Tag Archives: courts

No name, no shame: preventing the destruction of reputations

ACT Magistrates Court

Last month a domestic violence charge against footballer El Masri was dismissed as was a similar less recent charge against another footballer. However in New South Wales, unlike the ACT, the women who bought the actions were named.
Here in Canberra we have a long and sorry history of publicly destroying reputations by publishing the names [...]

King hit outcome lets Canberra down again

By 23 January 2014

3 months weekend detention is disgraceful. [Canberra Times story]
Hopefully the offender doesn’t go and he ends up serving his time out in full at the AMC

Video glitches, trial aborted

By 11 December 2013

The Canberra Times has disturbing news from Canberra’s Supreme Court where an alleged kiddy fiddler has walked free (pending re-trial) after the court couldn’t manage to play the victims’ testimonies.
The trial, which began on Monday, had been continually interrupted when footage of prerecorded evidence repeatedly froze.
Alleged victims in sexual cases can prerecord evidence prior to [...]

Thomas William Johnston drugs children and makes child abuse images

By 15 November 2013

A terrifying case from the Supreme Court of one Thomas William Johnston who had a pattern of knocking out a young girl and making his own child abuse images.
To make matters worse he found his victims through his friends.
His non-parole period will end on 20 December 2019.

The wheels of ACT justice need some grease

By 21 September 2013

Is this a record?
More than 6 years from arrest to sentence?
[Canberra Times story]

Lower penalties for early pleaders

By 17 September 2013

Simon Corbell has announced his plans for enhanced early pleading:
Courts will be able to impose lower sentences where offenders cooperate to ensure trials are focused on the real issues in dispute, under new legislation passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly today, said Attorney-General, Simon Corbell.
“We know that the inefficient use of time and resources in [...]

Justice on the mend?

By 13 September 2013

Simon Corbell has the thrilling news that having presided over the farcical decay of the ACT courts for many years things are finally getting better:
The amount of time it takes to have a matter heard in the ACT Supreme Court has almost halved over the past the year, Attorney-General, Simon Corbell announced today.
Mr Corbell said [...]

Not guilty of murder by reason of mental illness

By 23 August 2013

If you want an insight into why ACT courts are so slow, and also therefore expensive, have a read of this.
Mr Aranyi killed his mother, he was mentally ill at the time, but it takes the finest legal minds in the ACT 16 months to come to that conclusion.
The Judge’s torturous reasoning for his decision [...]

Robert Cook heads to the bench

By 21 August 2013

Simon Corbell has announced the appointment of Robert Cook as a Magistrate:
Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, has today announced the appointment of Mr Robert Cook as a new Magistrate for the ACT.
“I am pleased to announce Mr Cook’s appointment to the position of Magistrate,” Mr Corbell said.
“Mr Cook fills the vacancy created by the appointment of David [...]

Simon shuffles up his paper Industrial Court

By 8 August 2013

Simon Corbell has announced he’s legislating to create a new hat for a magistrate to wear:
Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, will today introduce a bill which will create an Industrial Court in Canberra, to hear and decide industrial and work health and safety matters in the ACT.
“The safety of all workers, including those people working on ACT [...]

Gallagher and Corbell say it’s ok to use deadly force in self defence

By 5 August 2013

I came across a recent judgement by Justice Refshauge in a case where the accused,Joseph Shelvin was on trial for recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Wayne Maloney. Shelvin was acquitted on the basis that the Crown had not disproved self-defence beyond reasonable doubt.
The incident occurred on 24 [...]

Jurors and social media: is there a solution?


By Lorana Bartels, University of Canberra
actually excited for jury duty tomorrow…it’s gonna be fun to tell the defendant they’re GUILTY – Facebook post, 2010

Guilty guilty…I will not be swayed. Practicing [sic] for jury duty. – Twitter post, 2010

These are just two examples from the United States of jurors apparently prejudging the outcome of [...]

He’ll be telling his mates in Indonesia about Justice Higgins alright

By 3 July 2013

The ACT Supreme Court has been called on to sentence a people smuggler, one Toni Kaubulan.
A suspended sentence and a good behaviour order with the threat of a $500 fine will no doubt have the folks back in Java talking.
For the offence of bringing to Australia unlawful non-citizens knowing they were unlawful non-citizens, you [...]

The Cull goes to Court. Delayed until at least Wednesday

By 7 June 2013

Courts have a natural inclination to increase their jurisdiction.
So it’s a little sad but no surprise to hear from TAMS that the anti-cull nutbags have won the right to be heard:
A hearing was held this afternoon at the ACT Administrative Appeals Tribunal (ACAT) regarding an application from Animal Liberation ACT and Australian Society for Kangaroos [...]

Simon ups the plea bargain ante

By 6 June 2013

Simon Corbell has announced changes to sentencing in the ACT’s courts to encourage cooperation from our crims:
Sentencing courts will be able to impose a lower sentence where offenders assist the justice system to make sure trials are focused on the real issues in dispute, Attorney General, Simon Corbell, said today.
“We know that inefficient use of [...]

Simon continues to insist a fifth judge is not needed


Amidst the broader farce of a city of 300,000 maintaining its own independent legal system we have today the complaint of the departing Zed Seselja that Labor has again kiboshed moves to appoint a fifth Supreme Court Judge.
If such a judge were to do their homework there’s a fighting chance cases could be resolved within [...]

Mental illness and offending. Spot the difference?

