IL v The Queen [2017] HCA 27

By Andrew Tiedt

The High Court in IL v The Queen has set aside a unanimous decision of the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on the issue of constructive murder. That alone would make the decision remarkable, but the surrounding facts mean that the judgment is fascinating for practitioners, academics and students alike. Continue reading “IL v The Queen [2017] HCA 27”


Issa v R: application of De Simoni principle

By Seppy Pour

On 2 August 2017, the NSWCCA handed down its decision in Issa v R [2017] NSWCCA 188. The case considered, inter alia, a rather unusual application of the De Simoni principle.


The appellant was found guilty of five counts of intentionally damaging property by means of fire and five counts of doing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice. During the course of the trial, the appellant also pleaded guilty to one count of recklessly cause grievous bodily harm in company. Zahra DCJ imposed an aggregate sentence of 12 years with a non-parole period of 9 years. In coming to his determination, his Honour took into account the fact that the damage to properties by fire harboured the possibility of injury to others in the vicinity of the properties. Continue reading “Issa v R: application of De Simoni principle”

Section 25A Assault causing death

By Maeve Curry, Barrister, Sir Owen Dixon Chambers


The “one punch” laws

Section 25A was inserted into the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) with alarming speed, following intensifying media coverage and public campaigns for tougher laws and mandatory sentencing to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence. However, a recent statutory review of section 25A reveals that the new law remains largely untested.

On 21 January 2014 former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced his 16-point plan. On 30 January 2014, without any known public consultation or input from the NSW Law Reform Commission (NSWLRC), and barely over a week later, a Bill was passed and introduced, with a promise to have “one punch” laws up and running for the weekend. The next day section 25A came into effect. Continue reading “Section 25A Assault causing death”

New ‘revenge porn’ offences for NSW

The NSW Parliament is in the process of legislating to criminalise the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. The new offences follow in the footsteps of, but goes further than, similar laws in South Australia and Victoria – which are both limited to distribution and do not provide the same level of detail with regard to important definitional issues, such as what constitutes consent.

Continue reading “New ‘revenge porn’ offences for NSW”

An Act that is ‘always speaking’: Aubrey v The Queen [2017] HCA 18 (10 May 2017)

‘Always speaking’ approach to statutory construction and contemporary understandings of GBH

By Suzanne Martinez


The High Court, by a 4:1 majority, dismissed the appellant’s appeal against a decision of the NSWCCA. The majority clarified the meaning of ‘inflict grievous bodily harm’ in a historical provision of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) (Crimes Act) that applied at the time of offending in 2004. Further, it was held that infliction of grievous bodily harm (GBH) did not require direct or indirect application of force and may be inflicted by the transmission of sexual disease. In 2007 and 2012 – after the offences were committed – the relevant provisions of the Crimes Act were substantially amended, and now similarly define GBH to include transmission of grievous bodily disease. Therefore, you ask, what contemporary relevance does this decision have?

Continue reading “An Act that is ‘always speaking’: Aubrey v The Queen [2017] HCA 18 (10 May 2017)”