: DUAO - Vol 37(3)

DUAO - 2012 - Vol 37(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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Advocacy-Health Alliances: Better health through legal advocacy

Peter Noble
Federal

While Advocacy-Health Alliances or Medical-Legal Partnerships (‘MLPs’) are still in their infancy in Australia (with some notable exceptions), they are best exemplified in the relatively long-standing medical legal partnership movement in the US.

These partnerships have not only broken down the barriers to allow people experiencing health issues to access legal services; they have demonstrated the socio-legal impacts on health and the associated health benefits of effective legal advocacy on behalf of patients.

(2012) 37(3) AltLJ 204

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Fines scheme

Katie Fraser
ACT

In May 2012, the Greens, with the support of the ACT government, passed the Road Transport (General) (Infringement Notices) Amendment Bill 2012. The amendments, when they commence in 12 months time, will provide a new scheme for the payment of traffic and parking fines in the ACT.

Under the existing scheme, a person cannot pay a fine through instalments: the entire amount must be paid at once. If the person is unable to pay a fine in full within 56 days of it being issued, their driver licence is automatically suspended. Once the 56 days has expired, a person cannot challenge the fine in Court or seek a Court-ordered instalment plan. A person’s licence simply remains suspended until such time as they are able to pay the fine in full.

(2012) 37(3) AltLJ 205

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NSW LRC Report on Bail: a step forward for young and disadvantaged people?

Jane Sanders
New South Wales

On 13 June 2012, the NSW Law Reform Commission made public its report on bail after receiving a reference from the Attorney-General, the Hon. Greg Smith SC MP, on 8 June 2011. The Attorney-General’s media release at the time of announcing the reference indicated his concern that ‘juveniles charged with petty offences are being forced to mix with hardened criminals while on remand’. Subsequent comments to the media have indicated the Attorney-General’s concern about the high number of juveniles on remand and his desire to promote education and rehabilitation for young people.

(2012) 37(3) AltLJ 205

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‘Gender Not Specified’: NSW Court of Appeal to Rule

Anthea Vogl
New South Wales

An appeal against a decision holding that the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages does not have the power to register the sex of person as ‘non-specific’ or ‘not specified’ is set to be heard in the NSW Court of Appeal.

The appellant in the case, Norrie, was the first person to receive a document stating that sex was ‘not specified’ from the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in February of 2010. The document received was a ‘Recognised Details Certificate’, which performs a similar function to a birth certificate. The non-specification of sex was requested as Norrie does not identify as male or female.

(2012) 37(3) AltLJ 205

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Review of police powers requiring removal of face coverings

David Carter
New South Wales

The NSW Ombudsman is set to review powers granted to police requiring the removal of face coverings for the purposes of identification including helmets, masks, veils or niqabs.

Granted in response to the District Court’s overturning of a six-month jail term for a Sydney woman accused of falsely accusing a police officer of attempting to remove her burqa, these powers came into effect on 1 November 2011.

(2012) 37(3) AltLJ 206

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