Following the release of its Background Paper in September 2010 and community consultation and feedback in June, the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia ('LRCWA') released its Discussion Paper regarding the review of the WA coronial jurisdiction and practices of the coronial system, including the operation of the Coroners Act 1996 (WA). The terms of reference for the review ask the Commission to consider any areas where the Coroners Act 1996 (WA):

can be improved, any desirable changes to jurisdiction, practices and procedures of the Coroner and the office that would better serve the needs of the community; any improvements to be made in the provision of support for the families, friends and others associated with a deceased person who is the subject of a coronial inquiry, including but not limited to, issues regarding autopsies, cultural and spiritual beliefs and practices, and counselling services; the provision of investigative, forensic and other services in support of the coronial function; and any other related matter.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 213

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Worksafe and Mr Ward: An update

Renae Barker
Western Australia

DUAO Volume 36(1) reported that charges had been laid by Worksafe WA over the death of Aboriginal Elder Mr Ward in 2008. The WA Department of Corrective Services pleaded guilty and was fined $285 000 in the Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court. In handing down the sentence magistrate Greg Benn indicated that he had not imposed the maximum penalty of $400 000, having taken into account several factors including the change in government since the death of Mr Ward, the department's guilty plea and the ex-gratia payment of 
$3.2 million given to Mr Ward's family in July 2010.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 213

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