Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Why she won't pay: Cancer fraudster Belle Gibson’s "financial crisis"

<p>Belle Gibson has told the court she is in a financial crisis and drowning under the weight of over $170,000 in personal debt.</p> <p>The cancer fraudster has written in a letter to the Federal Court of Australia that she has been unable to pay a cent back of her $500,000 fine to taxpayers for years of lying about having a terminal brain illness and saying eating healthy cured her cancer.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BwVQmTvnlNf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BwVQmTvnlNf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Alyce Cooper Solicitor (@alycecoopersolicitor)</a> on Apr 16, 2019 at 2:52pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In the letter, Gibson explained: “I am indebted to BMW Finance resulting from a personal guarantee in excess of $50,000.</p> <p>“I have a fully drawn credit card with ANZ owing $30,000 and another personal debt exceeding $90,000, all of which I cannot pay.</p> <p>“Consequently, I am not able to pay the amounts ordered by Justice Mortimer [Federal Court judge presiding over Ms. Gibson’s case].”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/4gs5kRlkc3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/4gs5kRlkc3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Leah | Business Mindset Coach (@thegoldengoosehq)</a> on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:13am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Gibson revealed she hasn't got a job and receives the parenting payment from Centrelink to care for her son. </p> <p>Gibson ended her letter, written 14 November 2017, by asking the government to approach her accountant directly in the future, “given my current health”. </p> <p>Her original $410,000 fine has ballooned past $500,000 due to interest. </p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Everything you should know about DIY Wills

<p>A Will is one of the most significant legal documents you’ll sign in your lifetime, so it’s important to get it right – but why? It’s an opportunity to meet two goals: to have your wishes heard, and to make things easier for your family after you pass. If you use a DIY Will kit, it’s possible that neither of those goals will be met. </p> <p><strong>What are the risks of DIY Wills?</strong></p> <p>The biggest problem with DIY <span>Wills</span> is that it’s very easy to get them wrong. As I detail in my book <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ebook"><em>The Australian Guide to Wills &amp; Estate Planning</em></a>, even the simplest mistakes can cause the Will to be contested or held to be invalid.</p> <p>Some of the most common mistakes we see are:</p> <p><strong>1. Attempting to give away assets you don’t own. </strong></p> <p>A Will can only dispose of assets that you own at the date of your death, but we often find that some people with a DIY Will try to give away assets that they don’t own. For example, we once saw a Will that contained a clause that directed the life insurance be used to pay off their house so that the Will-maker’s son could receive the house free of debt. Unfortunately, the life insurance policy nominated the Will-maker’s new partner as the beneficiary. When the policy was paid to the partner, they then refused to use it to pay off the mortgage. Had the Will-maker sought legal advice, this problem would have been identified and the appropriate steps taken to ensure that the intention was fulfilled.</p> <p><strong>2. Failing to comply with basic legal formalities. </strong></p> <p>A Will is a legal document. There are legal requirements that must be followed when making a Will to ensure that the Will is valid. Simple things such as having only one witness to your signature or having the witnesses using different coloured pens can raise questions about whether your signature was actually witnessed. Basic errors such as these can either invalidate your Will or create costly disputes within the family.</p> <p><strong>3. Being too specific in your Will. </strong></p> <p>Some people who attempt to make a DIY Will try and give away every single thing they own. This creates two potential problems. First, the Will-maker often forgets to include a “catch-all” clause at the end of the Will. This means that there will be some assets that are not disposed of. These “forgotten assets” are then distributed in accordance with a formula set out in legislation. Second, some assets listed in the Will are likely to change. For example, if the Will leaves a house to a beneficiary and that house has been sold prior to the Will being administered, that beneficiary misses out on the gift. Proper advice at the time of preparing a Will can avoid these problems.