Legal Aid NSW Criminal Law Division
‘Sexual Offences Against Adults and Children: A New Regime’

‘Sexual Offences Against Adults and Children: A New Regime’

June 24, 2020

In this podcast, solicitors Caitlin Akthar and Ruth Carty discuss laws relating to sex offences.

As well as an overview of common offences, they discuss reforms to the law including:

  1. the application of the law of consent to a broader range of offences – s61HE of the Crimes Act;
  2. the introduction of a defence of similar age – section 80AG of the Crimes Act;
  3. the discretion to declare a young offender is not to be included on the Child Protection Register (CPR) - 3C of the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act; and
  4. the jury warning explaining potential reasons for inconsistency in a complainant’s evidence - 293A of the Criminal Procedure Act

The paper by Caitlin and Ruth, ‘Sexual Offences Against Adults and Children: A New Regime’ is available from: https://criminalcpd.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Sexual-Offences-Against-Adults-and-Children-A-New-Regime-Caitlin-Akthar-and-Ruth-Cary-October-2019.pdf.’

About the speakers:

Caitlin Akthar is the Solicitor in Charge of the Indictable Appeals Unit at Legal Aid NSW. She has experience in the NSW Local, Children’s, District, and Supreme Courts; the Court of Criminal Appeal and the High Court of Australia. She is on the New South Wales Law Society’s Criminal Law Committee, and the New South Wales Law Society’s Children’s Issues Committee.

Ruth Carty is a Criminal Law Solicitor and the Summary Court’s Manager at the Coffs Harbour office of Legal Aid NSW. She has been with Legal Aid NSW since 2015 and practices in the NSW Local, Children’s and District Courts.

 

Did you know? Navigating the new laws allowing for pre-recorded evidence in hearings

Did you know? Navigating the new laws allowing for pre-recorded evidence in hearings

May 25, 2020

This is the first podcast in our Criminal Law Division series of podcasts titled "Did you know?" which will cover exciting new developments relevant to criminal lawyers.

As part of emergency legislation introduced to respond to COVID-19, the NSW parliament introduced new laws allowing for pre-recorded evidence hearings for a range of witnesses. These hearings have significant implications for the way a criminal trial might unfold.

This podcast is a conversation between Caitlin Akthar and Jonathon Paff, Indictable Solicitor at the Coffs Harbour Legal Aid office, about what the new laws mean for solicitors. They cover:

  • what a pre-recorded evidence hearing would mean for your matter;
  • how to tell whether a pre-recorded evidence hearing might be ordered in your matter; and
  • what you can do if a pre-recorded evidence hearing is suggested.

During the podcast, reference is made to a paper by Caitlin Akthar on this topic which is available here: https://www.publicdefenders.nsw.gov.au/Documents/covid-19-pre-recorded-evidence-hearings-15-4-20.pdf.

About the speakers:

Caitlin Akthar is the Solicitor in Charge of the Indictable Appeals Unit at Legal Aid NSW. She has experience in the NSW Local, Children’s, District, and Supreme Courts; the Court of Criminal Appeal and the High Court of Australia. She is on the New South Wales Law Society’s Criminal Law Committee, and the New South Wales Law Society’s Children’s Issues Committee.

Jonathon Paff is an EAGP solicitor at the Coffs Harbour office of Legal Aid NSW. He has experience at Legal Aid and in private practice, in summary and indictable matters along the Mid-North and North Coasts of NSW.’

We are sure you will find this excellent podcast conversation both interesting and relevant to your practice of criminal law.

What do neuropsychologists do and when should we engage them to prepare reports for criminal matters - Part 2

What do neuropsychologists do and when should we engage them to prepare reports for criminal matters - Part 2

May 6, 2020

This podcast is part two of a two-part podcast series which covers a discussion about what psychologists and specifically what neuropsychologists do and their specialisation.

It is a conversation between Will Tuckey, barrister and Dr Peter Ashkar, forensic psychologist and a clinical neuropsychologist, about when to engage psychologists, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists and the differences between them and whether they consider the same disorders in the context of criminal behaviour.

Peter and Will discuss and answer questions around what neuropsychologists do and what are the major issues they deal with and why we would need an assessment for our clients? Various conditions clients could be diagnosed with and how they are assessed are considered, including brain injuries, dementia, memory loss, post traumatic amnesia, genetic conditions, and various developmental disabilities such as intellectual developmental disorder, foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and autism in the context of criminal behaviour.

This very practical conversation will inform and guide you on how to approach clients who have issues which require neuropsychological assessment.

This podcast is Part 2 of 2. We hope you find it informative and useful.

Contributors biographies:

Dr Peter Ashkar is one of Australia’s leading forensic psychologists and one of the few who is also trained as a clinical neuropsychologist. He spends much of his work life assessing criminal offenders who have developmental disorders, brain injuries, and other neurological conditions to understand the impact and relevance of these conditions on their offending behaviours.

