The sexual assault allegations against former Attorney-General Christian Porter raised many difficult issues. Among them was an evidentiary one: the New South Wales police have made statements indicating part of the reason they discontinued their criminal investigation into the matter was because of insufficient admissible evidence. This raises a difficult question for the future: how should the law of evidence balance the interests of complainants in obtaining justice in cases concerning sexual offences while respecting the right of an accused to a fair trial? Our panel will consider how best to answer this question.
PLEA is now recruiting volunteer presenters for prisons and youth justice centres across Melbourne and Geelong. If you’re a law student, with a passion for social justice, and able to commit to 3-4 sessions a month, we’d love to hear from you!
Applications must be received by 9 February 2020 for this recruitment round.
With the recent publicised dispute between Israel Folau and Rugby Australia, and the subsequent discussion of a religious freedom bill before Parliament, attention in the community has again been drawn to religious freedoms in Australia. This panel discussion will explore the current framework for religious freedoms, and provide a chance for a deeper understanding of the debate as well as how religious considerations impact many areas of law.
In light of the recent sentencing of Borce Ristevski and Joseph Esmaili, sections of the community have expressed anger and shock at what appears to be a disparity between the proportionality of these sentences. Families of the victims and the community are trying to grapple with the 9-year (6-year non-parole) sentence of Risetevski for the manslaughter of his wife, Karen Ristevski, and the 10-year, mandatory minimum non-parole sentence of Esmaili for the one-punch manslaughter of surgeon Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann. Are these sentences justified? If not, what can be done to quell the community’s concern that justice is served?
With increasing instances of vulnerable workers (including migrant workers, backpackers, retail and hospitality workers) being denied work entitlements, there have been calls to create a criminal offence to combat crippling underpayments and denials of entitlements. Join our panel of employment rights advocates as we delve into the prospect of criminalising underpaying workers, and whether such an offence would curb these actions in the retail, hospitality and other industries.