McPhillamy v The Queen

In McPhillamy v The Queen, the High Court held that tendency evidence which related to acts committed ten years prior to the charged acts did not possess significant probative value and was therefore inadmissible. In essence, the evidence was flawed because of amount of time that had elapsed between the charged acts and the acts … Continue reading McPhillamy v The Queen

Luppino v Fisher: Can a court order a defendant to unlock their phone?

Luppino v Fisher was an interlocutory application decided in late 2018 by White J. The Plaintiff in the substantive matter was seeking judicial review of an order compelling him to provide passwords for his phone and any installed apps to the AFP, where that phone had been seized pursuant to a warrant. The contested order … Continue reading Luppino v Fisher: Can a court order a defendant to unlock their phone?

Conflicting verdicts: Ganiji v R

In Ganiji v R, the CCA has denied an appeal against conviction for one count where the jury acquitted on a second count. In doing so, Basten JA discussed the circumstances in which it will not be appropriate to conclude that two verdicts are inconsistent. CONTENT WARNING: SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Minogue v State of Victoria

In Minogue  v Victoria, the High Court has rejected an application to declare certain provisions of the Corrections Act (Vic) constitutionally invalid. In doing so, the Court has affirmed Crump and Knight.and discussed the distinction between the executive and judicial powers in the context of parole decisions.

Pell v The Queen – unreasonable verdicts and ‘beyond reasonable doubt’

(This post was originally published on Amicus on 8 April 2020) In Pell v The Queen the High Court has unanimously allowed an appeal from the Victorian Court of Appeal’s (VCA) majority decision to reject a conviction appeal. The High Court held that the jury should have held reasonable doubts about the guilt of the … Continue reading Pell v The Queen – unreasonable verdicts and ‘beyond reasonable doubt’

Guode – infanticide, mental impairment and sentencing

In Guode by a 3:2 majority, the High Court has allowed a Crown appeal from a VSCA decision with the the majority holding that that the VSCA erred in taking into account  guilty plea to infanticide as a consideration in determining sentences for murder and attempted murder. CONTENT WARNING: Child homicide

Swan – Causation in murder and the ‘substantial cause’ test

Originally posted on Amicus on 18 March 2020. The High Court handed down judgment today in Swan, dismissing an appeal from the NSWCCA. The question on appeal was whether it was open to the jury – as one of three possible causation pathways – to conclude that the appellant’s attack on the victim substantially caused … Continue reading Swan – Causation in murder and the ‘substantial cause’ test


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