President of the Court of Appeal Announces Resignation

Criminal lawThis week the Court of Appeal President, Margaret McMurdo announced her intention to resign her position effective 26 March 2017.  Her Honour has been a judge in Queensland for more than 25 years, since becoming the first woman appointed to the bench of the District Court in 1991.  Her Honour’s appointment as President of the Court of Appeal, saw her the the first woman to preside over an appellate court in Australia

Justice McMurdo is a Companion of the Order of Australia and was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003.

After being admitted to the bar in 1976, she spent time as an assistant public defender and at the private bar. She was also a founding member of Women Lawyers Association.

 

Reforms to Youth Justice Laws Brings Qld in Line With UN Convention

Youth Justice Reforms

Teenager under arrestQueensland’s 17 year old offenders are the only youths in the Country being sentenced outside the youth justice system.

By treating 17 year olds as adults in the criminal justice system, Queensland has been inconsistent not only with the rest of the country, but also in breach the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Under proposed youth justice reforms, 17 year olds are to be considered children.  It is anticipated that all children under the age of 18 year will proceed through the Youth Justice System.  The proposed reforms are hoped to reduce the rate of recidivism by diverting the youths from the Adult system and providing assistance.

Benefits

It is well recognised amongst stakeholders that the youth justice system provides:

  1. Greater capacity for offenders to be diverted away from the Court system;
  2. Access to age appropriate education, training and programs;
  3. Age appropriate support and supervision in custody;
  4. Reduced access to the influence of adult offenders; and
  5. The benefit of sentencing principles with prioritise support and rehabilitation in the community.

Children who do not have their basic health and welfare needs being met are at a greater risk of re-offending.  Youth require greater levels of education, training and engagement in employment if they are to avoid the statistics of returning to custody. The youth justice system is better suited to meeting these needs.

Amendment to Youth Justice Act

On 15 September 2016, the Attorney General, Ms D’Ath introduced the Youth Justice and Other Legislation (inclusion of 17 year old Persons) Amendment Bill 2016.  The purpose of the Bill is to recognise that 17 year olds are youths and not adults.  Importantly 17 year olds are to be included in the upper age of a ‘child’ for the purposes of the Youth Justice Act.  The definition of a ‘child’ will now include a person under the age of 18 years.

Commencement

The Bill will commence by proclamation 12 months after passage.  The delay is to account for the need to ensure that necessary planning is undertaken to facilitate a safe and proper transition.

Application

It is envisaged that there will be broadly three categories of youth that the amendment will apply to:

  1. 17 year old charged after proclamation;
  2. 17 year olds subject to current proceedings; and
  3. 17 year olds currently serving a custodial sentence.

17 year olds yet to be charged

This group will be treated as a child for the purpose of the Act.  The traditional application of part 6, division 11 of the Act will continue to govern the principles where a juvenile offender turns 18 prior to the commencement of proceedings.

17 year olds subject to current proceedings

The Bill proposes that the Court will have a discretion as to how to deal with those who are turning 18 close the finalisation of their sentence. The new subsection 390(3) will provide a broad power for a court to make an order or give a direction of ensure that any unanticipated scenarios can be dealt with appropriately.

17 year olds service a sentence

The Bill does not interfere with Sentence Orders made prior to commencement.  It will however, provide for the administration of those orders as 17 year olds in the Youth Justice System rather than the adult system.

If a 17 year old was sentenced to an adult probation order, that order would continue. The supervision of the Order would however be administered as though it were a Youth Justice Probation Order.

Similarly, a 17 year old, sentenced to imprisonment would serve that term of imprisonment in a youth detention centre.  The detention would be subject to the relevant provisions of the Youth Justice Act.  The youth would be released on a Supervised Release Order in place of Parole and/or would transition to an adult corrective services facility on reaching a certain age.

Further Reading

Click here to read more about the Inclusion of 17- year-old Persons Amendment Bill 2016

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Domestic & Family Violence Protection Bill 2016

DV LAW SET TO BE STRENGTHENED AND PENALTIES INCREASED.

