People with cognitive and psychiatric impairments are over-represented in the prison system.
People with cognitive impairments are entitled to opportunities to engage meaningfully in society, so there must be legal reform to enable this.
Masked sex workers lead a march to mark International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.
Sex workers in South Africa are all potential criminals due to the country's regressive laws. But their status may change soon, making South Africa the first African country to decriminalise sex work.
Any judicial review of government’s spending choices must contribute to transformative constitutionalism.
South Africa's Constitution enjoins government to act “reasonably” in ensuring that basic socioeconomic rights are progressively realised. But the government has limited resources.
A bill that would give courts in NSW the power to restrict offenders departs from existing regimes in many striking ways.
Imposing significant restrictions on the liberty of a person found not guilty subverts the ordinary criminal justice process.
Many mobile phone users now text, or intently perform some other function on their phone, while walking.
Banning pedestrians from using their phones seems a natural extension of the prohibition against mobile phone use while driving.
The Knitting Nannas Against Gas could be caught up in a push by the NSW government to criminalise legitimate protest.
It isn’t just the 'bad guys' who are exposed to restrictive powers and tougher penalties. Anyone whose behaviour is regarded as a public safety risk is potentially in the frame.
The royal commission’s report should be viewed as only the start of the necessary transformation of Victoria’s family violence system.
The royal commission's recommendations seek a complete transformation of Victorian family violence services, and the state’s prevention of and response to family violence.
It is for George Brandis to decide whether and how to audit Commonwealth laws for justifiable encroachments on common law rights.
The Australian Law Reform Commission has given George Brandis a report that does all that it reasonably could, while falling well short of what it was asked to do.
A plebiscite on legalising same-sex marriage is bad policy that ought to be revisited.
Australian parliaments routinely legislate in respect of socially contentious issues without resorting to plebiscites or referenda.
Consorting laws have been introduced under the pretext of combating organised crime – including that committed by bikie gangs.
Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have introduced restrictive "consorting" laws. But are the laws justified? Are they an efficient and effective way to combat organised crime?
There has been a rapid expansion of the tasks now carried out on a daily basis around Australia by private security personnel.
The legal status of private security staff is, for the most part, decidedly uncertain.
Cross-bench Senator Nick Xenophon wants the law to change to protect gift card holders when companies collapse.
It's not good to make law changes as a knee-jerk reaction, but in the case of insolvency and gift cards, it's time.
Today many donor-conceived children are adults and the impacts on their sense of identity have become clear, so Victoria is set to open the records of formerly anonymous donors.
In a world first, Victoria plans to retrospectively open the records of formerly anonymous sperm donors to all donor-conceived people. A system of contact vetoes aims to manage the privacy concerns.
Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction for the death of his wife Allison has been set aside on appeal.
At a time when Australia is discussing the adequacy of legal responses to domestic violence, decisions that serve to lessen the culpability of men’s violence against women are undoubtedly concerning.
Easton Woodhead has been found not guilty of murder on the basis of mental impairment, but he did not walk free from the court.
Despite the many people with mental illness who go to prison, successful defences of mental impairment are rare. But this is not a 'get out of jail free' card and should be more accessible.
A national regulator is proposed to oversee cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Australia.
The Commonwealth plans to legalise local production of cannabis for medical and research purposes; as do Victoria and NSW. But what laws need to change for all of this to work?
Contracts are everywhere, but do you read the fine print?
Image sourced from Shutterstock.com
A push to make contracts easier for consumers never went anywhere, so it's time the issue was revisited.
The Law Reform Commission has likely given George Brandis much more than he was expecting in the review of rights-limiting laws that he asked for.
The federal government has to be on the back foot after a Law Reform Commission report identified that It has been the champion of many rights-limiting laws.
An issue to emerge from the royal commission hearings is the inadequacy of existing law for dealing with institutions whose negligence made child sexual abuse possible.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published a research paper that suggests organisations be held criminally responsible when their negligence results in harm to children.
Joe Hockey’s successful defamation case against Fairfax Media raises questions about the extent to which politicians should be able to sue in relation to publications about their public conduct.
Hockey v Fairfax illustrates that recent legal and technological developments still pose challenges for defamation law, which has not been reformed to keep pace with these changes.