Changes to bring the Supreme Court in line with the rest of Australia

Special G 26 April 2008 22

The Crimes has the following story on changes Simon Corbell is looking at implementing to change how the ACT Supreme Court does business.

Basically it will remove the option of trial by judge alone (both side must agree to this option) and increase the minimum maximum sentence of a matter that can be dealt with by the Supreme Court. (If that made any sense) Currently if the maximum sentence is one year imprisonment you can go to the Supreme Court – this will be increases to 2 years.

The idea of this is many more Crooks are going to the Supreme Court because as we all know they are about as harsh as a slap with a feather duster. They are chosing trial by judge alone and Corbell wants to bring the juries back more often for serious offences.

Next to this article was a mention about the stabbing outside the Cube nightclub. I am guessing they are trying to make the point that if a jury had made the decision then maybe he wouldn’t have been aquitted.


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22 Responses to Changes to bring the Supreme Court in line with the rest of Australia
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Not Not 9:21 pm 12 Feb 11

GnT said :

I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of prison as ‘punishment’. This to me is pure revenge. Prison should be about removing people from society so they are not a threat. Prison is appropriate for some repeat or violent offenders. It is not appropriate merely because ‘society’, or worse, the victim, expects it.

The ACT has a low rate of imprisonment compared with other jurisdictions. But this does not mean that we are wrong and they are right. We don’t have to live up to NSW in this area.

Here here. Finally. Someone who understands what our only justice system is about. Serving justice. Not a hug for you and your victim experience, not so that you can now move on with your life, not so that crimes can be made public for a bored community. Remember that courts and the law are for all the people. Made by the people, for the people. All people. Albeit standing accused. Pain and suffering money will find its way to you should you deserve it. xxx

GnT GnT 2:55 pm 28 Apr 08

I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of prison as ‘punishment’. This to me is pure revenge. Prison should be about removing people from society so they are not a threat. Prison is appropriate for some repeat or violent offenders. It is not appropriate merely because ‘society’, or worse, the victim, expects it.

The ACT has a low rate of imprisonment compared with other jurisdictions. But this does not mean that we are wrong and they are right. We don’t have to live up to NSW in this area.

ant ant 10:30 am 28 Apr 08

In the case of serious crimes, like violence, repeated robbery, repeated car offences etc, there has to be some form of proper punishment. Rehab is good, but society expects punishment as well. Society expects the victims to see some kind of consequences for what was done to them. The current situation sees the criminals treated almost as victims themselves, and that’s not fair and it’s not right.

By all means, program in some rehab, but first, there must be punishment.

pug206gti pug206gti 9:22 am 28 Apr 08

Increasing the minimum requirements for Supreme Court trials makes a lot of sense – what a waste of time and money to tie up a higher court with matters easily dealt with in the Magistrates Court. I doubt it has a lot to do with crims chosing what may be an easier ride.

Juries don’t impose sentences, they just find facts.

Ori Ori 7:09 pm 27 Apr 08

I don’t agree that trial by jury is a better option. A close friend of mine was a member of a jury on two separate occasions in the past year and several of her fellow jurors were extremely reluctant to impose a harsh sentence because they “felt sorry” for the defendant (on both occasions). She couldn’t believe what was happening, but she was out-voted.

A politician trying to sound tough on crime? Must be an election coming up…

sepi sepi 10:31 am 27 Apr 08

Karralika was set up as a ‘voluntary attendance’ drug rehab. Not somewhere to sentence repeat armed robbers to for 2 year stretches.

It is inappropriate for them, and also not good for the other attendees who are not crooks (if any can actually gain admittance if there is ever a free spot, when the place isn’t filled with court ordered attendees).

CanberraResident CanberraResident 9:29 am 27 Apr 08

For those with a propensity for crime, this is the place to do it. Why aren’t these Supreme Court Judges take into consideration the message they’re sending to the community when they hand down these sentences?

They’re not worth the $318,000 pa they’re getting paid. Bullcarp.

Headbonius Headbonius 6:14 am 27 Apr 08

Sepi, very wise words. Karralika is a F8cking joke.

Thumper Thumper 8:01 pm 26 Apr 08

Agreed Sepi…

sepi sepi 7:58 pm 26 Apr 08

Rehabilitation is a great idea, but I don’t think letting people go with a conviction but no sentence, or a bit of community service or even weekend detention is my idea of ‘rehabilitation’.