Domestic Violence Law

Domestic Violence LawOn 16 August 2016, the Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Protection of Domestic and Family Violence introduced the Domestic and Family Violence and other Legislation Amendment Bill.  When introducing the new Domestic Violence Law the minister noted that during 2016, there had been 9 coronial investigations into the deaths that had occurred in domestic or family relationships in Queensland.

It was said that the purpose of the amendment was to:

  1. Better protect and support victims of Domestic and Family Violence;
  2. Hold perpetrators of Domestic and Family Violence accountable; and
  3. Provide police and the Courts with improved tools to save lives and protect victims.

National Scheme

The Bill enables Queensland to participate in the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme. This scheme has been agreed to by COAG.  One of the Key findings from the Coronial Inquest into Luke Batty’s death was the failure by counsellors, police, courts, medical practitioners and others to share information.  This Bill seeks to enable the sharing of information between key Government and non-government entities.

Currently the Act provides that DVO made anywhere in Australia or New Zealand are recognised and enforceable in Queensland. Such recognition is provided that the Aggrieved manually registers their order with a Magistrate Court in Queensland. This requirement will be done away with.  The proposal is that all jurisdictions will:

  1. Enjoy automatic recognition of interstate orders;
  2. Treat the contravention of and interstate DVO as if it were a Queensland DVO;
  3. Recognise and interstate disqualification such as cancellation of a weapons licence;
  4. Allow for the exchange of information.

Section 169J of the new domestic violence law will override the existing principles and rights under the Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986. It shall enable information to be shared, notwithstanding the conviction having been spent.

Grounds for Protection Orders

Domestic Violence is defined in Section 8 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act. It includes the phrase ‘has committed domestic violence‘.  It is believed that this has created a misapprehension that an act of physical violence must occur before a protection order can be obtained.  The new domestic violence law clarifies that a Court may issue a DV order on the basis that the victim has been threatened or has a fear that the Respondent will commit an act of domestic violence.

Police Protection Notices

The 2012 amendments to the Act introduced Police Protection Notices.  Currently the legislation permits only the alleged victim of Domestic and Family violence to be protected. The Bill expands police powers to include the victim’s children, relatives and other associated people on the Notice.

The new domestic violence law widens the operation of the notice. It expands the conditions which may be included.  Presently, police may only include two (2) conditions. They may do so only if, they are at the same location as the Respondent. The current domestic violence law permits conditions:

  1. that the Respondent not commit acts of Domestic Violence; and
  2. a 24 hour cool down condition.

Police will be able to include extra conditions.  Included is the power to:

  1. remove alleged offenders from the family home until a Court Hearing.
  2. prohibit the respondent from having contact with the victim;
  3. prohibit the respondent from having contact with their children.

Police Protection Orders are enforceable in the same way as Domestic Violence Orders.  Respondents will commit an offence if they breach a condition that the Police Officer has told them about.  The breach will occur, even if they have not been served with a copy of the Order.

The maximum penalty for breaching a Police Protection Order or Release Condition is to be increased to three years imprisonment or 120 penalty units.

Duration of Court Protection Orders.

Currently, under section 97 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act, Protection Orders are made for a period of two years. The Bill expands the operational period by setting an expectation that orders will be for a minimum of five  years from the date the PO is made. A Court may only make a PO for a period of less than five (5) years if it is satisfied that there are reasons for doing so.

If the Court does not specify a time frame the PO is held to be in operation for a period of five (5) years from the date the PO is made.

Courts will continue to have to consider what conditions are necessary and desirable to protect the Applicant.