Will Tuckey is a Barrister practising in Sydney. He has previously worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service in far western NSW, Legal Aid NSW and the Director of Public Prosecutions. He holds a Master of Laws from Sydney University and First Class Honours in Law from Macquarie University along with a useless Bachelor of Arts in Ancient History. Will became an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist in 2013 as a solicitor. Will regularly appears for people with mental health issues in the criminal jurisdiction such as fitness, psychiatric defences and summary diversion. He is also a member of the Legal Aid Mental Health Advocacy Panel. 

 

What do neuropsychologists do and when should we engage them to prepare reports for criminal matters?

What do neuropsychologists do and when should we engage them to prepare reports for criminal matters?

April 28, 2020

This podcast is part one of a two-part podcast series which covers a discussion about what psychologists and specifically what neuropsychologists do and their specialisation.

It is a conversation between Will Tuckey, barrister and Peter Ashkar, forensic psychologist and a clinical neuropsychologist, about when to engage psychologists, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists and the differences between them and whether they consider the same disorders in the context of criminal behaviour.

Peter and Will discuss and answer questions around what neuropsychologists do and what are the major issues they deal with and why we would need an assessment for our clients? Various conditions clients could be diagnosed with and how they are assessed are considered, including brain injuries, dementia, memory loss, post traumatic amnesia, genetic conditions, and various developmental disabilities such as intellectual developmental disorder, foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and autism in the context of criminal behaviour.

This very practical conversation will inform and guide you on how to approach clients who have issues which require neuropsychological assessment.

This podcast is Part 1 of 2. Part 2 will be released one week after this podcast. We hope you find it informative and useful.

Contributors biographies:

Dr Peter Ashkar is one of Australia’s leading forensic psychologists and one of the few who is also trained as a clinical neuropsychologist. He spends much of his work life assessing criminal offenders who have developmental disorders, brain injuries, and other neurological conditions to understand the impact and relevance of these conditions on their offending behaviours.

Will Tuckey is a Barrister practising in Sydney. He has previously worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service in far western NSW, Legal Aid NSW and the Director of Public Prosecutions. He holds a Master of Laws from Sydney University and First Class Honours in Law from Macquarie University along with a useless Bachelor of Arts in Ancient History. Will became an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist in 2013 as a solicitor. Will regularly appears for people with mental health issues in the criminal jurisdiction such as fitness, psychiatric defences and summary diversion. He is also a member of the Legal Aid Mental Health Advocacy Panel. 

 

Insightful ideas on how to effectively brief Counsel - tips from Sophie Coulson, Solicitor and Peter Pearsall, Public Defender

Insightful ideas on how to effectively brief Counsel - tips from Sophie Coulson, Solicitor and Peter Pearsall, Public Defender

December 18, 2019

Have you wondered how to best sort and arrange a brief of evidence in the most effective way to brief Counsel?….if so THIS PODCAST IS FOR YOU! You will hear an exchange of ideas and tips from Peter Pearsall Public Defender and Sophie Coulson, Legal Aid Indictable Solicitor. They discuss excellent suggestions for how to compose effective memos, to analyse evidence and how to best instruct Counsel in serious criminal matters.

NOTE: During the Podcast reference is made to a paper by author Sarah Bayley however the paper is written by Emma Bayley which can be found here. The other article referred to in the Podcast is found here by Felicity Graham and Stephen Lawrence.

 

 

Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 – A Neuropsychologist’s Perspective

Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 – A Neuropsychologist’s Perspective

May 17, 2019

In this episode, Gráinne Marsden, Legal Aid solicitor, and Dr Sally McSwiggan, Consultant Neuropsychologist, discuss Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 with a particular focus cognitive impairment and intellectual disability.  The episode broadly looks at issues including the expert, the client, best practice in briefing experts, how to get your application over the line, and what to do if your client is found ineligible.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder & The Law

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder & The Law

November 28, 2018

This episode is the recording of an in-house seminar given by Professor Elizabeth Elliot AM FAHMS on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and the Law. Professor Elliott is a Distinguished Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health in Sydney University Medical School; Consultant Paediatrician, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (Westmead); a National Health and Medical Council of Australia (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow; and Fellow of the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

In this seminar, Professor Elliot provides an update on progress in addressing FASD in Australia and its relevance to the legal profession.

Prosecution Disclosure (and non-disclosure) in Criminal Matters

Prosecution Disclosure (and non-disclosure) in Criminal Matters

November 15, 2018

In this episode Legal Aid Solicitor Kate Bleasel interviews Felicity Graham, Barrister at Black Chambers, about prosecution disclosure and non-disclosure in criminal matters. The associated papers are also available on this channel.

