Articles on Legal system

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Independence Square in Accra, Ghana. The country is indeed free but must improve at delivering justice. Shutterstock

The verdict is out: Ghana’s jury system needs urgent reform

A key argument in support of the jury system is that it is a valued form of citizen participation in democracies. But the system has led to human rights abuses in Ghana.
The Birmingham Six, from left, top; Patrick Hill, Hugh Callaghan and John Walker. Bottom; Richard McIlkenny, Gerard Hunter and William Power. PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Would the Birmingham Six be victims of miscarriage of justice today?

The Birmingham Six were released after spending 17 years in prison for crimes they did not commit – there's still work to do to stop it happening again.
View from the hotel balcony? NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Is space tourism travelling faster than space law?

The turbocharged capitalism of private space flight is strangely at odds with the brotherly, generous global consensus that built the legal framework for extra-terrestrial travel.
The standard of proof that applies in different types of judicial proceedings may result in quite different verdicts. Shutterstock/Andrey Popov

Judge suspects but must acquit man on child pornography charges

After saying he was 'deeply suspicious', a judge cleared a man of child pornography offences. We need to understand the standard of proof to make sense of verdicts, including AFL rulings on doping.
With controversial headline “This brazen Islam” a French magazine in 2012 claimed Muslims were infiltrating hospitals, cafeterias, swimming pools, schools

The French myth of secularism

Commentators in France and elsewhere have taken the recent terrorist attacks in Paris as an occasion to reflect more broadly about Muslims in France. Many read the attacks as a sign of French Muslims…
Should Australia’s High Court judges be representative of the community that their rulings affect? Should politics play a part? AAP/Lukas Coch

Appointing Australia’s highest judges deserves proper scrutiny

Late last week, the federal government appointed Geoffrey Nettle, a Victorian Court of Appeal judge, to the High Court to replace retiring justice Susan Crennan. Nettle is an excellent lawyer and his appointment…
A grand jury decision not to indict a police officer over the shooting death of Michael Brown has sparked protests and questions over the system’s efficacy. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Only in America: why Australia is right not to have grand juries

The idea of the grand jury is already familiar to many Australians through American television legal drama. But its profile just skyrocketed with a grand jury deciding not to indict policeman Darren Wilson…
No longer restricted to elite athletes, personal fitness data can be collected from people jogging, going to the gym – even sleeping. Josh Janssen/Flickr

Fitness tracking data in courts – persuasive, but not conclusive

Beyond simply counting steps, fitness tracking technology creates personal black boxes that archive everything we do – even sleeping. So it’s not surprising to see that a Calgary law firm, representing…

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