The new domestic violence law will make Queensland objectively the toughest, compared to other jurisdictions, which have the following periods:

  • South Australia – Indefinite Order or until discharged, must wait twelve (12) months before application;
  • New Zealand – Indefinite Order or until discharged;
  • ACT – Two (2) years unless exceptional circumstances require longer period;
  • NSW – Court to determine, or one (1) year if no determination;
  • Western Australia – Court to determine or two (2) years if no determination;
  • Victoria – Court to determine, nil default period;
  • Tasmania – Court to determine, nil default period;
  • Northern Territory – Court to determine, nil default period.

Compliance with ‘Voluntary’ Intervention Order.

The proposed domestic violence law clarifies the weight that a Court is to attribute to an Offenders participating in a voluntary intervention order.  Presently, Courts are required to take into account such participation in deciding whether to make an Order and its duration.  Under the amendment the Court will still be entitled to take into account a Respondents compliance with an Intervention program, but the Court must not refuse to make an Order, or vary an Order merely because the Respondent has complied.

Conversely the Court is required to specifically take into account a Respondents failure or non-compliance while on the Intervention program.

The Bill will remove the word ‘voluntary’ from the definition. This will reflect that Intervention Orders are not voluntary and carry the weight of a Court Order.

Further Information

To read the new Bill click on the attached link Domestic Violence Law 2016 or to discuss how these changes may apply to your situation, contact our lawyers experienced in domestic violence cases today.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Overview of Serious and Organised Crime Bill 2016

VLAD LawsOn 13 September 2016, the Attorney General, Ms D’Ath presented the Serious and Organised Crime Bill to the Queensland Parliament.  The Bill is set to amend and/or replace the 2013 raft of legislation commonly known as VLAD.  The legislation is said to be based on the recommendations of the three (3) reviews commissioned by the Government into organised crime:

  1. The Queensland Organised Crime Commission or Inquiry 2015; Inquiry ReportReport
  2. The Taskforce on Organised Crime Legislation; Taskforce Report
  3. The Statutory Review of the Criminal Organisation Act 2009. Statutory Review

The Government is at pains to highlight that the Serious and Organised Crime Bill is not aimed solely at so called outlaw motorcycle gangs, but all serious criminal activity and organised crime.  In particular the new legislation is said to include all forms of organised crime including child exploitation, drug trafficking and financial crimes.

Organised Crime Bill Key Elements

The key elements of the new Bill are:

  1. A new consorting offence;
  2. Public safety protection orders consisting of Public Safety Orders, Restricted Premises Orders and Fortification Removal Orders;
  3. Banning of “colours” to all public places;
  4. New Offences and Increased penalties for child exploitation material offences, sophisticated financial crimes and drug trafficking;
  5. New powers for police to investigate child exploitation and financial crimes.
  6. Reduce the mandatory imprisonment period.
  7. Delete the circumstance of aggravation of being an office bearer

Consorting Offence

  • The new consorting offence is to be substantially based on the New South Wales Legislation.
  • It is the be an offence under the Queensland Criminal Code.
  • It will be an offence for a person to consort with two convicted offenders on two or more occasions.
  • A convicted offender must be a person convicted of an offence that is punishable by at least a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment or another prescribed offence associated with organised crime.
  • A person can not be convicted of the new consorting offence, before they have received an official written warning from a police officer.
  • The offence does not apply to a person under the age of 18 years.
  • There is a defence to the charge that allows for participation in Civic Life.

Public Safety Protection Orders

The scheme contains three (3) new orders:

  1. restricted premises order;
  2. public safety order; and
  3. fortification removal order.

It will be an indictable offence under the Queensland Criminal Code.

1. Restricted Premises Order

  • The order will enable a premises to be declared by the Magistrates Court to be restricted if a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that certain unlawful or disorderly conduct is occurring there.
  • The declaration will enable police to enter and search the premises without warrant at any time.
  • The declaration will enable the police to seize property including furniture, entertainment systems, pool tables, stripper poles and the like.
  • The Commissioner of Police may forfeit any property that is lawfully seized to the State.
  • The OMCG clubhouses that were closed under the 2013 VLAD laws will be automatically declared to be restricted premises that are unable to reopen.

