Law reform

  • Domestic coercive control could soon be criminal in Australia

    14th Oct 2021

    Domestic abuse in the form of coercive control could soon be a criminal act under changes to domestic violence laws being considered by state and territory governments in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, SA and the NT. Anneka Frayne discusses what coercive control is and how the legislation would work, including the difficulties of criminalising it.

  • Proposed child abuse compensation laws in NSW give survivors some hope of justice

    2nd Sep 2021

    A proposed amendment to the NSW Civil Liability Act will enable courts to set aside unfair settlements involving survivors of institutional child abuse. Con Ktenas discusses fairer compensation for victims, eliminating legal barriers to compensation, and the introduction of advance child abuse compensation payouts.

  • Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act provisions replaced by new legislation in NSW

    25th Mar 2021

    The introduction of the Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020 (NSW) provides courts with better guidance when diverting a criminal defendant into mental healthcare and treatment. Mark Warren discusses the new Act’s provisions in regard to mental health definitions, the ‘fit for trial’ test, and the replacement of the ‘not guilty’ verdict with ‘not criminally responsible’.

  • Lawyers say time is now for drug law reform

    4th Mar 2021

    International examples of success, growing public support and the clear failure of current laws to stop drug use means the time is right now for drug law reform, said the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) today launching a new policy report into Australian drug laws.  

  • Government’s response to dying man’s plea ‘patronising, insulting’

    11th Feb 2021

    There are thousands of people living in Tasmania who are opting to break an absurd and cruel law which criminalises the use of cannabis. In a passionate plea to Premier Peter Gutwein, Mr Fielding, a dying cancer patient, has highlighted the inhumane lack of availability of medicinal cannabis products in the state.

    Greg Barns SC calls for the Tasmanian government to show compassion and recognise the increasing evidence supporting the use of medicinal cannabis.

  • Call for NSW workers’ compensation scheme to be scrapped

    13th Aug 2020

    In light of concerns raised in the recent media investigation of the NSW workers' compensation scheme, Jeremy Roche compares NSW’s scheme with that of Queensland. He claims that NSW should copy the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme as it is more profitable, fair, efficient and sustainable and injured claimants, along with insurers and employers, are far better off.

  • Cannabis bans are ignored — so ditch the law and save money

    14th Nov 2019

    Greg Barns welcomes the ACT government decriminalising cannabis possession, and calls for cannabis law reform across Australia.