Tag Archives: evidence

Spousal right to silence abolished in Australia

The High Court has recently overturned the right to refuse to give evidence against one’s spouse at common law in Australian Crime Commission v Stoddart [2011] HCA 47. It’s a fascinating decision, as it represents a further very large crack in the crumbling notion that husband and wife are one person. As I’ve mentioned here, […]

Keep your sticky fingers off our legal system, thanks

In light of the SNP’s election win on May 5, this should come as no surprise: The Scottish cabinet is taking action to stop the UK Supreme Court in London getting involved in criminal cases north of the border. SNP ministers said the independence of Scotland’s legal system must be defended in the wake of several […]

/end pleadings…Will we have online courts?

The other day I was joking that maybe in the future we’ll have Facebook judgments. One judge writes a status update expressing her opinion, the other judges “like” it or write a dissenting comment. I think that’s going a little far. But online court cases may be a thing of the future. I saw the […]

Playing with fire

Here in Victoria, the heat has been on former Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon and her performance during the Black Saturday bushfires on 7 February last year. 174 people were killed and many houses were lost. Nixon retired from the post in mid-2009 to become head of the Victorian Bushfire Recovery and Construction Authority. […]

Judges can “Google” too

The Second Circuit of the Court of Appeals in the US has handed down a decision concluding that it’s permissible for a judge to use Google to confirm a hunch in some circumstances (United States v Bari). The defendant was one Anthony Bari who was released on terms from prison after committing a bank robbery. […]

What law may do

There is a lively debate going on among members of the skeptical listserv I frequent about Senator Fielding’s call for a Royal Commission, with one poster commenting: I always thought that Senator Fielding was a dill, but his latest call for a Royal Commission into climate science really takes the cake. The notion that lawyers […]

Queers, Foucault, truth, justice and the law: guest post by Lorenzo

[Introduction by SL: Lorenzo is a blogger I admire; he writes quite a bit on Queer history, and also very wisely and thoughtfully on the ‘method’ of history and scholarship. His home blog is here. Now, I’m just a humble linguist and lawyer, but I’ve long suspected that a lot of historians have been led […]

Calling history, come in history

Lawyers (and others) with professional expertise in a given field often complain when a film, television program or book makes use of their discipline for purposes of popular entertainment and then gets it wrong. I’ve lost count of the number of times (as DEM can testify) that I’ve wanted to throw things at the telly […]