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environmental crime, environment, environmental law, protection, polluter, pollution, anti-pollution, Environment Protection Authority, clean-up notice, asbestos, mulch, chemicals, recycling, name and shame, disposal, waste, penalty
24 May 2024

Tougher penalties for environmental crime now in force in NSW

The recent discovery of asbestos-contaminated mulch across Sydney has highlighted the fact that NSW’s existing environmental laws do little to protect our surroundings from environmental crime and fail to deter would-be offenders and polluters. New legislation increases penalties for environmental crime Put simply, the existing penalties for committing an environmental crime in NSW were shamefully […]
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cartel conduct, cartel, price fixing, bid rigging, demolition waste, skip bin, Bingo Industries, Aussie Skips, ACCC
17 May 2024

Cartel conduct in waste disposal industry ends in criminal convictions

The words “cartel conduct” usually bring to mind violent international drug crime gangs. But cartels can also mean you pay more when you renovate, repair or build a home, buy a vehicle or just go shopping. Steep penalties for cartel conduct by two bin operators In February 2024, the Federal Court handed down a sentencing […]
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payment redirection, scam, Scamwatch, scammer, hacker, email, email scam, business email compromise, payment, money
03 Apr 2024

Protect yourself against payment redirection scams

According to the latest figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in 2022 Australians lost more than $3 billion to scammers, including losses due to payment redirection scams – and that is only the losses that were reported to the ACCC. How common are payment redirection scams? As house prices soar, scammers are employing […]
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industrial manslaughter, negligent, negligence, boss, employer, liable, penalty, death, scaffolding, workplace, construction, safety, worker, employee
08 Mar 2024

Negligent bosses in NSW to face 20 years in jail for industrial manslaughter

Employers found liable for industrial manslaughter could face up to 20 years in jail under tough new negligence laws to come into operation in NSW in 2024. New industrial manslaughter laws following worksite deaths NSW Industrial Relations Minister Sophie Cotsis has said she will bring in new industrial manslaughter laws which will significantly increase penalties […]
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doli incapax, presumption of innocence, crime, criminal, criminal responsibility, prosecution, offence, reasonable doubt, evidence, guilty, detention, Indigenous
05 Mar 2024

Doli incapax and what it means for kids

Doli incapax is Latin for “incapable of evil” and stems from the legal notion that humans can be too young to understand what they are doing is wrong when they commit a crime. Children under ten cannot be found guilty of an offence In Australia children ten years old and younger cannot be found guilty […]
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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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