CMC To Be Renamed CCC, Crime and Corruption Commission in Overhaul

The CMC is set to be rebranded following changes to Queensland Criminal Laws passed today, 19 March 2014.  The Crime and Misconduct Act has been amended to rebrand the former Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) as the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC), with an objective to focus on organised crime and corruption.  The amendments will also see the introduction of a new administrative position of a CEO.

CCC, Crime and Corruption Commission CEO to be appointed.

Currently the CMC is headed by the Chairman of the CMC. This position is both administrative and investigative.  In what is seen as a positive move a new role of Chief Executive Officer for the CCC – Crime and Corruption Commission will be created.  The CEO will be responsible for the CCC’s administration, while the Chair will be able to concentrate on the investigative functions of the CCC.

Malicious Complaints

In what is said to be an effort to prevent baseless or malicious complaints, a statutory declaration will be required when a complaint is made.

The CCC can waive that requirement under exceptional circumstances (e.g. fear of retaliation or a complainant’s literacy level or English competency).

Changes

Other reforms include:

  1. Overhauling the complaints process to allow the CCC to focus on its core activities
  2. Empowering the Parliamentary Commissioner to investigate claims of misconduct within the CCC
  3. Requiring Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee (PCMC) hearings be open to the public, with appropriate exceptions to protect classified information or ongoing investigations
  4. Requiring consultation with the PCMC when appointing CCC Commissioners (including the Chair, CEO and other Commissioners), but not requiring consensus support.

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.

Corrupt Betting Offences to carry 10 year maximum

Corrupt betting set to face 10 year imprisonment.

Corrupt betting set to face 10 year imprisonment.

Sports betting and corruption

New laws targeting sports betting and corruption are set to be introduced into Queensland Parliament.  The laws are expected to mirror those of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, in legislating specific offences relating to the integrity of sporting contests.

Maximum Penalties for Corrupt Sports Betting

The government has announced that it is set to introduce five new offences. The new laws and the proposed maximum penalties are:

  1. Engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome (10 years imprisonment)
  2. Facilitating conduct that corrupts a betting outcome (10 years imprisonment)
  3. Concealing conduct that corrupts a betting outcome (10 years imprisonment)
  4. Using corrupt conduct information about an event for betting purposes (10 years imprisonment)
  5. Using inside information for betting purposes (2 years imprisonment).
Courtsiding as alleged in the 2013 Australian Open will be an offence.

Courtsiding as alleged in the 2013 Australian Open will be an offence.

Interstate history

The legislation was recently seen used in Victoria where a 22 year old UK man was  charged with “courtsiding” at the Australian Open, with police alleging he placed bets on point outcomes during a match.  Like the Queensland legislation the man was facing up to 10 years in jail.

Under the laws introduced last year by the Victorian government it is an offence for anyone to “engage in or facilitate any conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of a sport or racing event resulting in financial advantage”.  Despite much publicity surrounding the arrest the prosecution withdrew its charge in the Melbourne Magistrates Court at the first mention of the matter.

While we are yet to see a conviction with this type of legislation there is material to suggest that sporting bodies are actively seeking to investigate sports betting and corrupt practices.

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 Searches For New Chief Justice

Queensland is seeking the appointment of a new Chief Justice.

Queensland is seeking the appointment of a new Chief Justice.

New Chief Justice Sought

Gold Coast criminal lawyers have long sought the introduction of regular sittings of the Supreme Court at Southport.  While the current Chief Justice has arranged for a number of sentences to be conducted at the Southport Court precinct, Gold Coast criminal lawyers will undoubtably be agitating for a permanent Supreme Court, when the new Chief Justice is announced.

Governor General Appointment.

With the appointment of current Chief Justice, Paul de Jersey Queensland’s next Governor General, the hunt is on for the person who will fill his robes.   To facilitate a smooth transition, the new Chief Justice will be appointed before Justice de Jersey is sworn in, as Governor General on 29 June 2014.

Candidates must be eligible to be a judge, which means at least five years standing as a solicitor or barrister of the Supreme Court.

His Honour, Chief Justice DeJersey has been a long supporter of Gold Coast Criminal Lawyers with regular attendances at the Gold Coast District Law Association AGM.  It is hoped that His Honour’s replacement will continue to make time for Gold Coast practitioners.

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.

Penalty Unit Costs Set For Automatic Increase.

GCL Dollar1Penalties Units Set for Rise

The Penalties and Sentences (Indexation) Amendment Act 2013 was passed on 5 March 2014.  This legislation allows for the annual indexing of penalty units under the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999 such that further legislation is not required to increase the penalty rate (unless an increase is to be above the indexed rate).

The value of a penalty unit will automatically increase each year at a rate to be published by the Treasurer and if no rate is published, by 3.5%.

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.

Party Hosts face 3 years imprisonment for “out of control” parties

goldcoastOut of Control Party Laws

Organisers of out-of-control parties could face hefty fines or jail time under new out of control party laws to go before State Parliament this week.

Under the out of control party laws, a person who organises a party that becomes an out-of-control event, their parents or gate crashers face a maximum penalty of 12 months jail or $12,100. If police face aggravated and violent circumstances when shutting down wild parties, the party organisers may face fines up to $18,150 and three years in prison.

The out of control party laws provide a defence for a person who has taken reasonable steps to ensure the event does not become out-of-control, or where a third party has caused the offence.

