Australia: NSW Government Bulletin - 2 April 2014

Last Updated: 2 May 2014

The New South Wales Attorney General, Greg Smith SC, has proposed legislation creating a presumption to allow the broadcast of sentencing in criminal trials. The Attorney General suggests that the exceptions to the presumption would be clearly defined, for example, filming would not be appropriate if it revealed the identity of jurors, or protected witnesses or would put the safety or security of someone at risk.

The proposed legislation is aimed at "demystifying" the court process and supports the principles of open justice in maintaining public confidence in the integrity and independence of courts.

However, there are concerns that media coverage inside a courtroom may affect the participants of a trial and may place hearings at a substantial prejudice, if for example the case is a high profile one.

These are issues which will no doubt be raised by stakeholders when the Attorney General seeks comment and consultation about the proposed legislation.

To start a conversation about Government Bulletin or issues of interest to NSW government lawyers, join the LinkedIn group NSW Government Lawyers by clicking on this link. Membership is open to lawyers employed in the public sector.

In the media

Media to be granted court access
The government is considering new legislation to allow the media to broadcast sentencing proceedings in criminal trials. Under the proposal, final court proceedings; such as verdicts and sentences in criminal cases, will be filmed and broadcasted on television – except in specific circumstances (26 March 2014). More...

Inaugural NSW Information Commissioner to step down
After three years as the inaugural NSW Information Commissioner, Deirdre O 'Donnell has announced she will be leaving her role on Friday 24 May 2013. The Department of Attorney General and Justice has commenced action to recruit a new Commissioner (26 March 2014). More...

Invoice Payment in the NSW Public Sector
The NSW ICAC is conducting research on managing corruption risks associated with the processing of supplier invoices. A range of public sector organisations in NSW are being approached to obtain their views on the corruption risks and controls that they have in place in relation to this function (25 March 2014) Survey on how agencies process supplier invoices

Mandatory sentencing - a change for the better
Amendments to mandatory sentencing legislation passed in the Legislative Council last night represent an improvement on the government's bill, according to the president of the NSW Bar Association. The NSW Government's Bill proposed mandatory minimum sentences between three to five years for a range of offences (20 March 2014). More...

Lawyers welcome amendments to introduce judicial safety net for mandatory sentencing
The Law Society of NSW is calling on Parliament to support an Opposition amendment to mandatory sentencing laws being debated in the Upper House that will keep some judicial discretion in the sentencing process. The amendments will also preserve an incentive to plead guilty, saving unnecessary and expensive trials and further trauma to victims (19 March 2014). More...

Labor introduces legislation to make Victim Impact Statements a mandatory consideration
NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson has introduced legislation to the NSW Parliament to make it compulsory for courts to take into account Victim Impact Statements when sentencing criminals for violent offences, including homicide (20 March 2014) More... Ministers Second reading speech More...

Attorney General's appeal succeeds in NSW
The Attorney General has been successful in an appeal in the case of R v CMB - an offender who received good behaviour bonds after being convicted of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault against his daughter. The offender was taken into custody after being resentenced to a maximum 5 and a half year sentence, with a non-parole period of three years (19 March 2014) More...

In practice and courts

NSW Law Reform Commission: Criminal Appeals: Transmittal of Report 140
The final report in our criminal appeals reference was transmitted to the Attorney General on 25 March 2014. It will be available on our website once it has been tabled in Parliament.

Judicial Commission of NSW: Sentencing Bench Book: Release 26
Obligations of the parties The chapter on "The prosecutor" at [1-200] has been amended to include Barbaro v The Queen (2014) 88 ALJR 372 which sets out the role of the prosecutor at sentence; changes to Victims and victim impact statements and Assault, wounding and related offences (25 March 2014). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Liquor licensing restrictions to address alcohol-related violence in NSW
Author: NSW Parliamentary Research Service e-brief 4/2014: 18 March 2014
This e-brief outlines the main liquor licensing restrictions that have been introduced since 2008. It also refers to studies that have been done on the effectiveness of certain restrictions, and it examines trends in alcohol-related assaults More...


The Owners - Strata Plan No. 70030 v Decon Australia Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 347
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - judicial review - construction of Home Building Act 1989, s 48K - jurisdiction of Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal - whether plaintiff was denied procedural fairness - whether Tribunal had jurisdiction to deal with claim for an amount exceeding $500,000 - whether Tribunal fell into jurisdictional error in dismissing proceedings without considering challenge to its jurisdiction or the plaintiff's application for transfer of proceedings to Supreme Court - jurisdictional error established - whether discretion to refuse relied should be exercised More...

Bobolas v Waverley Council [2014] NSWCA 78
Notice of motion dismissed with costs.
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL - appeal - general principles - interference with discretion of the court
PROCEDURE - Court of Appeal procedure – stays- removal of waste
PROCEDURE - Court of Appeal procedure - interlocutory injunctions
PROCEDURE - courts and judges generally - judges - allegations of bias
PROCEDURE - courts and judges generally - judges - natural justice or procedural fairness in ex parte hearing Land and Environment Court Act 1979 More...

James Fordham v Dewsash Pty Ltd t/as SP & W Hobson [2014] NSWCATCD 1
This matter was determined by the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal when the CTTT Act and the CTTT Regulation were in force. The Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal was abolished as of 1 January 2014 and the CTTT Act and Regulation were repealed. As the issue of costs was not determined at the time the substantive issues were decided, the proceedings are incomplete. More...


New South Wales

Proclamations commencing Acts

Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment (Assault and Intoxication) Act 2014 No 2 (2014-141) — published LW 28 March 2014

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Administrative Arrangements (Administration of Acts—Amendment No 1) Order 2014 (2014-142) — published LW 28 March 2014
This order allocates the administration of the Acts listed in Schedule 1, to Ministers allocated to that Schedule.

Criminal Procedure Amendment (Forum Sentencing Intervention Program) Regulation 2014 (2014-143) — published LW 28 March 2014
The object of this Regulation is to make changes to the program of measures for dealing with offenders known as the forum sentencing intervention program.

Local Court Rules (Amendment No 5) 2014 (2014-144) — published LW 28 March 2014 The object of these Rules is to amend the Local Court Rules 2009 to:

  • provide for electronic case management in criminal and application proceedings;
  • provide for the appointment and removal of solicitors by parties to criminal and application proceedings; and
  • revise terminology relating to the service of documents on inmates of correctional centres.

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment (Inspector of Custodial Services) Regulation 2014 (2014-126) — published LW 21 March 2014
This Regulation aims to prescribe the Inspector of Custodial Services, under the Inspector of Custodial Services Act 2012 as an investigative agency for the purposes of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.

Bills Introduced - Government

Drug Court Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 - 28 March 2014
This Bill amends the Drug Court Act 1998, and the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999, to give effect to certain recommendations made by the Minister for Justice in a May 2013 review called Review of the Compulsory Drug Treatment Program and the Compulsory Drug Treatment Correctional Centre pursuant to the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999.

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament

Child Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 – 28 March 2014
This Bill aims to make changes relating to the protection of children and young people, intending to promote good parenting and increase parental responsibility for children and young people, achieve greater permanency for children and young people in out of home care, modernise and create a more responsive child focused system and improve the transparency and accountability of child protection services.


Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Victim Impact Statements - Mandatory Consideration) Bill 2014 – 21 March 2014
The object of this Bill is to amend theCrimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, to require courts to receive and consider victim impact statements and to provide for a giving of a victim impact statement or a community impact statement to assist a court in relation to sentencing.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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