2. Public Safety Order

  • The Order will enable a commissioned police officer or the Magistrates Court to order that a person, or group of persons is prohibited from entering or attending an event or place if their presence is a serious risk to public safety.
  • Police are able to make an Order for seven (7) days
  • Magistrates are able to make an Order for more than seven (7) days.

3. Fortification Removal Order

  • The Order enables the Police to apply to the Magistrates Court to seek an order directing the removal or modification of fortifications that are excessive for the lawful use of a property.
  • If the Order is not complied with, police can enter the property and use any force or equipment necessary to remove or modify the fortifications.
  • Police are able to issue stop and desist notices if they observe excessive fortifications being built on a property.
  • Police have 14 days from the issuing of the cease and desist notice to make an application to the court for a fortification removal order.

Wearing or Carrying Prohibited Items

  • The new Prohibited Items Offence is to be inserted into the Summary Offences Act.
  • The offence criminalises the wearing or carrying of prohibited items in a way that they can be seen in any public place.
  • The definition makes it clear that a public place includes in or on a vehicle in a public place.
  • The offence effectively extends the prohibition on wearing these items that already exists in relation to licence venues.

Criminal Organisation Definitions

  • The new legislation carries a uniform definition of Criminal Organisation and Participant in all legislation.
  • Participant is set to be defined as an individual who is actively involved in a criminal organisation or who identify and promote themselves as being involved in a criminal organisation.

Organised Crime Sentences

  • Those convicted of the circumstance of aggravation will continue to face mandatory sentences that can only be mitigated reduced upon co-operation with the authorities.
  • The fixed mandatory component of the sentence is limited to seven (7) years imprisonment or the equivalent of the maximum penalty for the offencem whichever is lesser.
  • No harsher treatment for Office Bearers
  • The mandatory component is to be wholly served in a correctional facility without any eligibility for parole.
  • Jailed bikies treated the same as everyone els.

Control Order

  • Upon conviction the Court will also be required to make an Organised Crime Control Order.
  • The Organised Crime Control Order will be a mandatory consequence of conviction of the new serious organised crime circumstance of aggravation.
  • The orders will be limited to two (2) years in duration.
  • Conditions will include limiting the person from:
    • attending certain places;
    • place restrictions on their use of electronic devices
    • restrict where they may work
    • restrict who they may have contact with.
  • The Organised Crime Control Order will be a discretionary in three (3) circumstances:
    1. When sentencing a person for an indictable offence, if the court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the offender was a participant in a criminal organisation at the time.
    2. When sentencing a person for the consorting offence the court may make a limited control order which can only include place restrictions and conditions that prohibit who the person may have contact with.
    3. When sentencing a person for a contravention of a control order the court may extend the length or conditions of the existing control order.

Transitional Provisions.

  • The Bill provides for transitional arrangements for any individuals that have pleaded guilty and who have been sentenced under the old VLAD Act.

Amendment to Drugs Misuse Act

  • The maximum penalty of 25 years is to apply to all drugs, regardless of whether the drug is heroin, steroids or cannabis.
  • The current mandatory minimum 80 per cent non parole period, which applies to trafficking, will be removed and the offence will be restored to the Serious Violent Offence regime under the Penalties and Sentences Act.

Boiler Room Fraud

  • Increase the maximum penalties for existing aggravated offences of fraud from 12 to 14 years imprisonment
  • New circumstance of aggravation for the offence of fraud carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, where the property or yield to the offender of the fraud is $100,000.00 or more.
  • New circumstance of aggravation for the offence of fraud carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, where the offender participates in carrying on the business of committing fraud.
  • Increase in the maximum penalties for the offence of obtaining or dealing with identification information from three (3)  to five (5) years.