</p> <p><strong>4. Imposing requirements on a beneficiary. </strong></p> <p>Some DIY Wills impose requirements on the beneficiaries that are sometimes unrealistic or impractical. This often happens where gifts made to a charity direct that the funds be used for a purpose that might no longer exist. This outcome can be avoided if the Will is drafted correctly. Further, sometimes the identity of the organisation that is to receive the gift is unclear. This, too, can be avoided with proper advice.</p> <p><strong>5. Forgetting to appoint an executor to the Will. </strong></p> <p>Forgetting to appoint an <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/wills-and-estates/probate-and-estate-administration/executor-of-a-will/">executor of your Will</a> won’t invalidate your Will, but it can complicate or slow down the process of sorting out your estate. The failure to appoint an <span>executor</span>can also lead to a dispute as family members jostle to be appointed as Administrator of the estate.</p> <p><strong>6. Overlooking the fact that circumstances change. </strong></p> <p>DIY Wills often overlook the need to cater for change. A Will needs to be drafted to deal with any potential change in circumstance. While not every scenario can be covered, with proper advice the most obvious scenarios can be dealt with.    </p> <p><strong>7. Illegible handwriting. </strong></p> <p>This is a simple but common mistake we often see with DIY Wills. If no one can read your Will, then you can’t be certain your wishes will be granted.</p> <p><strong>What’s the best way to make a Will?</strong></p> <p>The first thing I say to people who want to write their own Will is: <em>Don’t do it</em>. But if you do have your mind set on creating a fuss-free, quick and easy standard Will, we have the perfect solution.</p> <p>Our online Wills service, <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/createmywill">MyLife Wills™</a> is the best of both worlds. Like an online DIY Will, you can provide the information for your Will online in the comfort of your own home or on your lunchbreak. It only takes 30 minutes, reducing face-to-face time with a lawyer, therefore reducing the cost. However, the significant difference with our online service is that an expert Wills &amp; Estates lawyer will draft your Will so you get the peace of mind that it’s legally valid.</p> <p>DIY Wills are often seen as a cheaper option to seeking legal advice, but that’s not necessarily true. A DIY Will might cause more issues down the track, potentially costing your loved ones money or causing disputes.</p> <p>Be smart about your Will and start <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/createmywill">online</a> today.</p> <p><strong>Need more information?</strong></p> <p>Andrew Simpson is the National Head of Wills &amp; Estate Planning at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.</p> <p>Andrew has 20 years’ experience as a lawyer and for the past 18 of these years he has practiced in <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/our-people/lawyers/andrew-simpson/">Wills disputes</a> and <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/our-people/lawyers/andrew-simpson/">Estate planning</a>, so he understands the many facets of <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/our-people/lawyers/andrew-simpson/">Estate law</a>.</p> <p>He is so passionate about this area of law that he wrote a plain English book about it to help people understand the importance of Estate planning.</p> <p>A best-seller, <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ebook"><em>The Australian Guide to Wills &amp; Estate Planning</em></a>, has just been republished and is available in all good bookstores.</p> <p>For all oversixty.com.au readers, we are pleased to offer a <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ebook">FREE download</a> of Andrew’s book, valued at $29.95.</p> <p><em>This is a sponsored post written in partnership with <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/createmywill">Maurice Blackburn Lawyers</a>.</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Garbage truck driver to remain behind bars after killing pedestrian in hit-and-run

<p>A 21-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by a reversing garbage truck before his body was allegedly moved aside and left at the alleyway.</p> <p>George Yuhan Lin was seen on CCTV footage looking at his phone while walking along Central Street in Sydney’s CBD around 1.30am on Wednesday when a garbage truck hit him from behind.</p> <p>Police allege the driver, 51-year-old Tuiniua Fine, was seen putting on gloves and moving Lin’s body out from under the vehicle before driving off and continuing his garbage run.</p> <p>Fine was arrested at Kings Cross <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/nsw/man-killed-in-alleged-hit-and-run-in-sydney-cbd-identified-as-accused-faces-court-c-695984" target="_blank">later that morning</a>, with police seizing the truck.