: DUAO - Vol 38(2)

DUAO - 2013 - Vol 38(2)

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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 defence disclosure in NSW

David Hamer
New South Wales

The Evidence of Silence reforms (above), were accompanied by amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 requiring more extensive prosecution disclosure, and making it mandatory for the defence to disclose its case ahead of trial. Whereas the silence reforms were largely a rhetorical exercise, the disclosure reforms have far-reaching practical significance.

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 129

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Right to Silence reforms in NSW

David Hamer
New South Wales

On 20 March 2013 the NSW Parliament passed the Evidence Amendment (Evidence of Silence) Act 2013, which introduces a new s 89A into the Evidence Act 1995. Following similar reforms in England, the suspect will now be cautioned that although they have the right to remain silent, ‘it may harm your defence if you fail to mention something now that you later rely on at trial’.

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 129

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Crimes Legislation Amendments passed

Lorana Bartels
ACT

On 9 April 2013, the ACT Government passed the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 (No 2) (ACT), which amended a range of criminal laws in the ACT. Some of the highlights include provisions to:

  • provide consistency among similar property offences in the Crimes Act 1900 (ACT) and Criminal Code 2002 (ACT);
  • improve the ability of the courts to take into account alcohol and drug issues when sentencing;
  • ensure that the offence of possessing a controlled pre-cursor substance is enforceable (used in drug manufacture); and
  • create a new offence of possessing a tablet press (also used in drug manufacture).
(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 129

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Slowing property market causes possible problem for property buyers

Roberta McRae
ACT

Unlike any other jurisdiction in Australia, before a property can advertised or be sold in the ACT the seller has to organise a building and pest report. This report and several others are required documents as defined in Section 9 of the Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act (‘the Act’).

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 128

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New Royal Commission legal service announced

Michael Smith
Federal

In April, the Australian government announced a new Legal Advisory Service for people contemplating or wishing to tell their stories to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Assault.

(2013) 38(2) AltLJ 128

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