By Isaiah Mercado
In a 4:3 decision, the High Court handed down judgement today in Hughes v R. In doing so it resolved a divergence between the VSCA and the NSWCCA regarding how to determine whether tendency evidence has significant probative value.
‘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?
By Rhanda Taouk
In Pickering v The Queen  HCA 17 the High Court, in two separate judgments, unanimously allowed an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Queensland. The High Court held that the appellant was occasioned a miscarriage of justice as the trial judge had failed to leave to the jury the possible application of s 31(1)(c) of the Criminal Code (Q) (‘the Code’). Section 31(1) enables an accused in certain circumstances to be exculpated for an act or omission for which they would otherwise be criminally responsible. Section 31(2) provides exceptions to s 31(1).