Viewing entries posted in October 2012
These are issues that I have been looking at for some time, particularly given my interest in the issue of the contribution of "corruption" to Miscarriage of Justice cases. This was the topic that I presented on at the annual Corruption Prevention Network forum in Sydney in September. A copy of the paper can be found on my blog and on my Presentations page. My study of cases have shown that not only do police sometimes fabricate or plant evidence, there is also a tendency to suppress evidence, particularly if it might be exculpatory in relation to the prime suspect or the person charged.
I have just spent 37 minutes being shunted around Jetstar trying to sort out their change of schedule which means that I can now not make my international flight connection in Melbourne (to Auckland) next month. I am seriously appalled by their lack of customer service. Having now determined that they can't get me there on time (and won't transfer me to a QANTAS flight) I now have to go to their website and submit my documentation for a refund supposedly on "compassionate" grounds. I then will have to organise a new flight which will more than likely be substantially more expensive than the flight I booked some time ago.
I will be presenting a paper entitled "Crime, Power and Marginalisation: Miscarriage of Justice Cases in Australia and New Zealand" at next month's Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) conference in Auckland, NZ. The Conference will be held from Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 November at the University of Auckland. A number of Tasmanians are attending the conference including the Shadow Attorney-General and UTAS representatives. A copy of the abstract is available here Your Link. I have also been approached to speak at an Accountability Roundtable at the University of Melbourne on 4 December 2012 on integrity in government issues. More on this later.
An interesting issue that I am currently closely examining is the proper use of the police caution. Most of the cases around the issue of the police caution involve the failure to administer a caution and hence consideration of the admissibility, or otherwise, of admissions or confessions. But what of the situation where the police caution might be used over zealously to, in effect, muzzle or gag a person who is trying to tell a police officer his/her side of a story, including justifications for any behaviour?
It seems that a number of Australian jurisdictions still have a power of citizen's arrest, particularly for "breach of the peace" (see Ross on Crime Lawbook Co. 2011 at pages129-130). In the English case of Albert v Lavin  AC 546;  3 All ER 878; (1981) 74 Cr App R 150 Lord Diplock said:
In posting my blog entry the other day about Australia's worst serial killing at Snowtown in SA, I had cause to reflect on what actually constitutes a "serial killing". It seems that definitions vary considerably. One definition is posted for information below (Segen's Medical Dictionary 2012):
Several postings today on my blog - I am making up for the days lost due to that nasty rat chewing through my ADSL cable and the delays and issues in getting the matter rectified.
Ross on Crime (Law Book Co. 2011) also reports that Australia's worst serial killing occurred in South Australia (at p.1407 under "Trial"). Eight bodies were found in a disused bank vault in Snowtown and another four bodies elsewhere. James Vlassakis pleaded guilty in July 2002 to four of the murders and gave prosecution evidence. In the first Snowtown murder trial, Messrs Bunting and Wagner were found guilty in September 2003 after a trial lasting more than 11 months and some 170 hearing days. In 2004, Mr Haydon's trial lasted some seven months.
Another gem from Ross on Crime (Law Book Co. 2011) under "Counsel". The heading states "Prosecutor and Defence Counsel not to be Lovers". Ross then refers to the case of R v Szabo  2 Qd R 214; (2000) 112 A Crim R 215 (CA) where the appellant had been convicted and sentenced. He found that his counsel and the prosecutor had had an on-off sexual affair. His grounds of appeal included incompetent advice not to give evidence and a tainting of his conviction by his counsel's non-disclosure of the affair. The appeal was allowed and the conviction quashed. An interesting case indeed! Sounds like something out of the US TV show The Good Wife!
Those of you who have followed my blog and read my website, or who are aware of my work, know only too well that the peacock and the peacock feather are my chosen business logos - for good reason. For example, the peacock feather is said to be the symbol of incorruptibility. The further reasoning for the selection of the peacock can be found on my "About" page on the BEtter Consulting website. Given my interest in the peacock and its symbolism, I was rather chuffed to find reference in Ross on Crime (Law Book Co. 2011) (a simply wonderful criminal law text) on the "Peacock Direction". The expression comes from Peacock v The King (1911) 13 CLR 619 where Griffith CJ of the Australian High Court stated (at 634):