Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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New titles now available at the Supreme Court Library Print E-mail

Each week, a selection of important titles recently added to the Library’s collection are reviewed by members of the level 16 Quay Central chambers. The reviews are featured on the Library’s website  and in the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting’s Queensland Reporter newsletter.

A full list of new titles is available online via the Library’s catalogue, with copies also available for perusal at the Brisbane Reference Desk.

The following titles were reviewed by Dr Richard Schulte, Barrister-at-Law.

book_privlege.jpgThe Privilege against Self-Incrimination and Criminal Justice

by Andrew L. T. Choo
Published by Hart Publishing

Ronald Dworkin considered that “people have a profound right not to be convicted of crimes of which they are innocent”.  One justification for a privilege against self-incrimination is the protection of the innocent from wrongful conviction.  This justification is premised on the possibility that compulsion to provide potentially self-incriminatory information may produce unreliable information, which, if subsequently used in a criminal trial, may lead to an innocent person being convicted.  There is, of course, a distinction between the compulsion to give testimony as opposed to a witness giving evidence of the condition of his or her body.  As was pointed out by Gibbs CJ in Sorby v. Commonwealth (1983) 152 CLR 281, 292, a witness is of course required to provide a fingerprint, show his face or some other part of his body that may be identified or, alternatively, to speak or to write so that a jury or another witness may hear his voice or compare his handwriting.  In this concise work, Choo examines the origins, rationales and the relevant legal framework in England and Wales in respect of the privilege against self-incrimination.  The book then moves into a consideration of the erosion of the privilege against self-incrimination in the face of statutory provisions that provide for failure or refusal to comply with a request for potentially self-incriminatory information.  There is an analysis of the nature of the “information” that can be the subject of the privilege of self-incrimination and whilst the book focuses on the position in England and Wales, it draws on the experience of a number of other common law jurisdictions in order to provide comparative responses.

book_forensic_dna.jpgIntroduction to Forensic DNA Evidence for Criminal Justice Professionals 2014

by Jane Moira Taupin,
Published by CRC Press

This concise work introduces to a non-scientific audience the important area of forensic DNA evidence.  Taupin explains the strengths and limitations of DNA profiling evidence, the basics of DNA profiling methodology, and then provides a brief explanation of the various types of DNA techniques available.  There is a useful chapter directed towards ways both the prosecution and the defence lawyers might test the veracity of DNA evidence in the preparation for a hearing.

book_13_ways.jpg13 Ways to Steal a Bicycle – Theft Law in the Information Age 2012

by Stuart P Green
Published by Harvard University Press

This book is about the disorganised state of the law of theft in most Anglophone jurisdictions, though the focus is on the position in the USA and the UK. In essence Green is concerned with the dissonance between what people see as criminal conduct and the way the law of theft responds.  For an extreme example, there is a large section of the community (mainly adolescent boys) that would no doubt support the criminalisation of conduct in the virtual world of online gaming.  How does theft law respond in a world of intangibles where the notion of property is becoming highly sophisticated?  Green calls for reform in a book that will appeal to regulators and academics.

book_housing.jpgHousing, Land, and Property Restitution Rights of Refugees and Displaced Persons – Laws, Cases and Materials 2013

Scott Leckie (ed)
Published by Cambridge University Press

The Pinheiro principles recognise that millions of refugees and displaced persons worldwide continue to live in precarious and uncertain situations, and that all refugees and displaced persons have a right to voluntary return, in safety and dignity, to their original or former habitual homes and lands.  In order for such principles to work for the benefit of the dispossessed there must be a legal framework that recognises and legitimises a right to housing, land, and property restitution.  This is a specialized text of collected materials dealing with the rights of refugees and displaced persons to have restored to them the housing, land and property rights they held at the time of their displacement.

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