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Border Force, search, examine, warrant, electronic device, phone, laptop, SIM card, risk, border, breach, Customs Act
17 Jan 2024

Can Border Force search your mobile phone?

Concerns regarding Border Force’s search powers It has been reported that the Australian Border Force searched more than 40,000 mobile phones and other data storage devices of travellers entering the country in just five years. During 2021, border officials demanded passwords to examine 822 mobile phones belonging to people entering the country, sometimes copying data […]
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Criminal Infringement Notice, CIN, drugs, drug offence, drug charge, conviction, evidence, forensic testing, criminal justice, diversion, personal use, discretion, cannabis, cocaine, MDMA, ice, illegal drugs
12 Jan 2024

Expanded Criminal Infringement Notice (CIN) for minor drug offences in NSW

Police will have new powers to issue on-the-spot fines for adults caught with a small quantity of illegal drugs under an expansion of the Criminal Infringement Notice being brought in by the NSW government. Changes to current Criminal Infringement Notice The changes starting in 2024 broaden the current Criminal Infringement Notice (CIN) which enables police […]
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Sending an innocent emoji in a text message could land you in court, because the law could see it as a threat or an acceptance of a contract.
30 Nov 2023

How an emoji can land you in court

We often add an emoji to our emails and text messages to bring a bit of levity to otherwise dull communications, but beware – icons such as the thumbs up, smiley face or gun could land you in trouble with the law. Legal impact of using emojis An emoji is an image used in texting […]
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misfeasance, tort, public office, public official, robodebt, Royal Commission, Criminal Code Act, criminal charges, civil charges, malice, harm
28 Nov 2023

Misfeasance in public office and the robodebt debacle

What is misfeasance in public office? The tort of misfeasance – it sounds like an evil spell in Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, and in a way it’s similar. Misfeasance is a legal term relating to the abuse of power by a person holding public office. Misfeasance and the robodebt scandal The term […]
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deepfake, AI, artificial intelligence, bullying, misinformation, disinformation, image-based abuse, fake news, privacy, cybersecurity, data protection, child protection, defamation, e-safety, online
24 Nov 2023

AI-generated deepfake images create bullying danger

Concerns with the use of artificial intelligence on the internet are growing, due to its potential to design powerful toxins, control robo-missiles, perpetuate online scams, spread misinformation and lies, and create AI-generated deepfake imagery and porn. Children exploiting deepfake imagery for bullying Australia’s online safety regulator reports AI-generated sexually explicit imagery and deepfake porn are […]
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identity theft, ID theft, stolen identity, damages, trademark, infringement, cybersquatting, PayPal, Adidas, NBA, Medibank, password, hacking, debtor, jurisdiction, enforce, seizure, counterfeit
22 Sep 2023

Australian victim of identity theft receives US$1.2 million damages bill from US court

An Australian woman who was a victim of identity theft was shocked when she received a legal notice from the United States ordering her to pay Adidas and the US National Basketball Association a total of US$1.2 million in damages. Identify theft victim told to pay US$1.2m in damages Without her being present or even […]
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Aboriginal fishing, traditional fishing, cultural fishing, indigenous fishing, fisher, Fisheries Management Act, Native Title Act, fishery, Aboriginal, Indigenous, ATSI, ecosystem, environment, catch, bag limit, catch limit, prosecution, abalone, permit, permit system, hunting, gathering, ocean
12 Sep 2023

Traditional Aboriginal fishing in NSW: end to prosecutions long overdue

Indigenous people in New South Wales continue to be targeted and prosecuted under the Fisheries Management Act for participating in traditional Aboriginal fishing practices, leading to disconnection from Country, loss of intergenerational knowledge and adverse health outcomes. Indigenous environmental management practices and cultural traditions Indigenous Australians have managed their lands and waters for millennia, ensuring […]
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bail, police bail, police, NSW, court, arrest, accused, Bail Act, unacceptable risk, witness, offence, prosecution, bail conditions, innocent, guilty
07 Sep 2023

Who is entitled to get bail?

It used to be that everyone had the right to bail, based on the legal assumption that people are entitled to be considered innocent until proven guilty. But over the years the general presumption in favour of bail has been tightened. It can now be refused if the person is arrested for a serious crime, […]
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jury duty, juror, court, lawyer, judge, sheriff, accused, crime, evidence, judgment, trial, criminal trial, conflict of interest, victim
17 Aug 2023

I’ve been called up for jury duty. What happens now?

