: DUAO - Vol 38(4)

DUAO - 2013 - Vol 38(4)

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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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Humiliation Of Prisoners

Kate Galloway and Allan Ardill
Queensland

Further indicating the lack of regard to fundamental human rights, convicted bikies are to be held in a ‘super-prison’, each in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day. The government has also announced a proposal requiring prisoners who are bikies to wear ‘fluorescent pink’ overalls, which Premier Campbell Newman explained as ostensibly because, ‘We know that telling them to wear pink is going to be embarrassing for them.’

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 278

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Criminal Gangs

Kate Galloway and Allan Ardill
Queensland
The Criminal Law (Criminal Organisations Disruption) Amendment Bill 2013 allows the Governor in Council to declare ‘prescribed criminal organisations’. Lawyer Jeff Johnson, a former member of the LNP’s state executive, has pointed out the power could ‘wrongly sweep up innocent people’. The Bill creates a new offence for participants in criminal organisations who knowingly gather in a group of three or more, carrying a mandatory minimum penalty of six months. It removes the right to silence for a person deemed a member of a criminal organisation, attracting mandatory sentencing, and grants police powers to search without a warrant a person ‘reasonably suspected of being a participant in a criminal organisation’.
(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 278

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News From Queensland

Kate Galloway and Allan Ardill
Queensland

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has attracted criticism from across the political spectrum for introducing measures including fettering the judiciary, imposing mandatory sentencing, and concentrating legal power in his own hands. Bills have been introduced and passed within a day, restricting basic rights while removing accountabilities for business. Scrutiny has been further limited in the absence of an upper house and due to government refusal to refer Bills to Parliamentary committees.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 278

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Alcohol Protection Orders

Sue Erickson
Northern Territory

The Alcohol Protection Orders Bill was introduced in the NT Legislative Assembly on 16 October 2013 and was passed in the November–December sittings of the Legislative Assembly on 28 November 2013 with amendments.

Under the Act, a person who has been arrested, summonsed or served with a notice to appear in relation to certain offences (offences punishable by imprisonment for at least 6 months) while affected by alcohol may be subject to an alcohol protection order. The order prevents the person from possessing or consuming alcohol, and from entering or being in a licensed premises, for up to 12 months. If the person breaches the order, they may be imprisoned for up to 3 months. The Act also creates an offence for others who supply alcohol to a person subject to an order. It is not necessary for the person to have been found guilty of the original offence for the order to be made.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 278

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Foetal Personhood Law For NSW?

Carolyn Jones
New South Wales

On 29 August 2013 Chris Spence MP introduced the Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill (No 2) 2013 (‘the Bill’) as a Private Member’s Bill into the NSW Legislative Assembly. The Bill is to be co-sponsored by Fred Nile MP in the Legislative Council.

The stated object of the Bill is to amend the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) to recognise harm to or destruction of some foetuses as a separate offence to any harm caused to a pregnant woman. It proposes to do this by inserting a new s 8A, which defines a foetus of 20 weeks or 400 grams as an ‘unborn child’ who is ‘taken to be a living person’ for certain grievous bodily harm offences. The definition of ‘unborn child’ is based on a definition of ‘stillborn child’, which is widely used in Australia. The Bill creates exceptions for ‘anything done in the course of a medical procedure’ (or ‘treatment’ as foreshadowed in a proposed amendment) or ‘anything done by, or with the consent of, the pregnant woman’.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 277

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