</p> <p>The Lakemba man faced Central Local Court on Thursday after being charged with several offences including manslaughter, failing to stop and assist after a vehicle impact causing death, dangerous driving causing death, and improperly interfering with a corpse or human remains.</p> <p>“We managed to get some CCTV which actually shows us quite clearly what happened,” said NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy.</p> <p>“And when those allegations become clear, the public we think will be quite appalled at the behaviour we’re going to allege.”</p> <p>Fine did not apply for bail and will <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/garbage-truck-driver-to-remain-behind-bars-over-sydney-hit-and-run-20200213-p540hz.html">remain behind bars</a> until the case is back in court in April.</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

“No one cares about that little boy”: Awful accusation in William Tyrrell case

<p>A senior police officer has been accused of saying “no one cares” about missing toddler William Tyrrell, a court has heard.</p> <p>Speaking at a Sydney court on Wednesday, former detective Gary Jubelin claimed Detective Superintendent Scott Cook told him in 2017 of the three-year-old boy: “No one cares about that little kid. Get him off the books. Get him to unsolved homicide.”</p> <p>Cook, who was promoted to the position of Assistant Commissioner in December 2019, has denied making the statement.</p> <p>NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller released a statement on the allegations on the same day.</p> <p>“I have full confidence in the professionalism of Assistant Commissioner Scott Cook, who has more than 31 years of exemplary service with the NSW Police Force, which includes receiving the Australian Police Medal in 2019,” the statement read.</p> <p>“Assistant Commissioner Cook held the role of Homicide Squad Commander from 2018, during which he exemplified the definition of a leader and reimagined the review process for unsolved cases to improve communication with the families of victims and deliver answers and justice in more cases.”</p> <p>Jubelin said he was told the investigation was “all over the place” when he took over the case five months after Tyrrell’s disappearance.</p> <p>“I don’t think the full ram of William’s disappearance was appreciated initially and investigative opportunities were lost,” Jubelin told the court.</p> <p>Jubelin has been accused of making four recordings of a person of interest in the case, Paul Savage, in 2017 and 2018 without a surveillance warrant.</p> <p>He claimed Deputy Commissioner Dave Hudson told him he would not be charged for the illegal act because “there’s no public interest in you being charged”.</p> <p>Jubelin resigned from the force in 2019, the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-12/gary-jubelin-hearing-continues-william-tyrrell-case/11957228">ABC</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>The 57-year-old oversaw the investigation into Tyrrell’s 2014 disappearance from Kendall on NSW’s Mid North Coast.</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

New witness speaks out about Prince Andrew

<p>A new witness has come forward in the case against Prince Andrew, claiming she saw the Duke of York dancing with his accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre in a London nightclub.</p> <p>Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents five women who say they were sexually assaulted by financier Jeffrey Epstein, said an <a href="https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/lisa-bloom-new-witness-saw-prince-andrew-with-jeffrey-epstein-victim-at-nightclub-in-2001/">unnamed witness</a> saw Prince Andrew with Giuffre in London’s Tramp nightclub in 2001.</p> <p>Bloom told a press conference in New York that the witness stepped on Prince Andrew’s foot by mistake while dancing next to him, and a friend told her who he was. The witness then noticed the prince was with a young girl that she later recognised from pictures as Giuffre.</p> <p>Bloom said the witness stepped forward with the information because she was “incensed” that Prince Andrew had denied meeting Giuffre in his <em>BBC Newsnight </em>interview. “Because he is a very powerful person, she is in fear of the repercussions to her,” Bloom said on Wednesday.</p> <p>“On behalf of my client, I have relayed the details of her story to the FBI, and she is ready, willing and able to speak to them when they are ready.”</p> <p>In her interview with <em><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50607705">Panorama</a></em>, Giuffre said she was in 2001 taken by Epstein and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to Tramp and introduced to Prince Andrew, who asked her to dance.</p> <p>“He is the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life,” Giuffre said. “His sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere.”</p> <p>Giuffre said after they left the club, Maxwell instructed her “to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey”. She alleged she had sex with Prince Andrew later that evening at Maxwell’s house in Belgrave.</p> <p>The Duke has repeatedly denied having any form of sexual contact or relationship with Giuffre. He stepped back from his royal duties in November following backlash from his <em>Newsnight </em>interview.</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

