Under the Work Health and Safety Act in Queensland, penalties for offences relating to breaches of health and safety duties have not increased since the WHS regime was introduced in 2012. For several years there has been ongoing debate regarding two key considerations with respect to the sentencing process for breaches of duties owed under the WHS Act.
In the August 2023, the High Court unanimously overturned the earlier decision of the Queensland Court of Appeal that had originally found an employer was vicariously liable for the wrongful act of an intoxicated employee who had urinated on a colleague sleeping in staff accommodation.
When it is appropriate to do so, a child who has criminally offended should be diverted away from the criminal justice system, unless the nature of the offence and the child’s criminal history indicate that a proceeding for the offence should be started.
A defendant who successfully defends charges in the Magistrates Court is not automatically entitled to costs but they can usually apply for the reimbursement of some of their legal costs. Two recent District Court appeal cases in Queensland have provided useful guidance on the recovery of costs in such matters.
As of 3 October 2023, persons accused of, and charged with sexual offences including rape, attempted rape, assault with intent to commit rape, and sexual assault, can have their identity published by the media.
On 1 August 2023, significant changes were made to domestic and family violence protection laws in Queensland in response to the Hear Her Voice recommendations. Amongst other changes, the amendments import “a pattern of behaviour” into the definition of domestic violence, to encompass behaviour that occurs over a period of time or via a series of acts.
There are certain deaths for which a coronial inquest must be held. This includes deaths in custody and deaths in care. For other deaths, whether an inquest is held or not, is at the coroner’s discretion.
On 1 March 2023, the Public Sector Act 2022 commenced, repealing and replacing the Public Service Act 2008. This new Act sets out a new legislative employment framework for the Queensland public sector.
Court Link is a Queensland bail-based program focused on rehabilitative and therapeutic methods catered to vulnerable defendants. The goal is to support participants in addressing and overcoming underlying issues, needs and vulnerabilities that may have a link to their criminal offending.
A police interview is often the start of a criminal matter and can make or break a case. If you do participate in a police interview, regardless of whether it occurs in a formal or informal setting, it is important to know that it can later be used as evidence against you in Court.
If you’re involved directly or indirectly in a transport safety incident in Australia, you may be required by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to be interviewed in relation to that incident. It’s important for people who are required to participant in an ATSB interview to understand their rights and obligations.