Legal News & Views

  • Australia's first school lawyer

    Meet the first in-house school lawyer in Australia. Vincent Shin provides legal advice to students and their families who attend a Victorian school.

  • How Australia, Canada assess asylum seekers' claims for refugee status

    How does a public servant decide whether someone is a refugee? And is it better to grant an asylum seeker protection when they don't need it, or to deny them protection when they do?

  • High Court to decide Akon Guode infanticide, murder sentence anomaly

    How should you punish someone who has committed two very different crimes at the same time? That's the dilemma before the High Court, which is considering extending the prison term of a Melbourne woman who killed three of her seven children by driving her car into a lake.

  • The culture gap in the law

    If you fill a law firm or court room with more lawyers from a wider range of backgrounds, will it automatically become a more inclusive one to work in? Panel discussion organised by the Asian Australian Lawyers Association and the Muslim Legal Network held at Ashurst Melbourne.

  • Radio on the inside

    National Prison Radio, the world's first national 24 hour radio station produced by and for prisoners beams into all jail cells across England and Wales.

  • Australia's biggest class action over PFAS land contamination

    Up to 40,000 people across Australia will seek compensation from the Commonwealth over land contamination from chemicals leached from Defence Department bases into nearby properties and waterways. Residents and businesses claim the contamination has left them trapped in devalued properties with water they can't drink or land they can't fully use. It will be the largest ever open class action in Australia.

  • Adolescents who turn homes into war zones

    One in ten incidents of family violence are committed by adolescents. Most of the violence is carried out by young males towards their mothers and involves verbal and physical abuse, coercive and controlling behaviours, financial abuse, stalking and property damage. Are our legal and social responses adequate?

  • Does video surveillance of psychiatric compo claimants tell us anything?

    A Border Force Officer diagnosed with PTSD is in danger of having his Comcare payments suspended partly because surveillance footage recorded him walking his therapy dog, buying milk and looking happy while speaking on his mobile. How fair is our worker's compensation system, especially when it comes to claims for psychiatric injuries?

  • How to de-radicalise juvenile terror offenders. And speech pathologists unpacking legal jargon.

    A rare insight into how to de-program young offenders with extremist views. And meet a speech pathologist who helps translate legal gobbledy-gook, especially for youth in the criminal justice system.

  • Climate change litigation targets super fund

    In a world first, a 24 year-old Brisbane man is taking legal action against his superannuation fund for not factoring climate change into its investment decision. This month the case against REST, the Retail Employees Superannuation Trust, will be back before the Federal Court, where the Judge is expected to set a hearing date.

  • Neutral legal observers at protests. And digital estates after death.

    At both the recent Climate Change marches around Australia and the continuing Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, neutral legal observers document security and protest behaviours in the name of maintaining the rule of law. And, the mysterious case of the Canadian crypto currency trader and the missing millions. It raises the question: when someone dies what happens to their digital assets?

  • Profiling an arsonist, and an unusual inheritance battle

    A number of people have been arrested and charged in connection with lighting fires in Queensland. Why do people light bushfires? Can we prevent someone going down that path? And, an elderly couple are tragically found dead in their English cottage. Two stepsisters battle in court over which parent died first in order to get the inheritance.

  • Drug testing welfare recipients; US Opioid litigation and over-prescribing painkillers in Australia

    Litigation around the opioid crisis in the US, medical negligence cases involving over prescription in Australia and VAADA's response to the Federal government's desire to trial mandatory drug testing for some welfare recipients.

  • Sandwich boards and skywriting: what's legal and what's not?

    Danny Lim is well known for wearing sandwich boards emblazoned with provocative word plays. A Sydney Magistrate has overturned a $500 fine imposed on the 75-year-old pensioner for offensive behaviour. Also, what are the regulations around political messages in the sky? And Vale: Justice Jane Matthews.

  • Is Pell off to the High Court of Australia?

    Cardinal George Pell's legal team have confirmed that they will seek leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia. This follows the majority two to one decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal which upheld Pell's conviction on child sex offences. So what exactly did the three judges of the Victorian Court of Appeal decide and what are the prospects of any High Court appeal?

  • Bullying and sexual harassment in the legal profession

    A global study across 135 countries by the International Bar Association has found that bullying and sexual harassment is widespread in the legal profession. The report makes a number of recommendations to change the culture and work environment in the law office.

  • Is the High Court gagging Australia's public servants?

    A former public servant has lost her free speech argument in the High Court over tweets that were critical of her department's policies. Will this change the way you use social media? Plus, a new study has found that Indigenous people in the Northern Territory found guilty of driving offences are more likely to go to jail than non-Indigenous offenders.

  • As the Laws of War turn 70, what's to celebrate? And a case of unpaid rent

    The Laws of War are designed to protect civilians and to place some limits on what combatants can do to each other. 70 years on, how relevant are the Geneva Conventions? And the case of the landlord who was owed $7000 in unpaid rent on a small factory. In retaliation, he kept his tenant's property and equipment.

  • Who judges the judges?

    The behaviour of three controversial judges raises questions about addressing incompetence and incapacity in the judiciary.

  • Youth justice, Maori style

    Sit in on a Rangatahi, one of the Maori Youth Courts of New Zealand. Find out how they compare to Indigenous courts in Australia.