(or, I know There's a Case About that Somewhere
This is a site in progress.
The purpose of this site is to be a reference for working lawyers and students in the field of criminal law in New South Wales, Australia, about recent cases in the areas of criminal law and evidence, and to assist in public discussion and education about important issues which have practical importance for many people.
This website is written by John Stratton SC. I was a Public Defender for 16 years. I am now back at the private Bar.
The inspiration of the site was the fact that although criminal lawyers in Australia are pretty well served for primary materials (statutes and cases) there is very little by way of analysis on the Internet. I would suggest looking for the cases in the website of the relevant court, and using the sometimes capricious Austlii as a last resort.
Although I have tried to keep this site as up to date as possible, obviously anyone using it should rely on their own enquiries. In other words, no-one involved with the site has legal liability for damages for any decisions you may decide to make based on material on this web site.
The text of the Criminal Law Survival Kit is in two large documents, one on Crime and one on Evidence. At this stage I want to keep it that way to make searching easier. If you are having trouble searching either part, remember to make sure that the document has finished downloading onto your computer before you search.
Hopefully most of the abbreviations should be obvious but the reference to 'PD' is the Public Defender's Recent Cases which were published in New South Wales Australia. These used to be available on line, but inexplicably a former Senior Public Defender decided to remove them. Sentencing tables prepared by the researchers at the Public Defenders are available online.
I would be very interested in any comments, criticisms, questions, and suggestions about the site. At the moment I would be especially in any suggestions for the Precedents section, and the 'Guide to Circuit Work'. Please contact me with any comments or criticisms of the site, or any questions generally, at JohnStratton@bigpond.com
Corona virus/COVID 19 Resources
I suggest readers go to this excellent page set up by the Public Defenders:
COVID 19 Resources for Criminal Lawyers.
PART A: CRIMINAL LAW IN NEW SOUTH WALES
Chapter 1 From Arrest to Local Court
Chapter 2 Trial Procedure and Appeals
Chapter 3 The Elements of Crime
Chapter 4 Homicide
Chapter 5 Defences
Chapter 6 Sex and Violence
Chapter 7 Drug Offences
Chapter 8 Public Order Offences
Chapter 9 Traffic Offences
Chapter 10 Offences of Dishonesty
Chapter 11 Attempt, Conspiracy and Complicity
Chapter 12 Offences Against the Justice System
Chapter 13 Sentencing
PART B: EVIDENCE
Chapter 1 Relevance
Chapter 2 The Confession
Chapter 3 Identification
Chapter 4 Circumstantial Evidence
Chapter 5 Competence and Compellability of Witnesses
Chapter 6 Privilege
Chapter 7 Proof, Presumptions and Prima Facie
Chapter 8 The Examination of Witnesses
Chapter 9 Tendency and Coincidence Evidence
Chapter 10 The Defence Case and Character
Chapter 11 Real Evidence
Chapter 12 Illegally Obtained Evidence
Chapter 13 Documentary Evidence
Chapter 14 Opinion Evidence and Prior Determinations
Chapter 15 The Hearsay Rule
Chapter 16 Unreliable Evidence and Corroboration
Some Useful Links
Some Useful Phone Numbers
Criminal Law Precedents
Criminal Law Survival Kit Guide to Circuit Work
Annotated NSW Bar Rules
Articles and Papers
Hearsay after the Evidence Act (updated as at November 2007)
Search NSW Court lists for individual case
Sydney District Court List
Various Local Courts
Foundation Law: Other Court Lists
General Legal Research Databases for Australian Legislation and Case law
By far the best place to look for Australian legislation and case law is Austlii.
Public Defenders' Sentencing Tables
Specific Case law Databases
High Court Cases 1903- (AUSTLII)
Some Frequently Used Legislation
Bail Act (2013)
Summary Offences Act
Criminal Procedure Act
Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act
Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act
Criminal Appeal Act
Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act
Criminal Code Act (1995) (Commonwealth)
Commonwealth Crimes Act
NSW Parliamentary Counsel's Office (for historical versions of NSW legislation)
Search this site, courtesy of Austlii.
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