Child Exploitation Material

  • Creates three (3) new offences in the Criminal Code that target administrators of websites connected with child exploitation material.
  1. knowingly administer websites used to distribute child exploitation material.
  2. knowingly encourage the use of, promote or advertise websites used to distribute child exploitation material material
  3. distribute information about how to avoid detection of, or prosecution for, an offence involving child exploitation material.
  • Each new offence will carry a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
  • increase the maximum penalties for the offence of involving a child in making child exploitation material from 14 to 20 years imprisonment.
  • increase the maximum penalties for the offence of making child exploitation material from 14 to 20 years imprisonment.

Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Bill

For more detail the Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Bill can be viewed here: Draft Legislation

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council

Sentencing law to be assisted by Sentencing Advisory Council

Sentencing LawSentencing law is a complex and often controversial part of the Criminal process.  In considering the competing elements of the sentencing discretion, Magistrates and Judges are often criticised as being too harsh or too lenient.

In March 2016 the Queensland Premier introduced the Penalties and Sentences (Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council) Amendment Bill into the Queensland Parliament. The purpose was to re-establish the Sentencing Advisory Council.  The new council is largely modelled on regime abolished by the former government in 2012.

Purpose

The proposed purpose of the Council is to:

  1. Ensure public confidence in the administration of justice;
  2. Improve the effectiveness of sentencing practices;
  3. Support the principles of sentencing

Functions

The primary job of the Council is two-fold.

  1. To provide information to the wider community about the sentencing process; and
  2. Obtain the communities views on sentencing and matters about sentencing.

Section 9 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, relevantly provides that the Court must make it clear that the community acting through the court, denounces the sort of conduct in which the offender was involved.  The Court is often critisised as being out of touch with community expectation.  The Sentencing Advisory Committee is able to assist the Court.

The Court of Appeal may request input from the Council when delivering or reviewing a guideline judgement.  It is hoped that this will make sentencing law more transparent.

Membership

The council is to be an independent body comprised of up to 12 members.  Members are to be appointed by the Governor in Council on recommendation from the Attorney General.  Given the misrepresentation of Aboriginals or Torres Strait Islander Persons in the Judicial System, at least one member of the Council is to be an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

The Bill provides a non-exhaustive list people with experience in sentencing law including:

  1. victims of crime;
  2. crime prevention;
  3. law enforcement;
  4. criminal prosecutions;
  5. criminal defence representatives;
  6. corrective services;
  7. juvenile justice
  8. justice matters relating to Domestic and Family Violence matters.

Expectation.

Provided the Bill passes through the Parliament, expectation is that the Council will be operational in the latter half of 2016.  It is proposed that terms of reference will be issued to consider “sentencing practices associated with Domestic and Family Violence Offences.”

Further Reading

To read more about sentencing law, particuarly the Penalties and Sentences (Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council) Amendment Bill  in full go to Sentencing Advisory Council Bill

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Qld set to overturn Barbaro & Zirilli v The Queen [2014]

Statue of justiceBarbaro & Zirilli is a 2014 High Court Decision which effectively brought to an end the practice of Prosecutors providing the Court with an appropriate sentencing range.  Until 2014 it was usual for the prosecution to provide the Court with assistance not only as to the facts of a sentence but also with a range that the Crown considered appropriate for the offending.

The case itself involved conspiring to traffic a commercial quantity of MDMA, trafficking a commercial quantity of MDMA and attempting to possess a commercial quantity of cocaine.

The accused men, Mr Barbaro and Mr Zirilli agreed to enter pleas of guilty following discussions between their lawyers and the prosecution.  During those discussions, the prosecution expressed its view as to the range of sentences that might be imposed on each applicant. The prosecution told the applicants’ lawyers that the “sentencing range”, in Mr Barbaro’s case, was a head sentence of 32 to 37 years with a non-parole period of 24 to 28 years and, in Mr Zirilli’s case, a head sentence of 21 to 25 years with a non-parole period of 16 to 19 years.