And one guy was apparently ‘sentenced’ to Karalika drug rehab for 2 years. Fine. But Karalika is unlocked, leave when you like type of place. If judges want to ‘sentence’ people to drug rehab, there needs to be a locked facility for them to go to.

sepi sepi 7:55 pm 26 Apr 08

I didn’t read page 2!

I was also surprised they put the Cube manslaughter case in the same basket as a 29 yr old who raped his 14 yr old girlfriend 4 times in one day (and later broke her collar bone) and some armed robbers.

Thumper Thumper 7:53 pm 26 Apr 08

About time. The ACT is rapidly becoming a bastion of judicial left wing ideology and is a laughing stock.

Rehabilitation is fine and is definitely what is prefered. However, we know that a certain number of offenders can sadly never be rehabiliated.

CanberraResident CanberraResident 7:27 pm 26 Apr 08

GnT, you suggest that Canberra Times has been somewhat one-sided in their reporting of the Cube nightclub story, showing the dead man in a positive light.

Did you not read the part that said:

“Mr Seuala had been drinking all night with friends when the group of islander men approached Cube nighclub about 4.30am. Refused entry, they became verbally abusive, threatening the bouncer at the door and claiming they would bash any “poofters” that exited the club”.

Does the above statement show Mr Seuala in a positive light does it??? Or did you just not bother turning to page two of the article?

GnT GnT 7:08 pm 26 Apr 08

The article about the Cube stabbing was very one-sided. It was not labelled as ‘opinion’ and it was dissapointing to read the following snippets. CT is a newspaper – they should be reporting the news.

“For Patricia Gaete, the pain never stops. The pain of losing her fiance, Nato David Seuala, who was fatally stabbed in Civic almost two years ago, the pain of knowing that his killer walks free.”

“They had hoped for a conviction, even if it was for the lesser offence of intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm. The couple’s two children, a seven-year-old girl and two-year-old boy, have lost their father, and no one has been held accountable.”

bd84 bd84 7:03 pm 26 Apr 08

I’d agree with the move on the most part. Nice to see the gutter journalism of the CT is alive and kicking by placing the story about the wife of the thug that was killed outside cube. I liked the part where she said her husband “wasn’t a violent man” when he evidently almost beat the guy to death. Her husband should have put his violence to good use and used it on the canberra times for publishing sht stories like that instead of using it on a guy who called him a mean name.

sepi sepi 6:36 pm 26 Apr 08

The article was really interesting.

Sentences in the ACT are far lower than in NSW.

They had an ACT magistrate defending their policy of ‘rehabilitation above incarceration’ at all times. In theory I would agree with that theory.

But in practice ‘rehabilitation’ seems to mean let go scot free – where is the rehabilitation in that??

He claimed that the fact that ACT has lower crime rates than NSW with their tougher sentences vindicates the soft approach in the ACT.

DJ DJ 5:13 pm 26 Apr 08

All we need now is a review of the sentences handed down to put ACT in line with the other States

CanberraResident CanberraResident 5:12 pm 26 Apr 08

Thanks for that SG, the Forum page of today’s Crappy Times also has a spread titled “Off Balance”, regarding the ACT courts – Victor Violante is proving to be a worthwhile read.

It provides some examples of lenient sentences handed down in the Supreme Court in recent times. Honestly, when I read this stuff, I found it quite disturbing. People can get away with just about anything in Canberra … slap on the wrist and off you go.

At least Corbell is trying to make some necessary changes, even though I’ve never really thought much of the dude. I don’t have much faith in the Supreme Court Judges, or Magistrates for that matter; their emphasis is on rehabilitation (and rightly so), but they need to provide a balance in their decisions. From what I’ve read here, it seems they don’t really consider the victim or the enormity of the crime.

Anyway, most of the cases shown at the bottom of the Forum page have been appealed by the DPP, and rightly so. I feel sorry for the police who do their best to get these criminals off the streets, only to have them thrown back onto the streets within no time. I wouldn’t be a copper for anything in the world; not with a screwed justice system as it is here in Canberra.

Sorry, I couldn’t find a link on the Canberra Times crapsite.

Deano Deano 4:27 pm 26 Apr 08

The idea of this is many more Crooks are going to the Supreme Court

I’d suggest it is the laywers who are choosing to go the Supreme Court to take advantage of the system, not the crooks. Oh, wait, on second thoughts…

Spideydog Spideydog 3:19 pm 26 Apr 08

YES

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