Skip to main content

Criminal Law Noticeboard September 2021 - Revised edition to mark 25th anniversary of Criminal Procedure (NSW)

Content updates

With the forthcoming September and October online releases of Criminal Procedure (NSW), a completely revised edition is being issued to mark the 25th anniversary of the launch of the service on 30 August 1996. The review complements the four updates per year since 1996, covering new legislation and case law. 

What are the important changes that have occurred since the service launched 25 years ago, and foreshadowed in the future?

  • Remote court procedure - from the Evidence (Audio and Audio Visual Links) Act 1998 (NSW) to the COVID-driven remote court proceedings of today ("Hearings" from [18.10]);
  • Protection of witnesses with the growing presumption that they will give evidence remotely ("Hearings - witnesses" from [21.10]);
  • Forensic evidence strengths and continuing failures in court: from the 1988 Chamberlain acquittal to the ongoing scientific debate over Kathleen Folbigg's conviction ("Identification material" from [10.05], "Taking and using body samples" from [11.10], "Appeals" from [31.05]);
  • Ongoing interpretation of police powers set out in the 2002 Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW), which followed the 1996 interim report of the NSW Royal Commission into the NSW Police Force (commentary sections dealing with arrest, charge, questioning and investigation);
  • The legislated duty that the prosecution disclose its case prior to a hearing, which did not commence until July 2003 and is the subject of ongoing amendment under the Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas legislation. Prior to 2003, prosecution duty to disclose its case prior to and during trial had been the subject of litigation and judicial recommendations (see R v Saleam (unreported, NSWCCA, 11 February 1994) .


The Hon. Jeff Shaw, QC MLC, then the Attorney General of NSW, launched Beverley Schurr's Criminal Procedure (NSW) service on 30 August 1996 at the Attorney General's Library at Chifley Square in Sydney.

Criminal Procedure (NSW) provides an in-depth practical and procedural knowledge on how to approach your criminal case in New South Wales, from the moment of arrest to appealing a sentence decision (including remedies if no conviction results). Topics discussed in the service are: arrest, charging, bail, detention and questioning, search warrants, telephone interception and surveillance devices, pre- and post-arrest directions and searches, identification material, taking and using body samples, body cavity searches, mentally ill / intellectually disabled persons, summary procedure, committal procedure, pre-hearing procedure, hearings (conduct of defence / conduct of prosecution / witnesses / role of judges and magistrates / jury and verdicts), sentencing and appeals.

The Criminal Law Practice Area on Westlaw has many services that are designed to complement each other to provide the breadth of coverage of a single compendium but with the in-depth analysis that specific focus areas will allow. In addition, the Alert and the reports series will also enable practitioners to keep up to date with pertinent caselaw. When taken in its entirety, the Criminal Law Practice Area will furnish subscribers with a full picture of Criminal Law in the respective jurisdictions without the necessary restrictions of single services. The Criminal Law Noticeboard is specifically geared for specialists in the area and will deliver news items of interest and significance written and curated by in-house editors. To subscribe to the Criminal Law Practice Area on Westlaw, contact Thomson Reuters.
Beverley Schurr - Acting Magistrate
By Beverley Schurr
Acting Magistrate

Beverley Schurr BA (Sydney) LLB (UNSW) served as a Magistrate in the Local Court of NSW for twenty years and is currently an Acting Magistrate. 

Before her appointment, Ms Schurr was a solicitor with Legal Aid NSW practising in all NSW criminal jurisdictions. She was also at times a research officer with the Criminal Law Review Division of the NSW Attorney General's Department, a member of the Criminal Law Committee of the NSW Law Society and the author of a guide to criminal appeals decisions published by the NSW Public Defenders Chambers. 

Ms Schurr has been the author of the Criminal Procedure (NSW) service since its launch in 1996.

Speak to a consultant

Can't find an answer to your question?
Contact our support team.

Request training

Contact our team to arrange training.

Tell us what you think

We'd love to hear what you think
of our products and support.