On 30 April 2012, the then Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman revealed a crack down on weapons offences. His government introduced mandatory minimum penalties for weapons charges. Importantly section 50 of the Weapons Act 1990 was amended to include mandatory minimum sentences for possession of various classes of weapons in a public place. Consequently this regime has seen sentences which have appeared unjust. Queensland Courts have sought to remedy the unfairness by imposing probation orders, particularly for young, first time offenders. There have been conflicting interpretations in both the Magistrates and District Court on this issue. That is to say, does the Court have a power in an appropriate case, to impose […]
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In acknowledging the link between addiction and the commission of criminal offences, the Queensland government has reinstated the Drug Court in Queensland. This court recognises that rehabilitation is often the best way of achieving the objective of keeping the community safe from recidivist offenders, who might otherwise be unable to give up their drug and/or alcohol addiction. On 24 October, the Queensland parliament passed the Penalties and Sentences (Drug and Alcohol Treatment Orders) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017. This bill is not only re-established the previous regime but expands it to include alcohol as a relevant drug. In her August 10 Media Release, the Attorney General said that the bill […]
The Queensland government is currently considering introducing a new mid-range driving offence between the existing Criminal Code offence of Dangerous Driving, and the TORUM offence of Driving without Due Care and Attention offence. The proposed offence will include a circumstance of aggravation for offending drivers who cause death or grievous bodily harm in the commission of the offence of Driving without Due Care and Attention, where they were driving whilst unlicensed or their license was suspended, or disqualified. The proposal follows the Coroners recommendations in the matter of Audrey Anne Dow. Inquest into the death of Audrey Anne Dow Audrey Anne Dow passed away at Mackay Base Hospital on 31 July […]
On 12 October 2017, the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Grace Grace, announced the introduction of “Tough new industrial manslaughter laws” in Queensland. With maximum penalties of 20 years imprisonment for an individual, and a maximum fine of $10 million for a corporate offender, the new Industrial Manslaughter laws are significant. The new Industrial Manslaughter laws were prompted by the 2016, workplace fatalities at Dreamworld, where four people lost their lives on the Thunder River Rapids Ride; and at Eagle Farm, where two workers were crushed when a precast concrete slab toppled over. These incidents prompted the Government to engage Tim Lyons to review the Workplace Health and Safety Laws. His […]
Criminal Lawyer, Sam Rigby explains the introduction of the State Penalties Enforcement Amendment Bill 2017 into the Queensland Parliament. The SPER registry oversees and manages debts, amounting to $1.17 billion. The management of such debts has been scrutinised over the past few years in dealing with the structure of debts, dealing with people who are suffering financial hardship or disadvantage and when an infringement should be referred to SPER. Like many of our clients who appear before the court, their penalties are often referred to SPER. These fines can range in expense and if Sentenced more than once, the amount of debt can add up quickly. The bill introduces other non-monetary methods to pay these […]
Youth Justice Reforms Queensland’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 […]
DV LAW SET TO BE STRENGTHENED AND PENALTIES INCREASED. Domestic Violence Law On 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: Better protect and support victims of Domestic and Family Violence; Hold perpetrators of Domestic and Family Violence accountable; and Provide police and the Courts with improved tools […]
On 28 April 2016 the Governor approved the Penalties and Sentences Amendment Regulation (No.1) 2016(the PSR Amendment). It commences on 1 July 2016 and amends the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2015 (the PSR) to prescribe a new penalty unit value of $121.90 From 1 July 2016, penalty unit values will increase from $117.80 to $121.90.
Animal cruelty laws have been dramatically increased in the last twelve months. Late last year the animal cruelty laws were increased from a maximum of two years imprisonment or a fine of $110,000.00 to four years imprisonment and or a fine of $220,000.00. Today the period of imprisonment was again, almost doubled with a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment. The penalty of animal cruelty is set to nearly double following the introduction of a new indictable offence of Serious Animal Cruelty. The offence is said to target people who deliberately inflict severe pain and suffering upon an animal. The maximum penalty is now 7 years imprisonment. This follows […]