Articles on Justice

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In the Netflix series Making a Murderer, Brendan Dassey is subject to interrogation tactics known as the ‘Reid technique’. Netflix

Making a Murderer: why innocent people confess under interrogation

Innocent people do confess under interrogation to crimes they did not commit, even providing details about the crime. What leads them to falsely confess to very serious crimes?
South Africa is slowly transforming the retributive Western criminal justice system it inherited from colonial times to incorporate African principles of reconciliation and reparation. shutterstock

Why South Africa’s tentative moves toward restorative justice need support

The emergence of the restorative justice philosophy responds to the need to change South Africa's retributive criminal justice system to accommodate African legal practices.
Oscar Pistorius’ early release was a virtual certainty from the day he was sentenced. EPA/Herman Verwey

Why parole for Oscar Pistorius is perfectly legitimate

Oscar Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide for what was deemed a tragic accident. In light of that verdict, he has not been subject to any special treatment in terms of his sentence.
Funding CCTV cameras annihilated a proposal in NSW to create a mentoring program directed at young women in prisons or undergoing release. AAP/Julian Smith

Post-release mentoring succeeds in everything but winning funding

Women coming out of jail require forms of assistance that are not simply directed at technologies for prevention or elimination of recidivism, but rather that are focused on health and well-being.
Australia acknowledges the sacrifices of war veterans on commemorative occasions, but those who are charged with criminal offences can only hope the court shows understanding. AAP/Rebecca Le May

Burdens of war service create a strong case for a veterans’ court

The creation of veterans' courts could be part of a fundamental shift to a criminal justice system that genuinely tackles the causes of crime.
What does Lady Justice stand for? Wikimedia

What’s wrong with inequality?

One of the great issues of our day is inequality. Whether it is the Greek debt crisis, anxieties about Sydney real estate prices, the continuing resonance of “Occupy” and cries about the “1%”, or the publishing…
President Barack Obama and his inner circle follow the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which made headlines worldwide but is seemingly unimportant four years on. EPA/Pete Souza/White House handout

Osamacide, ‘justice’ and the deadly legacy of Bin Laden

Memories of the killing of Osama bin Laden are fading, but the legacies of al-Qaeda and the war on terror's many 'own goals' haunt us in the form of multiplying threats and lost civil liberties.
The High Court has upheld a NSW Court of Appeal decision that ICAC had no power to investigate Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

High Court forces ICAC to drop Cunneen inquiry and review others

The High Court has decided ICAC did not have the power to investigate a NSW Crown prosecutor, so the commission will have to review investigations involving the conduct of private individuals.
Research has shown that when sex work is illegal, street sex workers who are victims of sexual assault are reluctant to report it to police. shutterstock

Victorian rape law needs reform to protect sex workers

There is a non-binding precedent in Victoria that allows judges to consider the victim's sexual experience when passing sentence on a sex offender – but only when the "victim is a prostitute".
Lana Towers was murdered by her partner. The court heard statements on the impact of her death on family and friends and, for the first time, on the broader community impacts of domestic violence. Facebook

Don’t expect ‘world first’ impact statement to transform sentencing

In May 2013, Michael Suve McDonald beat to death Lana Towers, his partner of eight years and the mother of their two children. In what is thought to be a world first, the South Australian Commissioner…
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…
The Productivity Commission rightly identified widespread concerns that Australia’s civil justice system is too slow, too expensive and too adversarial. shutterstock

Extra funding for legal assistance services should only be a start

The Productivity Commission raised a few eyebrows when it called for an additional A$200 million for legal assistance services to disadvantaged Australians, who are “more susceptible to, and less equipped…

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