Out-of-control conduct is said to include behaviour such as fighting, damaging property, throwing objects to harm people, disorderly conduct, making unreasonable noise and trespassing.

Police Powers

The new out of control party laws give police the power to:

  1. make directions;
  2. take steps reasonably necessary to effectively respond to ‘out of control’ events; and
  3. includes the provision for a person convicted of a relevant offence to pay all or some of the costs incurred by police.

This legislation is expected to be passed by the Government later this week.

While the term out of control party conjures up images of 100’s of drunken teenagers spilling out on suburban streets the reality of the proposed legislation is quite different.  According to the draft bill, a party is a gathering of twelve or more people.

A party is considered “out-of-control” if three people at that party are deemed by police to be drunk in a public place, cause excessive noise, or use “indecent” language.

The difficulty we have with these proposed laws is that the police already have the powers to arrest people for being drunk and disorderly, being a public nuisance, assault, wilful damage, exposure etc.  This new legislation is at best redundant but at worst seeks to make responsible those that are hosting events for the behaviour of their guests.

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.

Mandatory Sentences part of NSW “one punch” laws

one punch

Mandatory Sentences

Mandatory eight-year jail sentences for fatal one-punch attacks fuelled by alcohol or drugs are among are raft of measures to be introduced to curb alcohol-related violence in Sydney.

It is also proposed that mandatory minimum sentences are to be introduced for other drug- or alcohol-fuelled offences, including:

  1. Reckless wounding (three years),
  2. Assaulting a police officer in the execution of duty (two years),
  3. Affray (four years); and
  4. Sexual assault (five years).

Police will be able to test for drugs and alcohol if they suspect someone has committed an alcohol- or drug-fuelled assault.

One punch measures

Included in the raft of measures set to be introduced are:

  1. Eight-year minimum sentencing for alcohol or drug-fuelled assaults ending in death.
  2. Serious assault maximum penalty increased by two years, with mandatory minimum sentences.
  3. On the spot fines for disorderly behavior increased from $200 to $1,100.
  4. Increased on the spot fines for anti-social behaviour (eg, from $150 to $500 for offensive language and from $200 to $500 for offensive behaviour);
  5. Police powers to immediately ban ‘troublemakers’ from CBD/Kings Cross.
  6. Penalty for possession of steroids increased from two (2) to 25 years.
  7. CBD/Kings Cross venues to have 1:30am lockouts with drinks stopping at 3:00am.
  8. Bottle shops across NSW to close at 10:00pm.
  9. Voluntary intoxication will be removed as a mitigating factor in sentencing;
  10. Free buses leaving every 10 minutes from Kings Cross to the CBD on Friday and Saturday nights;
  11. A freeze on liquor licences for new clubs and pubs (with small bars, restaurants and tourist accommodation exempted);
  12. Increase from two years to 25 years’ maximum sentence for the illegal supply and possession of steroids;
  13. A ‘‘road safety-style’’ social media and advertising campaign targeted at alcohol fuelled violence;

Mandatory lock out laws

Under the laws, there will be a mandatory 1:30am lockout for licensed premises across an expanded Sydney CBD entertainment precinct, spanning from Kings Cross to Darling Harbour.  Venues will be subject to a risk-based licensing scheme whereby higher fees will be imposed on venues that trade later, are larger or are in high risk areas, as part of a reform package announced on Tuesday.

Drinks will not be allowed to be served after 3:00am, but premises can remain open.  Small bars, casinos, restaurants and tourist accommodation facilities will be exempt from the laws.  Small bars are defined as up to 60 people.

Parliament will be brought back early next week, probably on Wednesday, to introduce the legislation required to implement the package. With the support of the opposition the new mandatory sentencing laws could be in place by February 1, and the rest of the package, including the lockouts and reduced trading hours, by the end of April.

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.

 

Proposed toughening for Juvenile Justice.

juvenile justice

Juvenile Justice Laws

The Queensland Government is proposing a raft of changes to the Juvenile Justice Act when Parliament resumes on 11 February this year.

Proposed Juvenile Justice Changes

These changes include:

  1. Removing detention as a sentence of last resort.
  2. Making breach of bail an offence if a young person commits a crime while on bail.
  3. Naming and shaming of repeat offenders.
  4. Making all juvenile criminal histories available in adult courts to give a magistrate or judge a complete understanding of a defendant’s history.
  5. Transferring juvenile offenders to adult correctional centres when they reach 17 years of age if they have six or more months of their sentence remaining.

Education and rehabilitation

We maintain that the  preferable approach to the majority of those appearing in the Juvenile Justice system is to provide stability and education.  The effect of many of these changes will, in our view, further alienate the young person from mainstream society.

The current regime is said to acknowledge that young people make mistakes and should be afforded opportunity in their future efforts to obtain employment etc.  This proposed approach will make rehabilitation for the young person even more difficult.

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.

QUEEN’S COUNSEL TITLE RESTORED

The title of Queens Counsel was reinstated following the confirmation of appointments by the Executive Counsel on Thursday 6 June 2013.  Of the 73 SC’s appointed all but three have opted to return to the more traditional title of QC.
The title of QC’s or Queen’s Counsel was abolished by the Labour Government in 1994.  Since that time eminent counsel have been appointed as SC’s or Senior Counsel.  Now all counsel gaining silk will be given the title of Queen’s Counsel.