Human Rights and Criminal Justice: The Sudden Erosion of Gradually Implemented Rights

In the latest Sydney Law Review, Andrew Trotter and Harry Hobbs have written an article entitled “The Great Leap Backward: Criminal Law Reform with the Hon. Jarrod Bleijie”.

The 38-page article provides historical background to many of the legal principles that have been abrogated or diminished by recent criminal law reforms and largely asserts that the recent reforms “disregard lessons learnt through centuries of reform and return the criminal law to a state from which it had long and happily departed”.

Broadly, the article is broken up into 4 major chapters dealing with a separate instance of law, these chapters deal with, the right to a fair trial, the distribution of a just sentence, the ability of an offender to be properly rehabilitated, and future laws. These chapters deal with many issues Bosscher Lawyers has written on in the past, including the G20 laws, new bikie laws, unexplained wealth provisions, sex offender law reform, and the reforms to the juvenile justice system.

Both Mr. Trotter and Mr. Hobbs write in a way that allows non-lawyers to comprehend not just the amendments, but also the consequences of the reform. This comprehension is particularly aided by the historical comparisons contained throughout the article.

Readers that wish for a quick rundown on the historical comparisons between the reforms and laws dating back as far as the 16th century should turn their mind to pages 37-38.

Pages 4-5, 8-11 and 12-16 also deal with issues that are currently hot media topics, namely the right to a fair trial, the admissibility of prior convictions, and mandatory sentencing respectively.

The full article can be read here