Witness K’s lawyer Bernard Collaery addresses outside the Supreme Court. Australia’s laws have shown they don’t do much to protect whistleblowers acting in the public interest.
Australian laws make it inevitable for whistleblowers to be charged whenever national security might be involved, even when the information is in the public interest.
A new book by ABC journalist Jess Hill is the result of four years’ investigation into the problem of domestic violence.
A new book scrutinises the social and psychological causes of domestic abuse, its terrifying consequences, particularly the impact on children, and the failure of our legal and social institutions to adequately respond.
Audio used as evidence in criminal trials can often be unreliable.
David Z Cheng/Shutterstock
Indistinct forensic audio is often 'enhanced' to make it sound clearer. But how effective are the techniques that are used? A new experiment suggests they can be highly misleading.
No-fault divorce, or no reason at all – how a revolution in divorce law has come about.
The High Court found that Michael Trkulja could sue Google for defamation due to search results that potentially indicated that he had ties to Melbourne’s criminal underworld.
Google has lost a High Court appeal in defamation litigation brought by Michael Trkulja. It is time to consider that extending "safe harbour" to Google may be a good idea.
Australian governments have too often succumbed to perceived community pressure to limit parole authorities’ independence and powers.
Government and judicial interventions into the decisions of parole boards display a progressive loss of faith in these independent bodies.
The cost of incarceration of Indigenous Australians in 2016 was estimated at A$3.9 billion.
Fines for minor infringements and offensive language crimes are among laws that create a cycle of poverty and disadvantage for Indigenous Australians.
George Pell emerges from court during his committal hearing on historical sexual offences.
George Pell's current committal hearing engages the principle of 'open justice' and some of its most important exceptions.
In Australia, a victim’s right to participate and be heard in parole decisions is enshrined in legislation.
Upholding victims' rights on parole decisions means respectfully enabling their active participation in decisions that affect their personal interests.
A new Victoria Police strategy represents a major milestone in the evolving police approach to family violence.
Under recently announced Victoria Police changes, family violence will be investigated as major crime by specialised units.
YouTube and Facebook are protected from Australia’s copyright laws, since they already operate within the US safe harbours.
The government’s latest Copyright Amendment Bill is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't do enough to foster innovation.
Former TV reporter Ben McCormack’s lawyer suggested McCormack’s online chats discussing child sex abuse were ‘fantasy talk’.
There are some online child sex abuse offences in Australia for which a defendant’s claim that they were purely fantasising could excuse criminal liability.
The offence of controlling or coercive behaviour is distinctive because it protects victims from psychological abuse.
Psychological abuse of intimate partners is a public health problem, and is not well-regulated by the law.
The redress scheme cannot be a truly ‘just response’ if it says some kinds of victims simply don’t count.
The government's proposed redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse controversially excludes some victims.
Victoria’s Sentencing Advisory Council has recommended increasing the judicial monitoring of family violence offenders.
The enthusiasm around swift, certain and fair approaches to sentencing offenders may not be backed by evidence.
For all offences in the higher courts, the proportion of Victorians sent to prison is actually higher than the national average.
An overriding focus on increasing sentences may not necessarily be the best means of redressing the harm caused by sex offences.
While fear suppresses talk about dying, marriage equality involves sex.
The assisted dying bill in Victoria – complex and significant – is engendering less heated debate than marriage equality although both tap into some of our most fundamental fears and motivations.
The key messages from Thursday’s COAG meeting were about co-operation and a nationally consistent approach to counter-terrorism.
National discussions about counter-terrorism strategy are welcome, but require robust follow-up if they are to improve responses to terrorism.
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.