Category: Criminal Law

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Workplace Bullying: The Impact of Brodie’s Law on Employers

Brodie Panlock was a 19 year old waitress who tragically ended her life after being subjected to ‘persistent and vicious’ workplace bullying at café Vamp in Hawthorn, Victoria.[1] A coronial inquest found that Brodie’s young age, low self-esteem, and inexperience combined to make her ‘emotionally vulnerable’, and it was this vulnerability that was callously exploited by…




crime

Life in Crime: The Elusive World of the Defence Lawyer

In my first year at law school I remember agonising over what electives I should take over the coming years. By way of career guidance, I was invited to chat with the many graduates who flooded our corridors with giant banners of their respective top-tier firms. Sadly, the only practical advice I took away about…




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Foetal Murder: The Antiquated ‘Born Alive’ Rule

One of the most profound absurdities in modern-day Australian criminal law is the complete lack of substantive rights afforded to a foetus. According to Sir Edward Coke’s 1797 definition of murder, a child in utero is not deemed a‘reasonable creature in being’ until it is ‘born alive’.[1] The born alive rule maintains that a child can only be a victim…




mockingbird

Trial by ‘Doctored’ Peers: Preventing Prosecutorial Jury Stacking

Since reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in high school, I’ve always been fascinated by the jury system. The fictional champion Atticus Finch taught me at a very early age that ‘a court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the [people] who make it up’.[1] Our jury…




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‘Sexting’ Laws in Victoria: Distinguishing Child Pornography from High-Tech Flirtation

Back when I was in primary school, our lunchtimes occasionally consisted of playing ‘kiss chasey’ – a game of tag by mode of kissing. I was never the popular kid in the schoolyard and on the rare occasion where I had been kissed or selected to start the game I remember most girls would run…




DNA

DNA Evidence and Familial Matching

“THE son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son.”[1] Regardless of your religious affiliations, the relentless progress of modern DNA science has the capacity to challenge and undermine this immensely sensible and vital moral, philosophical and legal foundation. DNA familial matching is the process…




juvenile-prison

The Toxicity of Juvenile Imprisonment: Mandatory Sentencing in Victoria

It’s been five years since I completed work experience as a Youth Worker at the Juvenile Justice Centre, supervising male offenders between the ages of 15-20 in the Youth Training facility. Being exposed to the toxicity behind the prison walls made me appreciate why the Children’s Court is legislated to reserve incarceration as an absolute…