: DUAO - Vol 39(3)

DUAO - 2014 - Vol 39(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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Environment

Allan Ardill
Queensland

A controversial secondment has seen a senior manager of QCoal in charge of developing policy on the environment for Queensland’s LNP. ABC news reported that James Mackay also worked full-time for the LNP during the 2012 election, while he was being paid $10 000 a month by the company, QCoal. QCoal is embroiled in controversy over plans to divert Coral Creek in north Queensland. It won a water licence from the state government to divert Coral Creek to extend the life of its Sonoma mine by six to eight months.

(2014) 39(3) AltLJ 198

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New Chief Justice

Allan Ardill
Queensland

Queensland has a new Chief Justice following the appointment of Tim Carmody as the successor to Paul de Jersey. De Jersey has taken up the role of Governor. The transition has been anything but routine. Carmody CJ was sworn in at a private ceremony after strong criticism from the legal establishment had been directed at both the process and the appointment. A private ceremony was used for the first time in nearly a century along with a selection from outside the Supreme Court. Later, at a public ceremony in the Banco Court, no Supreme Court judges attended.

(2014) 39(3) AltLJ 198

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Advance care directives

Catherine Irving
South Australia

For almost two decades, South Australians wishing to plan for a time when they may no longer have capacity to make decisions in relation to personal and medical matters had three forms to consider. The Advance Care Directives Act 2013 (SA), which came into effect on 1 July 2014, now provides one Advance Care Directive (‘ACD’) form to replace the previous Enduring Power of Guardianship, Medical Power of Attorney and Anticipatory Direction forms.

(2014) 39(3) AltLJ 199

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Mandatory sentences for protesting? The Workplaces (Protection from Protestors) Bill 2014

THE TASMANIAN COMMITTEE
Tasmania

The new Liberal state government has put to Parliament a Bill that seeks to curb protesters from interfering with workplaces. Its policy objectives seek to:

  • deter protests that seek to intentionally shut down and harm Tasmanian business’ capacity to build commercial enterprises through new offences and robust penalties;
  • ensure Tasmanians can go to work and run their businesses in a safe manner free from interference and disruption; and

protect and support the continued right to free speech and the right to protest.

(2014) 39(3) AltLJ 199

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Discretionary sentencing

Robert Corr
Victoria

It must be an election year in Victoria, because there has been a sharp increase in legislative attacks on judicial discretion.

The phase-out of suspended sentences will soon be complete, with the complete abolition of this option for offences committed after 31 August 2014. Monitoring by the Sentencing Advisory Council suggests that prison sentences have been increasing since the phase-out began. This can be expected to put further pressure on the prison system and its capacity to rehabilitate offenders. In July, the Victorian Ombudsman announced an investigation into rehabilitation programs, observing, ‘It’s no secret that Victoria’s increasing prison population has put stress on prisoner access to education and rehabilitation programs throughout their sentences.’ A booming prison population with reduced access to high quality rehabilitation programs increases the risk of a criminogenic effect.

(2014) 39(3) AltLJ 200

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