In sentencing, judges usually consider and balance four main purposes of punishment.
In historic cases the potential for a sentence to rehabilitate, incapacitate or deter the offender is largely insignificant – leaving the focus solely on retribution.
What may be deemed in the public interest today may not be so in a decade’s time.
Despite arguments that it is too loose, ambiguous and easy to hide behind, the 'public interest' is an integral part of the discourse, law, regulation and governance of modern democracies.
Women activists from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and Muslims for Secular Democracy protest against the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and their clerics, October 2016.
The abolition of 'instant divorce' practice in India highlights how Muslim women are successfully and progressively changing gender rights.
Well we’ve got to come up with something, don’t we?
The UK government is letting its irrational hatred of European lawmakers shape its policy proposals.
Forensic techniques are getting more sophisticated.
AAP Image/Julian Smith
Genetic evidence has become a critical aspect of modern criminal investigations. What are the methods and approaches used in present-day DNA forensics?
Judge May Lahey (left) with actor Jean Harlow in 1932.
The Cornell Daily Sun (digitally coloured image)
Dame Roma Mitchell is remembered as Australia's first female judge. But Queenslander May Lahey beat her to the punch when she became a judge in Los Angeles in 1928. Her lack of recognition is symptomatic of how Australia remembers expats, particularly women.
The ECJ is a particularly contentious Brexit topic.
The UK government seems to be accepting some role for the court after leaving the European Union.
Private companies are policing online hate without independent oversight or regulation, which has serious implications and poses risks for basic human rights and freedoms.
After violence in Charlottesville, internet firms are erasing bigoted content. But should private companies serve as unaccountable regulators and be responsible for policing complex social issues?
A statue of a Confederate soldier nicknamed Silent Sam stands on the campus of the University of North Carolina.
Should they stay or should they go?
Vladimir Putin position in the Kremlin looks more secure than ever, and he has shut down almost all the avenues for a genuine challenge.
‘Now, did you understand all that?’
'If we can’t understand our rights, we have no rights.' But efforts are being made to rebalance the inequalities.
The decision reveals the striking breadth of the government’s power to deal with asylum seekers and refugees in ways that directly contravene international law.
The Australian government had and has the power to do things necessary to establish and maintain its immigration detention facility on Manus Island, despite detention violating PNG law.
Most law schools frown upon their students questioning how laws were originally conceived. But a Canadian law school once argued convincingly that law should be taught as a social science.
For the ABS, even the basic task of sending out ballot papers will not be straightforward.
The key question in a legal challenge to the 'postal plebiscite' is whether information about Australians’ opinions on same-sex marriage constitutes 'statistical information'.
Prospective citizens could face a longer wait in Australia compared to Germany, Canada or the UK.
Whether or not a prospective citizen would face a longer wait in Australia compared to Germany, Canada or the UK comes down to their individual circumstances.
Japanse shipping company NYK pleaded guilty to cartel conduct.
The successful prosecution of the first criminal cartel case may be seen as a vindication of the decision to criminalise cartel conduct.
Technology has provided both sex workers and their clients greater mobility and anonymity, opening sex work up to new markets.
The car, the phone and the internet have changed the way the sex work industry operates, but debates about regulation have not advanced with new technologies.
Concerns have been raised about whether Australia adequately protects human rights given multiple reports of abuses, including mistreatment of juvenile detainees.
AAP/Lucy Hughes Jones
Australia is the only democratic nation in the world without a national charter of rights or similar.
Our internet is becoming increasingly fragmented thanks to local laws.
Locals laws and norms are breaking up the internet as we know it.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging could reveal whether someone knows something they’re not telling.
John Graner et al/Frontiers in Neurology
Using mind reading technologies in court could become common practice.