“Exacerbated by global heating”: An interview with NSW firefighter Jim Casey

<p>The current bushfire crisis has so far destroyed over <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/aussies-demand-climate-action-scotty-delivers-marketing-and-anthony-rolls-over/">10 million hectares</a>. Unprecedented in its scope, it’s also taken the lives of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/too-little-too-late-morrison-will-mourn-bushfire-victims/">32 people</a> – including 12 firefighters – while <a href="https://www.cnet.com/how-to/australia-fires-have-killed-more-than-a-billion-animals-so-far-how-you-can-help/">over a billion animals</a> have perished in the flames. And the true environmental, economic and health costs remain unknown.</p> <p>So, it comes as a bit of a shock for many to learn that 23 former fire and emergency leaders had been trying to warn the federal government about the crisis that was likely coming and the need for greater investment in protective measures as far back as <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-14/former-fire-chief-calls-out-pm-over-refusal-of-meeting/11705330">April last year</a>.</p> <p>In order to combat any finger pointing that might come their way, politicians of the right have been <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/debunking-the-myth-that-the-greens-caused-the-bushfire-crisis-an-interview-with-mlc-david-shoebridge/">propagating the idea</a> that the Greens are to blame for the unprecedented bushfires, due to their supposed opposition to hazard reduction burns. Although, there’s no evidence to justify this.</p> <p>NSW deputy premier John Barilaro came out just <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/barilaro-accuses-government-agencies-of-ideological-opposition-to-hazard-reduction-20200122-p53tns.html">last week</a> accusing NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service of not performing necessary hazard reduction due to “ideological” reasons, even though his government in 2017 cut <a href="http://www.pennysharpe.com/labor_reveals_121m_cuts_no_plan_for_new_parks_the_national_party_trying_to_turn_national_parks_back_into_state_forests_for_commercial_logging">$121 million</a> of its funding, which resulted in reduced <a href="https://www.themandarin.com.au/120342-parks-and-wildlife-funding-cuts-in-the-spotlight-as-nsw-nationals-play-the-blame-game/">fire prevention staff</a>.</p> <p><strong>Governed by the culprits</strong></p> <p>This nation is “ground zero for both climate impacts and climate policy uncertainty”, states <a href="https://laureatebushfiresclimate.wordpress.com/">an open letter</a> published on Wednesday by Australian Research Council fellows. The 80 leading local academics state that government needs to learn from the catastrophe and take relevant action.</p> <p>These bushfires “arrived at the end of a year with the lowest average rainfall and the highest average temperatures ever recorded across Australia”, the academics outline. “Climate change has arrived, and without significant action greater impacts on Australia are inevitable.”</p> <p>However, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the Liberal National government isn’t willing to take effective measures. Morrison has <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/29/australia-is-ground-zero-in-climate-crisis-and-must-show-leadership-top-researchers-say">admitted</a> to climate playing a role in the increased intensity of the fires. Although, he’s only spoken of adaptation to it, rather than action to cut carbon emissions.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-coal-industry-controls-the-coalition/">major reason</a> behind this unwillingness to act is that the federal government is in the pocket of the coal industry. Indeed, <a href="https://act.greenpeace.org.au/dirtypower">numerous links</a> between government and Big Coal would make it financially counterproductive for Coalition politicians to walk away from the industry.</p> <p>And this is further evidenced at the state level with the NSW Liberal National government’s <a href="https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/bills/Pages/bill-details.aspx?pk=3717">bill before parliament</a>, which seeks to remove the requirement that planning authorities now have to consider the impact of exported coal emissions when assessing new mining proposals.