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Baird must revisit mandatory sentencing laws

This article was first published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21 April 2014.

Following last week’s resignation of Barry O’Farrell and the appointment of Mike Baird as premier, it is now time to get back to the key criminal justice issue in NSW: the prevention of alcohol-fuelled violence. 

Justice prevails in lethal violence reforms

This article was first published on The Age website on 27 June 2014.

Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark has called time of death for the offence of defensive homicide. The government's bill, which was introduced in Parliament on Wednesday, represents a significant step forward in ensuring just responses to lethal violence in the Victorian criminal justice system.

The injustice of the provocation defence in NSW continues...

On Friday, Yassir Ibrahim Mohamed Hassan was sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court to a maximum term of 12 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of nine years, for the manslaughter of his wife, Mariam Henery Yousif. Hassan's case is a stark reminder of the injustices caused by the partial defence of provocation, which continues to reduce what would otherwise be murder to manslaughter in New South Wales,

Hassan, aged 56 years old at the time of sentencing, killed his 24-year-old wife in a ‘frenzied’ knife attack that occurred on a background of over two years of disharmony in the marriage. While the specific cause of the marriage deterioration was not clear, on sentence the judge noted multiple contributing factors including their significant age difference, cultural differences and disagreements over parenting discipline style.

Sentencing should be based on just desserts, not pot luck

THE community outrage at the fact Adrian Bayley was free to kill Jill Meagher is justified. But the focus of the outrage shouldn't be on the parole board for not rescinding Bayley's parole (for offending while on parole). It should be on the fact Bayley was given only 11 years' jail with a minimum of eight years for the brutal rape of five women, after having been jailed previously for rape.

That an offender could be imprisoned for as little as eight years for gratuitously and violently stripping five women of their sexual integrity highlights the catastrophic failings of our sentencing (anti)-system.

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