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Sentencing in NSW

If you have committed a criminal offence and your matter has been set down for sentencing, it is easy to fear the worst. However, it is important to remember that in NSW the Legislative Framework […]

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Preparing for your First Court Mention

Going to court can be stressful and confusing, particularly if you are going for the first time. To make attendance in court less stressful, it helps to take the time to prepare and organise your […]

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Earning a Discounted Sentence by Pleading Guilty

Often, Defendant’s in criminal proceedings are required to weigh up the prospects of entering a guilty plea in their matter.
For a defendant, entering a guilty plea, particularly early on in the proceedings can help reduce […]

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Legislative Amendments

The changing position at Common Law has also been reflected in the Legislature. The current section 20 of the Evidence Act says that the Trial judge is entitled to make an appropriate comment to the jury in circumstances where a Defendant or a relevant family member does not give evidence at a trial.

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The Weissensteiner Direction

Mr Weissensteiner did not call any evidence at his trial, nor did he take the Witness stand. As a result of this, the Trial Judge directed the jury that they were entitled to draw an inference of guilt due to the Defendant’s failure to explain the circumstances surrounding the case, in circumstances where he was likely to have some knowledge of what had in fact occurred.

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Weissensteiner v R

Mr Weissensteiner was arrested by the Australian Federal Police in Papua New Guinea, when he was accused of murdering Mr Hartwig Bayeral & Ms Susan Jack, a young couple who were last seen in the company of the Accused. Mr Bayeral & Ms Jack had departed Australia with Mr Weissensteiner on a private boat.

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The Right to Silence in Court

Many people would be surprised to hear that a Defendant’s Right to Silence is not as wholesome as they would like to believe.

As a result of Legislative amendments, and the High Court’s findings […]