By 29 May 2013

Can anyone spot the difference between these two media reports?
Canberra Times and ABC.
I was wondering why Justice Higgins was sending someone to prison who has Bipolar, and I think I have the answer.

Maria Doogan rides again as special magistrates are appointed

By 27 May 2013

Simon Corbell has announced the appointment of Maria Doogan and Ken Cush as special magistrates:
“I am pleased to announce that Ms Maria Doogan and Mr Ken Cush have been appointed for twelve months,” Mr Corbell said.
“The ACT Government has acted quickly to respond to the need to fill the gap between David Mossop taking up [...]

Acting Justice Nield dishes out more punishment.

By 20 May 2013

On Tuesday May 14 Mark Anthony Munro,aged 52 years was sentenced by Acting Justice Nield, in the Supreme Court on charges of aggravated robbery and intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm.Munro who shot a security guard during an armed robbery at the Mawson Club in May 2004 was jailed for 18 years with a [...]

Simon steps towards an industrial court

By 7 May 2013

Simon Corbell has announced he’s floating an exposure draft to give the magistrates some new hats to wear on industrial and health and safety matters:
Mr Corbell will today table an exposure draft of the Magistrates Court (Industrial Proceedings) Amendment Bill 2013 in the Legislative Assembly to open the public discussion on the government proposed legislation.
“Ensuring [...]

Zed wants a fifth judge

By 6 May 2013

Zed Seselja, you might be surprised to learn, is still the ACT’s Shadow Attorney-General.
And he wants a fifth judge:
ACT Shadow Attorney-General Zed Seselja will introduce legislation this Wednesday to ensure the appointment of a fifth judge to the Supreme Court which will provide real action on the massive delays currently experienced in the ACT legal [...]

David Mossop to be the new Master of the Supreme Court

By 2 May 2013

Simon Corbell has made it known that he’s appointed a new Master to the ACT’s Supreme Court:
“I am pleased to announce that the Government has appointed Mr David Mossop as the new Master of the Supreme Court of the ACT,” said Mr Corbell.
“Mr Mossop’s knowledge and background, both at the bar, and as an ACT [...]

The wheels of justice grind slowly

By 1 May 2013

The Canberra Times reports on the sentencing of one Jake Arioli.
It doesn’t mention what the ABC does, that this incident occured in June 2012.
10 months to sentence someone who pleaded guilty. Wow!

No Summary Judgment for Bradley Allen in their fight against Min Li Wu

By 19 April 2013

Master Harper has shared his thoughts on the efforts of Bradley Allen Lawyers to get summary judgment against Min Li Wu, who has been waving placards about them outside their offices, the courts, and in Garema Place for some years now.
The law firm has not succeeded in their application (dismissed with costs against them). It [...]

Acting Justice Nield rides again

By 4 February 2013

Here at RiotACT we like Justice Nield. He produces judgments which are both internally consistent, a joy to read, and have a sense of justice as well as legality.
So it’s nice to see Attorney-General Simon Corbell announce he will be returning to the ACT Supreme Court while Justice Refshauge catches up on his homework.
Attorney-General, Simon [...]

Justice Canberra style

By 31 January 2013

The ABC has a story on how the human rights agenda is working out here in Canberra:
For the ACT the backlog is far worse with 43 per cent of cases still running after a year.
That is the biggest backlog of any supreme court in Australia.
The legal profession in Canberra has long sought a fifth [...]

Justice Refshauge told to do his homework before he’s allowed out to play

By 21 January 2013

The ABC has word that Simon Corbell isn’t going to launch a judicial commission to investigate Justice Richard Refshauge’s huge backlog of justice denied.
Late last year the ACT Bar Association made a formal complaint, under the Judicial Commissions Act, about Justice Richard Refshauge’s backlog of reserved civil judgements.
ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell has dismissed the [...]

Reasons not to share your porn with blokes you met in the Calwell Club

By 11 January 2013

The human theatre of the Supreme Court continues with the sentencing of Matthew Hood and Matthew Burge:
The aggravated robbery was committed in February this year. Mr Burge and Mr Hood had been to the Calwell Club in the evening, and shortly after 10 pm they left there and went to the complainant’s home.
I note [...]

Human Rights a waste?

By 10 January 2013

It is surprising to see that this has not been posted yet.
A senior Prosecutor has reported to the CT that the Human Rights Act is not helping victims, you know, the human’s involved in a crime, instead it benefits the crims. Good work.

Bizarro-world courtroom hijinx

By 8 January 2013

No doubt someone’s onto this already, but I found this bit of courtroom drama reported by the ABC strangely contradictory:

Commit suicide and then afterwards set-fire to your house?
Methadone is not a drug, apparently?
Defendant should be able to go home, because it was a “brain snap”, then snaps brain once again at being refused bail.

The joke of our legal system

By 22 December 2012

The Canberra Times is letting Crispin Hull off the leash to give Canberra’s Supreme Court a going over.
Otherwise, I am afraid, the torpid languor of one hand will continue to wash the drowsy procrastination of the other.

Open letter to Simon Corbell re: the ACT judiciary

By 11 December 2012

Mr Simon Corbell MLA
Attorney-General for the Australian Capital Territory
GPO Box 1020, Canberra, ACT, 2601
Dear Mr Corbell
I am writing as a resident of the Australian Capital Territory, and as a constituent of the Electorate of Molonglo, to express my concern and anxiety regarding the willingness of the ACT judiciary – in particular the Justices of the [...]

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