Tag Archives: Victoria

The Labor Schism

Since my post on Rudd’s announcement that he was resigning as Foreign Minister, Australian politics has now become a bear pit, at least on the Labor side. No sooner did Rudd resign than the Labor MPs started aligning themselves as pro-Gillard or pro-Rudd (Gillard appears to have the numbers). A number of Ministers in the […]

Sentencing by plebiscite

The State Government in Victoria is running a survey to find out public opinions with regard to criminal sentences in Victoria. The Government press release touts it as a grand opportunity to seek public opinion on sentencing: All Victorians now have the opportunity to have their say on sentencing through taking part in a survey […]

WTF, fined for swearing?

The ABC reports that Victoria is bringing in laws whereby police can fine people who use indecent or offensive language: The Victorian Government plans to introduce laws this week that will give police permanent power to issue on-the-spot fines to people who swear. Under the proposed legislation, people could be fined close to $240 for […]

Mandatory sentencing – Throwing away the key is not the answer

In The Age today, it has been reported that the Victorian government is considering mandatory sentencing for young offenders of violent crime: The Baillieu government plans to introduce mandatory minimum jail terms for youths aged 16 and 17 convicted of violent offences, despite concern among the legal profession. Attorney-General Robert Clark has asked the Sentencing […]

Suppression and the courts

I am planning a long post on super-injunctions and celebrities in the coming weeks, but in the meantime I thought I’d have a quick look at suppression orders and the Victorian Supreme Court. Suppression orders prevent the media from reporting on trials to which such orders apply. Apparently suppression orders were rife during the Melbourne […]

God in the classroom

As many know, my daughter is in Prep this year. I got a note home asking me to nominate which brand of Religious Education I would like her to attend: Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Ba’hai. Fortunately I was spared the difficulty of making a choice this year, as RE classes do not start until Grade […]

The Victorian election result

Or: Why Distance Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder In my home State of Victoria, we have just voted for a new government. The incumbent Labor premier, John Brumby, conceded defeat the other afternoon. Many eastern outer suburban electorates which had previously voted Labor in the last few elections swung massively to the Liberals. To […]

Cab ranks, smears and Greens

Let us remember that justice must be observed even to the lowest. ~Cicero In my home State of Victoria, we are about to have an election. And the campaign just got dirty (dare I suggest, “dirtier than a brown coal fired coal station?”) Yesterday, the Sunday Herald Sun ran the following editorial regarding Greens candidate […]

Scanning Judges

One of the reasons I really liked working at the Supreme Court was that it was a bastion of intelligent eccentricity. Many of the judges were unusual people, but they were also intelligent, compassionate people. I know that at least some judges were aware of their eccentricity. One judge (now retired) came in to my […]

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. […]