</p> <p><strong>Word on the ground</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ausfca/">Australian Firefighters Climate Alliance</a> is a group of firefighters who’ve joined together to advocate for stronger action on climate. And career firefighter Jim Casey has been speaking out on its behalf at <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-liar-from-the-shire-thousands-march-demanding-action-from-morrison/">a number of Sydney rallies</a> over recent months.</p> <p><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/police-stations-we-attend/auburn-police-station/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers</a> spoke to Fire and Rescue NSW firefighter Jim Casey about the factors that created the most intense bushfires ever seen, how the government would have reacted in a similar manner regardless of who was PM, and the reasons behind those hazard reduction rumours.</p> <p><strong>Firstly, you</strong> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/14/australias-firefighters-need-concrete-support-not-just-the-pms-thoughts-and-prayers"><strong>wrote in the Guardian</strong></a><strong> a few months back, that you’ve been fighting fires your entire professional life and you’d never before seen the types you were being confronted with.</strong></p> <p><strong>But, that was in mid-November, and there’s been much more to come. Jim, how would you sum up what’s happened since then?</strong></p> <p>I take no satisfaction in saying that when I said in November that these fires were unprecedented, I was correct then, but the worsening situation just shows you how much more extreme this season has become.</p> <p>That extremity is not by chance, it’s a changing world. And it’s led to a catastrophic fire season.</p> <p><strong>So, you’ve been out there on the frontline during the crisis. In your opinion, are we passed the worst of it?</strong></p> <p>I’m not prepared to say that we’re past the worst of it, because you just don’t know what’s going to happen.</p> <p>It is worth noting that a lot of the fuel load near major population centres has been significantly reduced just by fire. And we’ve had a limited return of rain.</p> <p>But, having said that, we’ve still got months of summer to go – anything could happen. So, I’m hoping the worst is over, but I wouldn’t make that commitment.</p> <p><strong>And what’s it been like out there for you fighting the fires? </strong></p> <p>It’s been fighting bushfires or carrying a larger load in the city. We’ve had less resources in the city, because people are at the frontline, so it’s busy all around.</p> <p>It’s either busy in Sydney, up in the Blue Mountains, or down on the South Coast. To be honest, it’s been full on. But, that’s the nature of the job.</p> <p><strong>You’re a spokesperson for the</strong> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ausfca/"><strong>Australian Firefighters’ Climate Alliance</strong></a><strong>. You accept the science linking the severity of the crisis to changing climate conditions.</strong></p> <p><strong>For those in the community coming to grips with the effects of changing climate on bushfires, how do you explain the implications?</strong></p> <p>For a fire to occur you need three things: temperature, oxygen and fuel. So, for a wildfire – a bushfire – you’ll see more intense fires, when you’ve got more fuel on the ground, where the atmosphere is windy and when the temperatures are high.</p> <p>For these fires, all three of those factors have been exacerbated by a change in climate. We’ve seen extreme weather behaviour in terms of windstorms, and so forth, which is associated with a warming world.</p> <p>We’ve got a fuel load on the ground that’s higher than anyone wanted. That’s partially because of the reduced window for hazard burns during winter, which is the result of a warming world.</p> <p>Then finally there’s the question of temperature. The 1 to 1.5 degree of warming is an issue. But, by far, the bigger concern is the extreme weather spots, which occur within that warming.</p> <p>So, the runs of very hot days in the high 30s or low 40s. That’s the kind of thing that turns the bushfire into a firestorm.</p> <p>All three of the factors behind what makes a fire work – all three – have been exacerbated by global heating.</p> <p><strong>You’ve been addressing the crowd at a number of recent rallies in Sydney, which have been calling out Scott Morrison on his lack of climate action.</strong></p> <p><strong>How would you describe the leader of this country’s form during the current crisis, which is now into its fifth month?</strong></p> <p>My favourite take on it is from the Betoota Advocate, which is the <a href="https://www.betootaadvocate.com/uncategorized/nation-begins-to-understand-why-scotty-got-the-arse-from-all-those-marketing-jobs/">Nation Begins To Understand Why Scotty Got the Arse From All Those Marketing Jobs</a>.