Prosecution Disclosure (and non-disclosure) in Criminal Matters - June 2018, paper by Felicity Graham & Stephen Lawrence

Prosecution Disclosure (and non-disclosure) in Criminal Matters - June 2018, paper by Felicity Graham & Stephen Lawrence

November 15, 2018
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This paper, written by Barrister's Felicity Graham and Stephen Lawrence, discusses the following in relation to disclosure obligations in criminal maters:

1. Common law principles governing disclosure in criminal matters.

2. Legislation provisions and their different effects.

3. Various sources of policy, practice and procedure that operate in addition to common law and statute which also work to ensure appropriate disclosure occurs.

5. Various mechanisms available to accused persons to obtain or compel disclosure.

6. The approach of appellate courts when a failure of disclosure is raised on appeal against conviction.

7. The use of subpoenas as a mechanism to obtain relevant material in criminal proceedings.

 

Understanding Prosecution Disclosure Obligations by Emma Bayley, Solicitor

Understanding Prosecution Disclosure Obligations by Emma Bayley, Solicitor

November 15, 2018
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In this paper, solicitor Emma Bayley reviews the nature and scope of the disclosure obligations of the prosecution, for a better understanding by both prosecutors and defence.

Social Media Evidence; Part 1

Social Media Evidence; Part 1

October 26, 2018

Aaron Tang, Senior Solicitor at Legal Aid NSW and Simon Healy, Barrister at Samuel Griffiths Chambers, present 2 comprehensive episodes on Social Media Evidence. In this Part Aaron and Simon address the following; 1: Police use of social media 2: Defence response 3: Admissibility.

Social Media Evidence; Part 2

Social Media Evidence; Part 2

October 26, 2018

Following on from Part 1 in the two series on Social Media Evidence, in this episode Aaron Tang and Simon Healy cover; 4: Identification 5: Defence use of social media.

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 1

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 1

June 29, 2018

In a 5 part series, the Early Appropriate Guilty Plea Implementation Team at Legal Aid NSW will take you through an explanation of the EAGP reforms. In these episodes, the team will refer you to the relevant legislation, operational aspects of the reform and tips for practioners on how to deal with EAGP matters.

In this episode the team discusses the following:

1. The case for change; what led to the EAGP Reforms

2. An outline of the EAGP committal process

3. How the reforms apply to criminal matters

4. Antipipated court timeframes for new committal matters.

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 2

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 2

June 29, 2018

This is the 2nd episode in a 5 part series by the Early Appropriate Guilty Plea Implementation Team at Legal Aid NSW that takes you through an explanation of the EAGP reforms.

In this episode the team discusses steps 1 and 2 of the new EAGP committal process:

1. Early Disclosure

2. Charge Certification.

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 3

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 3

June 29, 2018

This is the 3rd episode in a 5 part series by the Early Appropriate Guilty Plea Implementation Team at Legal Aid NSW that takes you through an explanation of the EAGP reforms.

In this episode the team discusses steps 3 and 4 of the new EAGP committal process:

3. Case conferencing

4. Case conferencing certificates.

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 4

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 4

June 29, 2018

This is the 4th episode in a 5 part series by the Early Appropriate Guilty Plea Implementation Team at Legal Aid NSW that takes you through an explanation of the EAGP reforms.

In this episode the team discusses committal procedures including:

  • Witness hearings
  • Fitness issues
  • The process of committal for trial and sentence.
Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 5

Early Appropriate Guilty Plea (EAGP) Law Reform; Episode 5

June 29, 2018

This is the final episode in a 5 part series by the Early Appropriate Guilty Plea Implementation Team at Legal Aid NSW that takes you through an explanation of the EAGP reforms.

In this episode the team discusses the new statutory sentence discount scheme.

Child Sexual Assault Pilot

Child Sexual Assault Pilot

May 9, 2018

This episode is an interview between one of our senior solicitors, Helen Shaw, and Barrister Sharyn Hall. In it they discuss the Child Sexual Assault Pilot - what it is and how it operates in practice.

Cross examination; the art of asking simple questions in the right order

Cross examination; the art of asking simple questions in the right order

April 23, 2018

In this episode Troy Anderson, Public Defender, delivers a seminar on 'Cross examination; the art of asking simple questions in the right order'. Troy provides useful and relevant insights and tips for criminal lawyers that will undoubedly assist in cross examining witnesses.

Bail

Bail

April 19, 2018

This episode on the topic of bail is presented by Rose Khalilizadeh, Barrister at Forbes Chambers. Rose provides an overview of bail to assist with preparing an application on behalf of an accused. Rose breaks down the episode into 3 parts; 1. The basics of a bail application. 2. Recent developments in case law relating to bail. 3. Practical tips.