Articles on Courts

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It’s not the first time attempts have been made to block WhatsApp in Brazil. Chonlachai Panprommas/Shutterstock

Why is Brazil trying to block WhatsApp?

It's a battle of online privacy versus a crackdown on crime, but is a total ban on the popular app, WhatsApp, the right way to go?
Some South African universities said they felt sufficiently threatened to obtain interdicts against protesting students. Kim Ludbrook/EPA

Explainer: the role of court interdicts in managing protests

Universities were widely criticised for turning to the courts during a series of student protests in South Africa. So why did they do it, and did the interdict process work?
The court ruled that Dutch citizens have a legal right to be protected from climate change. Moyan Brenn/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

What does the Dutch court ruling on climate targets mean for Australia?

For the first time, a court has ordered a government to strengthen its climate targets. It's a watershed, not just for the Netherlands but potentially for countries such as Australia whose targets have been criticised.
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.
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.
Cases involving mental health are mostly heard in Victoria’s Supreme Court. They are complex, costly - and rare. Smith, Johnson/ Wikimedia Commons

‘Crazed killer’ headlines defy facts of crime and mental impairment

Few things cause more public alarm than the notion of the “crazed killer” walking our streets. A common figure in newspaper headlines and current affairs shows, he (occasionally she) is often accompanied…
Televised court proceedings will reveal what goes on inside these walls. John Allan

Cameras in court throw us in at the deep end before we’re ready

The Court of Appeal is to be televised for the first time now that a ban on cameras in courts in England and Wales has been lifted. High-profile media organisations have been lobbying for such a move for…
Animated evidence is often used in court but is it reliable? Gareth Norris

Computer-generated images influence trial results

Recent cases involving the use of computer generated images as evidence in courtrooms have shown the powerful impact they can have on jury decision making. But studies show that jurors can be unduly influenced…
Two women wearing niqabs in France. The traditional Islamic garment has caused controversy in the UK after a judge forced a woman to remove hers to give evidence in court. EPA/Ian Langsdon

Women and veiling: the elephant in the courtroom

The rights and wrongs of women wearing niqabs to give evidence have been the subject of an English court decision and much social and media debate recently. Over the past few years, the issue has also…

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