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Issue 55
The Law Report Print E-mail

the_law_report_intro.jpgPresented by Damien Carrick, the Law Report on ABC Radio National focuses on breaking legal stories across Australia and overseas, analysing law reform, legal education, test cases, miscarriages of justice and examining legal culture. The following is a summary of recent programs with a link to audio and transcripts.


Illegal hand guns

24 April 2012

The recent spate of shootings in Sydney's western suburbs have been tagged as criminal-on-criminal violence. There have been more than 50 shootings so far this year and a 40 per cent increase in drive-bys over the last two years. Is there something more going on than just gang warfare? Fifteen hundred guns are stolen every year, falling into the wrong hands.

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Victims of sex abuse and the courts

24 April 2012

The announcement of a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into sex abuses in the clergy and non government organisations has received mixed responses. Welcomed as the first in Australia to launch such a probe, it's also criticised as too broad and lacking teeth.

But whatever the outcome of the Inquiry, any subsequent claims for compensation or damages in the courts will hit many legal brick walls.

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FOI review of charges

17 April 2012

In 2010 reforms to Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation were seen as the first step in developing a new culture of transparency and openness in government departments and agencies. But a new review by the government FOI watchdog says the system is stalled by outdated, clumsy and complicated fees and charges. Will the Information Commissioner's suggested changes fix up a clogged system?

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Comedians and their brush with the law

17 April 2012

Three comedians discuss their brushes with the law. A former cop, a legal journalist who now makes her living as a stand up comic and a comedian who was sued for not being funny.

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Geoffrey Robertson QC on Assange case

3 April 2012

Geoffrey Robertson QC, an adviser to the legal team for Julian Assange, discusses his legal battle against extradition to Sweden. Britain's Supreme court is expected to rule on the case in May.

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Goddard Elliot v Paul Fritsch

27 March 2012

What professional group can't be sued even when it's perfectly clear they have been negligent?

Answer: lawyers, the very people who make a living suing other people! The case of law firm Goddard Elliott and Paul Fritsch.

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Intellectual Property Amendment Bill

27 March 2012

Federal Parliament has passed legislation aimed to strengthen Australia's Intellectual Property framework. But is the Intellectual Property (Raising the Bar Amendment) Bill up to the task?

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Mariem Omari's Will

20 March 2012

Do wills need to be fair? Should people be able to leave their assets to whomever they like? Or should courts be able to intervene if a will discriminates unfairly between family members?

Mariem Omari was an elderly Muslim woman who lived in Canberra. In accordance with Islamic tradition she drafted a willleaving full shares to her three sons and half shares to her five daughters.

One daughter, Fatama, successfully overturned the will by establishing that her mother was suffering dementia at the time she executed the document. But what could have happened if Mariem was in full command of her faculties?

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First ICC judgment

20 March 2012

After 10 years of existence, the International Criminal Court hands down its first ruling. Joseph Labunga has been found guilty of recruiting child soldiers. The trial took six years but there is yet to be a sentence handed down, and there is also the issue of reparation for the victims.

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Wrongful convictions

13 March 2012

What would you do if your loved one was sentenced to life in prison for a crime they didn’t commit?

Meet Betty Anne Waters from Massachusetts USA. After her brother Kenny was wrongly convicted of murder she went to law school, became a lawyer and then found the evidence that led to his exoneration after almost 20 years behind bars. Also meet Chris Ochoa. He spent 12 years in a Texas jail after being coerced into confessing to a murder he did not commit. After his release he went to law school and now he works to free other wrongly convicted offenders.

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