The Queensland Government has made a historic decision to allow pill testing services in the state, marking a significant step towards reducing the risks and harms associated with illicit drug use. The new service, which is currently being finalised by the government, will operate at fixed and mobile sites and will chemically test illicit drugs to check for the presence of potentially dangerous substances and chemical compounds. The introduction of pill testing services in Queensland supports a key priority of the state government’s Achieving Balance Plan, which aims to reduce alcohol and drug-related harm and consider additional intervention strategies. The …

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Bail is a legal arrangement that allows an accused person to remain free from custody while awaiting trial. In Queensland, the Bail Act 1980 regulates the bail process. Bail is an important legal right that aims to strike a balance between the protection of society and the presumption of innocence of the accused. In this article, we will discuss what is bail in Queensland and how it works. What is Bail? Bail is the temporary release of an accused person from custody while they await their trial. It is granted by a court or a police officer and is a …

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A sentence is the final stage of a criminal proceeding where a court determines the penalty or punishment to be imposed on a person who has been found guilty of a criminal offence. In Queensland, most criminal cases are heard in the Magistrates Court. It is important to understand what happens at a Magistrates Court sentence. When a person is found guilty of a criminal offence in the Magistrates Court, the matter is often adjourned to a later date for sentencing. At other times the matter may be listed for a sentence or lengthy plea. At the sentencing hearing, the …

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Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in Queensland, with the state government announcing a target of having 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030. However, with the rise in popularity comes the issue of parking in electric vehicle charging bays, which has led to the introduction of new fines. Queensland drivers who park in an electric vehicle charging bay will be hit with a fine of $55. The fine is aimed at deterring drivers from parking in the bays and blocking access for electric vehicle owners who need to charge their vehicles. The new fine applies to any …

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Legal professional privilege protects communications between clients and their lawyers in the defence of criminal prosecutions. The privilege extends to documents which have come into existence for the dominant purpose of use in legal proceedings. It also extends to communications between lawyers or the client and third parties where they are made in contemplation of litigation and for the purposes of the litigation. In R v McNicol [2022] QSC 67, His Honour, Justice Davis SC outlines the steps a lawyer should undertake where the client has advanced an application to set aside their plea on the basis of the solicitor’s conduct. …

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The Attorney General, Shannon Fentiman, announced the appointment of two new Supreme Court Judges, Declan Kelly QC and Kerri Mellifont QC  to the Court’s Trial Division. Justice Kelly was called to the Bar in 1993, commenced practice as a barrister in 1994 and was appointed as Senior Counsel in November 2007. His Honour has experience in a wide range of legal practice, including the fields of commercial, equity, trade practices, building and construction, and banking and finance. Justice Mellifont was admitted to the Bar in 1994 and was made Senior Counsel (now Queen’s Counsel) in 2010. Her Honour has experience …

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In R v Stewart [2021] QSC 187, His Honour, Justice Henry looks at the issue of where there is shared pre-sentence custody and whether it is open to the court to declare the time held, even where that is in respect of a previous sentence. The case considers the proper interpretation of section 159A(1) of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992. His Honour adopts the reasoning of Her Honour, Justice Bowskill in R v Whitley [2021] QSC 154. See Case Note. Facts Mr Stewart entered a plea of guilty to 12 offences. The most serious was the possession of a …

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In GSB v Commissioner of Police [2021] QDC 196, His Honour, Judge Rinaudo AM DCJ adopted the approach of Judge Cash QC in R v Eru-Guthrie [2021] QDC 174 in sentencing an offender who committed further offences while on parole. The notorious delay with the Queensland Parole Board has caused considerable difficulties for sentencing Courts. At the time of committing the offence the subject of the appeal, the Appellant was on parole for previous offending. Pursuant to s 209 of the Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld), when he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment his parole was taken to have been cancelled. Sentencing …

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In R v Eru-Guthrie [2021] QDC 174, His Honour, Judge Cash QC, DCJ was asked to re-open the sentence proceedings where Mr Eru-Gutherie’s parole application faced significant delay. Ultimately, His Honour re-opened the proceedings and reduced the sentence that was imposed. FACTS: On 13 April 2021, Mr Eru-Gutherie, entered a guilty plea to a single offence of unlawfully doing grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced to a term of four years and parole eligibility date 1 of 1 December 2021 was fixed (a bottom of 16 months). His Honour intended to sentence the Applicant to four years and parole eligibility after 14 months. …

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In Queensland Police Service v Pitt [2021] QMC 4, Mr Pitt was charged with possess knife in a public place. The issue was whether the hunting knifes were physically possessed by the accused. If so did Mr Pitt have a reasonable excuse 48 hours later. Ultimately the Court found in favour of the accused. FACTS Police formed a suspicion that there may be drugs within the Defendant’s car. The driver and two passengers were detained for a search. Police located two knives in a sheath. They were in a position between the two seats in the cabin of the utility, in …

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