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24 Hour Crime Line
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Unlawful Non-Citizens in Australia

The Migration Act 1958 (the ‘Act’) provides the legislative requirements for the definition of ‘unlawful non-citizen’. You might be curious how a person can meet that definition. You may wonder about the implications of being an unlawful non-citizen and be interested in hearing if there is anything that someone meeting that definition can do about it. If these questions interest you and you want to know the answers, read on!   How someone can meet the definition of being an ‘unlawful non-citizen’ The starting point for understanding who might meet the definition of ‘unlawful non-citizen’ is section 13 of the Act. That section explains that...

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Rape Convictions Quashed Following Miscarriage of Justice

On the 18th of March 2022, the Supreme Court of Brisbane’s Court of Appeal division handed down a decision that effectively quashed two convictions of rape, and revealed an unsettling error of judgement that could have serious implications for court procedure and represents a failure of the justice system. While you may be aware of this recent development, what you may not know is that Potts Lawyers’ very own Sinead Garland - Criminal Lawyer was at the helm, acting as solicitor for the appellant. Her outstanding work led to an order to quash two convictions of guilt that were reached through...

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How will the Magistrates Court finalise my criminal matter?

Many different types of cases are heard in the Magistrates Court. If you have been charged with a criminal offence you will attend the Magistrates Court at some point. These commonly include minor offences such as: shop stealing & theft offences; disorderly conduct; traffic offences; low level assault charges; dishonesty offences and; drug offences. These are often referred to as summary offences which means they are not required to be transferred to higher courts such as the District or Supreme Court.  Instead, these offences can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court. This article outlines how the Magistrates Court can finalise these...

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Do I have to give police access to my phone?

For many of us mobile phones have become an essential tool that we rely upon on a daily basis for tasks including storing information, keeping our schedules, providing us with directions, accessing the internet and allowing us to communicate with others via calls, messages and emails. For this reason, phones have increasingly become a common source of evidence for police investigating criminal matters. Our lawyers commonly receive questions from clients regarding in what circumstances police can require a person to allow access to their phone, just how far these powers stretch and what rights people have to refuse access.   When can police...

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Using mobile phones while driving – what you need to know

It is well known that using your mobile phone whilst driving is an offence. Fixed and portable cameras have been operating for some time now, enabling authorities to catch drivers “in the act”. This makes it particularly difficult for drivers to contest allegations of using mobile phones while driving. What you may not know is the penalty for the offence, and for repeat offending has increased significantly. This article aims to break down the legislation for this offence and the penalties associated. What is the offence? The driver of a vehicle must not use a mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or is...

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What Does Misconduct in an Official Capacity Mean Under the Public Service Act?

When a public service employee is the subject of disciplinary action, a very common ground for disciplinary action under the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) (‘Public Service Act’) is that the chief executive may discipline the employee if they are reasonably satisfied that the employee has been guilty of misconduct. This is often the first ground put forward by a government department or agency, and is usually followed by an alternative ground such as contravening, without reasonable excuse, a provision of the Public Service Act, or a relevant standard of conduct in a way that is sufficiently serious to warrant disciplinary...

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Public Servants and Corrupt Conduct

Public servants who are the subject of a workplace investigation may face allegations which are within the ambit of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld). Sometimes, during the course of a workplace investigation, an allegation of corrupt conduct may be raised in which case a referral may be made to the Crime and Corruption Commission. On other occasions, a complaint may be made to the Crime and Corruption Commission in relation to conduct which may constitute corrupt conduct. In any case, allegations of corrupt conduct are ordinarily more complex than what they may appear on the surface. There are serious implications which...

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The Inappropriate Forum Test: Does the Court have Appropriate Jurisdiction to Hear my Matter?

This article explores the Queensland Supreme Court’s discretion under rule 127 (2)(b) of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) to dismiss a case in matters where the court is an inappropriate forum or trial of the proceeding. This article will delve into cases and commentary around rule 127 (2)(b) and additionally the common law doctrine of forum non conveniens (Latin for ‘inconvenient/inappropriate forum’) and the Australian tests used to determine whether a court should assume jurisdiction.   Instituting Proceedings in the Supreme Court To commence civil proceedings the plaintiff must institute proceedings against the defendant, by way of complying with the relevant sections...

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Queensland Magistrates Court FAQs

Written by Criminal Lawyer Cameron Browne. This article explains all of the must know information and answers the most frequently asked questions when attending a Magistrates Court in Queensland. What time do I need to attend the Queensland Magistrates Court? If you have received a notice to appear or signed a bail undertaking, you should attend at the time set out on that document, unless advised otherwise by a lawyer you have engaged. If your case has previously been adjourned off to another day, it is unlikely you will have a fresh notice to appear or bail undertaking.  The vast majority of days in...

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Neighbourhood Disputes

  Options Available It is important to be aware of how to correctly handle neighbourhood disputes, ensuring that you are pursuing matters in the correct forum, for example, is the matter best suited for QCAT or the Magistrates Court, or should a mediation be facilitated between parties. It’s important to understand the options available to you, through seeking appropriate legal advice that is specific to your matter.   Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) Common neighbourhood disputes involve disagreements over dividing fences or trees on adjoining residential property. QCAT can decide and review decisions relating to these matters. For tree disputes, QCAT can make decisions on recovering...

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