LNP GOVERNMENT UNDERMINES JUDGES BY A PROPOSAL TO SCRAP COURT ORDERED PAROLE AND SUSPENDED SENTENCES
Today’s article in the Courier Mail “Go Direct to Jail” discusses the Attorney-General’s plans to scrap Court ordered parole and suspended sentences. The Attorney-General, in what can only be described as an ill-considered and vote grabbing move, has indicated his intention to scrap Court ordered parole and suspended sentences. The Attorney argues that the current system is failing in that too many people released on suspended sentences or immediate parole are reoffending and therefore, sentences imposed by the Courts are not acting as sufficient deterrents.
This move by the Attorney-General only underscores his lack of knowledge over the Queensland Criminal Justice system. Read more
Since 2004 Queensland has had a child sex offender registry. The implementation of the register came about through a Federal law reform where in 2002 Senator Ellison who was then Federal Minister for Justice and Customs, called on Australian States and Territories to establish uniform registration schemes for sex offender registration. Senator Ellison argued that there was a need to establish a national data base which could monitor the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders throughout the country and assist in global prosecutions of child pornography rings. It was against this backdrop that Queensland implemented their registration scheme in 2004.
For criminal defence firms, applications for leave to appeal against a sentence imposed is an important part of ensuring a just outcome on behalf of clients. Judges exercise broad judicial discretion when sentencing a person and in doing so, have to balance an often very large number of competing considerations. Because of this, it is expected that errors will sometimes be made and it is therefore incumbent upon lawyers to look carefully at whether or not a sentence is affected by error or simply manifestly excessive.
For any law student, the day of your admission is something you look forward to and work hard for over the course of many years of study. For admitted lawyers, it is remembered as a great celebration. It marks the begining of your actual law career. This Monday, Emma Higgins from my office was admitted. Terry O’Gorman from our office moved her admission before the Chief Justice of Queensland. Emma has worked as a law clerk for many years at a number of firms. In the last two years, she has worked as a clerk under the direction of Terry O’Gorman and myself. I am confident she has learnt a lot and is ready to hit the ground running. This is a picture of Emma signing the solicitor’s roll after the admission. Congratulations Emma.