Articles on Criminal law

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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.
The most recent allegations against George Brandis stem from Gillian Triggs’ evidence to a Senate estimates hearing. AAP/Lukas Coch

Did Brandis break the law in requesting Triggs’ resignation?

Regardless of whether George Brandis' action was illegal, it represents an attempt by the very institutions charged with protecting the rule of law to unduly influence it.
Psychiatrists wanted people found ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’ to be dispatched to places like the Asylum for Criminal Lunatics Broadmoor. Illustrated London News, 1867/ Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

Psychiatry’s fight for a place in defining criminal responsibility

Are people with “diseases of the mind” responsible for their criminal acts? In the latest article in our series Biology and Blame, Ivan Crozier looks back at how psychiatrists tried to carve out a role…
Philosophers argue that people are not over and above the systems involved in information processing –we are our brains, plus some other, equally physical stuff. Tom Blackwell/Flickr (reszied)

Irresponsible brains? The role of consciousness in guilt

In the second instalment of Biology and Blame, Neil Levy considers how neuroscience can affect legal judgements. Can human beings still be held responsible in the age of neuroscience? Some people say no…
Genetics is just the latest specialist knowledge threatening to take the question of criminal responsibility away from law and hand it over to science. Graham/Flickr

Genes made me do it: genetics, responsibility and criminal law

Welcome to Biology and Blame, a series of articles examining historical and current influences on the notion of criminal responsibility. Today, Arlie Loughnan considers the challenge to the legal system…
The future of Scottish criminal law is in justice secretary Kenny MacAskill’s hands. Danny Lawson/PA Archive

Scrapping corroboration rule will undermine Scottish justice

A woman alleges she was raped by a man she met at a party. She says he forced his way into her flat after walking her home. He claims she invited him in and that the sex was consensual. There are no witnesses…
John Nimmo has been given eight weeks in prison for online abuse. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Court sends the right message in sentencing Criado-Perez trolls

Two people have been jailed for making threats and sending abusive messages on Twitter to Caroline Criado-Perez, the feminist campaigner who sought to have a woman put on a British bank note. Isabella…
Lawyers pass judgement on proposed cuts to legal system. AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Innocents will suffer as legal cuts put paid to due process

It’s not often you see bewigged barristers take to the streets waving placards in protest, but such were the scenes outside the Old Bailey and other courts around the country as defence lawyers demonstrated…

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