by Caitlin Drabble

What is the interlock program?

When someone has committed a major driving and usually alcohol related offence, commonly referred to as “drink driving”, the court must impose a licence disqualification period and a period of participation in the interlock program.

The interlock period starts after the completion of the disqualification period and once the interlock device is installed. If you are subject to an interlock order you may only drive a vehicle equipped with an interlock device and must have a blood alcohol concentration of zero.

An “interlock” is a breath testing device attached to the ignition…

by Mark Warren

Random breath testing in Redfern, in Sydney’s inner west

The new sentencing laws in NSW came into force in September 2018 and criminal lawyers and their clients have already had to grapple with the new terminology and sentencing options in court.

Here is a summary of the changes made by the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Sentencing Options) Act 2017 (CSP Amendment Act) and some practical information on how these changes affect the practices of criminal lawyers who are defending clients in court.

As well as these changes there is now a presumption of full-time custody or a supervised order for offenders found guilty of a domestic…

by Joshua Crowther

As a lawyer specialising in wills and estates, I find myself increasingly providing advice (and often launching legal proceedings) on the basis that a deceased will maker lacked the testamentary capacity to make his or her will.

The recent case Ryan v Dalton; Estate of Ryan [2017] NSWSC 1007 is a case in point. In this case, a testator’s final will was challenged. The court held this final will to be invalid due to lack of testamentary capacity. Probate was granted to a will made two years earlier instead. (For the background facts to this case, please…

by Geoff Baldwin

In an item published recently in the ANU Reporter — Do we have a Frankenstein problem?ANU lecturer Dr Russell Smith focused on artificial intelligence, and the impact it has in various ways on the lives of everyday people through automated systems. One question which flows from this is whether the law (as it usually does) lags behind technological development; and whether some kind of legal framework is needed.

Dr Smith identifies Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (or, correctly, the monster created by Dr Frankenstein) as the first artificially created life which became a threat to humans in…

by Caitlin Drabble

The obvious answer to the question of how to avoid a drivers licence suspension is to obey traffic laws. However, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having committed a traffic offence and facing suspension of your licence, there are a few options to consider that may result in you avoiding the suspension.

We recommend that as soon as you receive a penalty notice or a letter of suspension, you seek legal advice about your options.

Dealing with a penalty notice

When you commit a traffic offence, you will likely receive a penalty notice in…

by John Gooley

The actual contents of many of the ecstasy tablets and other tablets that people take at parties and festivals are a combination of dangerous chemicals and compounds, mixed together in horrific, unhygienic circumstances by extremely dangerous and questionable people.

Police warnings issued before music festivals have failed to deter drug takers

Unfortunately, despite advance warnings of police presence in the media and high visibility police operations at many music festivals, it appears the number of young people willing to take their chances with these drugs is on the rise. …

by John Gooley

There is currently a stand-off of sorts between the NSW Police and the NSW Greens party and various activists and groups, regarding the need for and effectiveness of police drug detector dogs.

Sniffer dog indications often lead to false positives as no drugs are found

The stand-off is likely to be resolved in the courts, as the opponents of sniffer dog use — especially at events like dance parties and music festivals — have stated they intend to pursue legal challenges to the use of the dogs.

Those opponents claim that the dogs give many “indications” (ie…

by John Gooley

More people opting to go to court rather than appealing to Revenue NSW

If you receive a fine in NSW that you feel was unjust, you have the choice of either requesting a review from Revenue NSW or taking the matter directly to court.

While we generally advise our clients to try to avoid court where possible, due to the time and financial impact of being involved in legal proceedings, we are finding that many people are opting to go directly to court and represent themselves, rather than seeking a review, due to the perceived unlikelihood of…

by Ruth Whisker

You have been fighting for years with your ex-husband/wife/partner over the kids, each of you has thrown so much mud at the other that you could fill a bath with it, but that is alright because your children will never know what you had said about their dad/mum or them in the court proceedings — right? Wrong!

Court allows adult child access to parents’ court file

In the matter of Carter & Carter [2018] FamCAFC 45, the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia has allowed access to the parents’ 1977 court file to their 53-year-old…

by Anneka Frayne

Buying a new home or a property can be one of the most exciting events of your life. In an ideal world it would be as easy as simply finding the money, paying the owner and receiving the title of the property.

Unfortunately, however, there are all sorts of pitfalls and possible traps that can appear during the property settlement process, and as your house will likely be the biggest investment of your life, it is wise to get reliable legal advice to protect your interests. …

Stacks Law Firm

A voice on current issues through the eyes of the law. For everyday Australians and businesses, Stacks is an expert legal partner in all essential areas of law.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store