Before you could be called up for jury duty to decide the guilt or innocence of an accused, the fate of the person before the court was usually decided by a priest in the belief that God would intervene on behalf of the innocent. Court trials before juries existed In the past there was no […]
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speak ill of the dead, defamation, defamatory, defamed, deceased, reputation, legal action, ALRC, Australian Law Reform Commission, injunction, declaratory order, correction, Defamation Act, publication, identifiable, social media, internet, claim
19 Jul 2023

Yes, you can speak ill of the dead

For thousands of years we have been told not to speak “evil” of the dead. Some say it dates back to the 6th century BC philosopher Chilon of Sparta, who warned it would harm the deceased’s enjoyment of the afterlife. Mind you, Chilon also said “obey the law”, and Australian law says you certainly can […]
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farm trespass laws, farm, farming, agriculture, ag-gag laws, animal welfare, animal advocate, animal cruelty, animal rights, video, covert, footage, private property, slaughterhouse, transparency, whistleblower, live export, greyhound, horse racing, cruelty
18 Jul 2023

NSW farm trespass laws upheld by High Court

In 2022 the High Court upheld the NSW farm trespass laws, also known as the “ag-gag laws” that make it a criminal offence for animal welfare advocates and others to publish covert video footage taken as a result of trespassing on private agricultural property. Challenge to constitutionality of farm trespass laws Animal protection group Farm […]
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break and enter, intruder, trespass, entry, premises, dwelling, lease, residential tenancy, agreement, lessee, indictable offence, intimidation, aggravation, corporal violence, Crimes Act, Crown, Court of Criminal Appeal, appeal, High Court, convicted, apprehended violence order
13 Jul 2023

High Court rules it’s not “break and enter” if the intruder’s name is on the lease

Ex-partner accused of break and enter In a recent case involving a break and enter charge, woman was terrified when her former boyfriend kicked down the front door, breaking three locks, forced his way into the apartment, shook her and threw her phone to the floor when she tried to call police. The two had […]
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mental health impairment, crime, criminally, responsible, murder, hallucination, forensic, mental health, mental disorder, tribunal, persecution, victim, perpetrator, cognitive, impairment, anxiety, bipolar, depression, psychotic
20 Jun 2023

When does the defence of mental health impairment apply?

Mental health impairment and “not criminally responsible” verdicts In a recent court case, a man set a fire to a stranger’s house and laughed and cheered as the victim inside burned to death. The judge found that he had a mental health impairment and was not criminally responsible for murder. There was clear evidence Harley […]
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driverless cars, self driving car, automated vehicle, autonomous vehicle, vehicle, car, truck, road, driver, safety, pedestrian, swerve, crash, brakes, computer, law, public road, National Transport Commission, NRMA, accident, traffic, highway
13 Jun 2023

Driverless cars are coming – but whose fault will it be when they crash?

Are driverless cars safe? We know that driverless cars are coming. So imagine the future, when you get into your driverless car, set the controls to take you home, sit back and relax as the autonomous vehicle sets off down the road. You are in the driver’s seat, but your hands aren’t on the steering […]
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sleepwalking, asleep, parasomnia, sexsomnia, criminal, defence, mental health, cognitive impairment, offence, rehabilitation, prosecution, jury, acquitted, guilty, not guilty
09 Jun 2023

“But I was asleep” – the sleepwalking defence in criminal trials

One of the strangest defences that has been used in criminal trials is that the accused was asleep or sleepwalking when they committed the offence. Mens rea in the context of sleepwalking The legal term mens rea refers to criminal intent, requiring a person to have awareness or knowledge that they are doing wrong in […]
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ChatGPT, AI, artificial intelligence, chatbot, Microsoft, defamation, generative AI, accuracy, falsehood, OpenAI, whistleblower, defamatory, publishing, publication, claimant, bot
18 May 2023

Inventiveness of ChatGPT poses risk of defamation

The sudden emergence of ChatGPT and artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots as a feature of everyday life has opened up a new frontier in digital communication and content creation. However, the capacity of the technology to create false information raises the threat that those who disseminate such falsehoods can be sued for defamation. What is ChatGPT? […]
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04 May 2023

Companies warned of need for market disclosure following cyber attack

ASIC and the courts have shown they are serious about clamping down on companies that breach continuous disclosure laws. This includes companies which do not notify their shareholders of a cyber attack. Record fine for not following market disclosure laws The corporate regulator Australian Securities & Investments Commission recently levied a record $15 million fine […]
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21 Apr 2023

Guilty or not guilty – could computers replace judges in a court of law?

Weighing up the pros and cons of a case, discarding irrelevancies, assessing the likelihood of statements being the truth or a lie… it’s all in a day’s work for a judge in a court. But could computers replace judges, if programmed correctly? Could a computer weigh the evidence and decide whether the defendant is guilty […]
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