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Court in the Act Articles from 2008
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Court in the Act    December 5, 2008  
Blundering spooks cleared by the right people

If ASIO’s in strife the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security will gallop in to sort things out. According to Ian Carnell that duffer Justice Michael Adams got it all wrong in the ul-Haque case. Jonathan Gadir reports ... more

Court in the Act    November 26, 2008  
Liati's letter to Justice James

Before Marcus Einfeld pleaded guilty to two charges Angela Liati wrote to the trial judge, Bruce James, requesting that her trial on a charge of intending to pervert the course of justice be held before that of Einfeld’s. She also says the media has a lot to answer for and that the former federal judge should be treated with more “respect” ... more

Court in the Act    November 5, 2008  
The wonderful world of PR

Greg Baxter is the former flack merchant for the disgraced asbestos merchant James Hardie. Nowadays he spins for Uncle Rupie at News Limited. Bret Walker had this “non-defendant” in the box during the ASIC case against former Hardie directors and execs. Image making gets unstitched by masterful cross-examination ... more

Court in the Act    October 15, 2008  
Pig's head

Retired NSW Supreme Court judge John Dunford was hauled across to Perth to conduct a CCC review of the way the coppers and the prosecution misconducted themselves the Andrew Mallard case. Even as the stench was in everyone’s nostrils, the WA Court of Criminal Appeal delivered a shocker of a judgment ... more

Court in the Act    October 15, 2008  
Dunford cops out

It took an awful lot of taxpayers’ money for John Dunford not to attempt to “determine where the truth lies” in the Andrew Mallard case. According to Colleen Egan he left many threads dangling ... more

Court in the Act    September 30, 2008  
A taste of torture

The US government dodges and fudges in the face of the British High Court’s unprecedented efforts to strip bare the regime of rendition and torture inflicted on a UK resident, now holed-up at Guantánamo Bay. Stephen Keim reports ... more

Court in the Act    September 8, 2008  
High Court draws the line on sex slavery

Victorian brothel keeper goes down in final sex slave round. Court of Appeal’s constrained view on “intention” to enslave not acceptable. But does the High Court’s decision have the potential to extend to slavery across the board – even to “servile marriage”? Jonathan Gadir reports ... more

Court in the Act    August 28, 2008  
Hodgson nails Keelty

AFP commissioner Mick Keelty is hiding behind the skirts of Mother England’s police force. Much of the stuff he tells the Clarke inquiry is top secret has already seen the light of day. According to Haneef’s lawyer Keelty needs to come clean on some vital questions of police malfeasance ... more

Court in the Act    August 13, 2008  
House of Lords kyboshes secret trials

Anonymous witnesses and secret evidence not a problem for the Federal Court. The House of Lords takes a different view and says it is fundamental to the common law that the accused be able to confront their accusers. Stephen Keim looks at The Queen v Davis ... more

Court in the Act    August 7, 2008  
Loading of the dice

The Salim Ahmed Hamdan verdict is in from Guantánamo Bay. Stephen Keim weighs the trial process and the interim rulings of the senior military judge on the case, Captain Keith Allred ... more

Court in the Act    July 24, 2008  
Reflections on rights protections - a tale of three cases

What are the Charter of Rights naysayers on about? Existing legislative and entrenched rights haven’t managed to derail society. Yet these protections have proved more miss than hit. Stephen Keim surveys three recent decisions from the full Federal Court ... more

Court in the Act    July 23, 2008  
The spell of the spooks

In two different cases the full Federal Court has dealt with ASIO and its obsession with secrecy in markedly different ways. One bench virtually rolled over to be tickled on the tummy by the chief spook. The other one stood its ground and said the court was not going to be a patsy for the state apparatus ... more

Court in the Act    July 16, 2008  
A painful death for the death penalty?

The death penalty has been found by the US Supreme Court, with a little help from the swinging justice, to be an excessive sentence for child rape. A consideration of the constitutionality of the death penalty in murder cases may not be far away. Stephen Keim SC examines the way the law is evolving ... more

Court in the Act    July 2, 2008  
Knock down personal injury specials

The NSW Law Society wants lawyer advertising rules to be liberated, while keeping tight control of what constitutes “legal work”. As a recent Supreme Court judgment shows both restraints are locked in an awful embrace ... more

Court in the Act    June 23, 2008  
A beam of light down the black hole

US Supreme Court has said the federal courts can have the bodies of the Guantánamo prisoners, and a lot more besides. The Boumediene decision further unravels the Bush administration’s carelessly stitched terrorism laws ... more

Court in the Act    May 30, 2008  
High Court admonished

President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal Keith Mason delivers a well deserved clip on the ear to the “haughty” and “blinkered” High Court ... more

Court in the Act    February 11, 2008  
Rub-a-dub-dub, experts in a tub

“Hot-tubbing” of expert witnesses in NSW has been such a success in reducing costs and speeding-up civil cases that ways and means are to be explored of introducing judge-run concurrent evidence into criminal trials. From Ginger Snatch (judges’ associate) ... more