At the sentencing hearing, Justice King, advised that she would not receive from either party submissions about sentencing range.  The prosecution, in those circumstances did not make any submission about what range of sentences could be imposed.  Mr Barbaro was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non‑parole period of 30 years.  Mr Zirilli was sentenced to 26 years’ imprisonment with a non‑parole period of 18 years.

The High Court dismissed both appeals.  The Court held, by majority, that it is neither the role nor the duty of the prosecution to proffer some statement of the bounds within which a sentence may be imposed.  It is for the sentencing judge alone to decide what sentence will be imposed. As a consequence the practice of providing the Sentencing Court with assistance as to the sentencing range came to an end.

The Queensland Government has indicated that it will introduce legislation into Parliament that will reinstate the ability of a court to receive submissions from both the prosecutor and defence on what they considered was the appropriate sentence or range of sentence that should be imposed.

The proposed legislation will return proceedings to the situation that existed prior to the High Court decision in Barbaro & Zirilli v Queen [2014] and will improve consistency in sentencing, as well as assist in the efficient running of courtrooms.

Proposed Offence of Strangulation

 

Woman being abused and strangled by a manThe Queensland Government has indicated that it will this week, introduce a new offence of non-fatal strangulation.  The offence will be introduced into the Queensland Criminal Code and will be a stand-alone offence not limited by association to any other crime.

 The creation of a specific offence of strangulation was a recommendation of the Special Taskforce on Domestic Violence report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic Violence in Queensland.  The report called for the new offence after apparently identifying a gap in the Criminal Code.

The report went on the indicate that “strangulation is a very common feature of Domestic and Family Violence and is also seen as a predictive risk factor for future more severe Domestic and Family Violence and for Homicide?”

Currently, a person alleged to be choking, strangling or suffocating a person would be charged with an offence of Assault which is made out where a person strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies a force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly.  

Common assault attracts a maximum penalty of three (3) years imprisonment, although fines and other penalties are often applied.  The proposed maximum penalty for the new offence will be seven (7) years.

 

New appointment announced for Qld Court of Appeal

wig 1Justice Philip McMurdo was this month appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal.

Justice McMurdo will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Chief Justice Catherine Holmes, who sat on the Court of Appeal from 2006 until her appointment as Chief Justice in September this year.

Justice McMurdo came to the Bar in 1980 and took silk in 1992.

He served two terms as a part-time member of the Queensland Law Reform Commission from 1995-2001.

He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003 and has sat regularly in both the trial and appellate jurisdictions of that Court

New DPP announced for Queensland

wig 1Congratulations to Michael Roderick Byrne QC who was this month appointed as Queensland’s new Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Byrne QC has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a prosecutor, commencing his legal career with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1988.

He was appointed Deputy Director in 2010 and has been acting Director since June this year.

Crime and Corruption Commission temporary appointments 

Temporary Appointments to Queensland’s CCC

Temporary appointments to the Crime and Corruption Commission have been announced by the Queensland Attorney General.

The acting appointments are:

 Acting Chairperson Ann Gummow

Ann Gummow was a commissioner of the then-Crime and Misconduct Commission from 2006-2011 and previously acted as chairperson. She has more than two decades’ experience with the Women’s Legal Service in Brisbane.

 Acting Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Florian

Kathleen Florian has extensive experience in the investigation of serious and organised crime. Since 2012 she has been in charge of the CCC’s major crime function, which comprises specialist teams targeting the state’s highest-threat organised crime groups, criminal pedophilia and proceeds of crime.

 Acting Commissioner David Kent QC

Since 1989, David Kent QC has practised predominantly in criminal law but has broad experience in personal injuries, industrial, administrative and commercial law.  He has appeared for the defence and the prosecution in all Queensland courts, and up to the High Court of Australia.

 Acting Commissioner Soraya Ryan QC

Soraya Ryan QC is a barrister specialising in criminal, mental health and administrative law. She has experience as a prosecutor, educator and appeared as counsel for Legal Aid Queensland in trials, appeals and other applications before commencing work at the private bar in 2010.