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Updates to The Laws of Australia

Content updates

The following Subtitles are now updated and available on Westlaw:  

Criminal Offences 10.3 “Sexual Offences”; Criminal Sentencing 12.10 “Consequences of Conviction”; Criminal Sentencing 12.12 “Sentencing of Children”; Evidence 16.4 “Testimony”; Health and Guardianship 20.6 “Consent”

Criminal Offences 10.3 “Sexual Offences”
Updated by Kate M Bonney, Barrister, Brisbane Chambers

This Subtitle considers a wide range of sexual offences, from non-consensual offences through to those that offend public morality. This update discusses the 2021–2022 Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey, which revealed statistics on sexual violence. The elements of rape and the definition of “sexual intercourse” and “consent” are also discussed.

Key Cases: R v Makary [2019] 2 Qd R 528; [2018] QCA 258; R v Sunderland (2020) 5 QR 261; [2020] QCA 156.

Criminal Sentencing 12.10 “Consequences of Conviction”
Updated by William Prizeman, Barrister, Legal Aid Queensland

This Subtitle focuses on the consequences of conviction on an offender. This update discusses how the Commissioner of New South Wales Police has wide discretionary and mandatory powers in relation to whether a licence or permit to possess or use a registered firearm should be granted. The Spent Convictions Act 2021 (Vic) is also discussed.

Key Legislation: Public Sector Act 2022 (Qld); Spent Convictions Act 2021 (Vic); Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2022 (WA).

Criminal Sentencing 12.12 “Sentencing of Children”
Updated by Kate M Bonney, Barrister, Brisbane Chambers

This Subtitle deals with special sentencing procedures and sentencing options for children. This update discusses general deterrence and statutory policies in youth sentencing in South Australia, as well as discussing the terminology of “child” and “children” and “young person” and “young offenders”. The specific criteria for conditional release is also discussed.

Key Legislation: Sentencing Act 2017 (SA).

Evidence 16.4 “Testimony”
Updated by Professor Mirko Bagaric, Professor, School of Law, Swinburne University of Technology

This Subtitle deals with the evidential rules which affect the reception of relevant human testimony as evidence. This update discusses Abbas v The Queen (2022) 297 A Crim R 1; [2022] VSCA 39 and Barrow v The Queen [2020] VSCA 102, and representations first admitted for the purpose of non-hearsay. 

Key Cases: Abbas v The Queen (2022) 297 A Crim R 1; [2022] VSCA 39; Medich v The Queen (2021) 390 ALR 398; [2021] NSWCCA 36.

Health and Guardianship 20.6 “Consent”
Updated by Kate M Bonney, Barrister, Brisbane Chambers

This Subtitle discusses the law relating to consent and the refusal of treatment in relation to health care procedures. This update discusses the capacity of a person to consent, particularly when the person in question suffers from an intellectual disability or dementia.

Key Legislation: Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic); Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic).

Currently scheduled upcoming updates (subject to change):

  • Contract: General Principles 7.2 “Vitiating Factors”
  • Dispute Resolution 13.2 “Mediation and Conciliation”
  • Environment and Natural Resources 14.9 “Water”
By The Laws of Australia

The Laws of Australia (TLA) team is a group of legally trained editors working exclusively on Thomson Reuters’ legal encyclopaedia.

TLA editors are particularly dedicated to maintaining the accuracy and currency of the encyclopaedia, ensuring it is a relevant research tool for both students and practitioners. TLA covers over 300 separate areas of law across all Australian jurisdictions, making it the ideal starting point for researching unfamiliar areas of the law.

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