</p> <p>But, seriously, it’s been a conspicuous fail. The prime minister has got a cloth ear. His attempts at empathy come across as either harassing people into shaking his hand or running away from them when they need something. It’s a disgrace. It’s been a fail.</p> <p>But, while Scott Morrison’s personal failings have been made manifest, the real issue is he represents a political party that’s beholden to the mining lobby. And none of the people who would be prime minister instead would be behaving any better.</p> <p>Morrison is someone easy to mock for the way that he’s been handling the situation from beginning to end. And he should be mocked. He deserves the contempt.</p> <p>But, no one should be under any allusions that the next in line for the top job in the Liberal Party would be any better than he would.</p> <p><strong>The right of politics has managed to run a smear campaign, laying the blame for the current crisis at the feet of the Greens, because of its supposed position on hazard reduction burns.</strong></p> <p><strong>You’re a member of the NSW Greens, so you must have been confronted by this argument. How have you been able to account for it being bandied about like its truth?</strong></p> <p>There are some people that it wouldn’t matter what you say they’re going to believe the madness.</p> <p>The thing I’ve found – which is quite compelling – is that I’m a proud member of the Greens NSW, and I conduct hazard reduction burns. It’s part of my job. And I don’t down tools when I am told to do it.</p> <p>It’s just ridiculous. The Greens are not opposed to hazard reduction burns. We are opposed to the idea of concreting the entire countryside and destroying everything. But, most Australians are.</p> <p>The Greens are a scapegoat for a tricky and nasty government that’s been called out. So, they’re trying to find someone to blame. They’ve had a crack at us. Most don’t believe it, particularly when you see the fire chiefs coming out saying that it’s not true.</p> <p>To put this all in context, the Greens have a minority on some councils. We have two lower house MPs in NSW. We’ve got one lower house MP in federal parliament. How we are running this agenda with those numbers is beyond me.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>The minister in charge of this state’s bushfire recovery, NSW deputy premier John Barilaro just took aim at NSW National Parks and Wildlife, blaming that organisation for the intensity of the fires because again it hasn’t been properly partaking in hazard reduction.</strong></p> <p><strong>What do you think about the leader of the NSW Nationals accusing National Parks of being at fault?</strong></p> <p>That bloke has got more front than Myers to have a crack at National Parks, when under this government, according to the Public Service Association, there’s been a 35 percent cut in firefighting positions inside the parks.</p> <p>Again, it’s just switch and bait. These people have been caught out not planning for the future. They’ve been caught out cutting funds from parts of the public sector that fight fires.</p> <p>They’ve been caught out running no line at all on climate change. And basically, subsidising the fossil fuel industry.</p> <p>They know that anyone with half a brain is putting all of this together and coming up with the conclusion that they’re vandals. And their concerns for their top end of town mates outweighs any concerns for the environment or the rest of us.</p> <p>So, in an environment like that, they’re looking for someone to blame. And I just urge your readers to take everything they say with a grain of salt, because these people have got blood on their hands, and they’re desperately trying to make sure that no one – no one – blames them.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>And lastly, Jim, as a career firefighter with a grounding in the science of climate, what do you think needs to happen from here, both in terms of immediately on the ground and also at a broader level looking at climate into the future?</strong></p> <p>There are two things that need to happen. The first is the immediate question of how we respond to these crises when they’re upon us. Obviously, they’re needs to be more money put into firefighting. You can’t get around that.</p> <p>At the end of the day, firefighting hasn’t changed for centuries. There’s someone on the end of a length of hose or a hand tool doing their best to put the fire out or build a fire break. That’s not going to change. We need more firefighters on the ground.</p> <p>But, then there are other things we need as well. There needs to be significant investment in aerial capacity and fleets.</p> <p>While these fires were at their worst, there were hundreds of professional firefighters, like me, who could not be used. I had days off, because there weren’t enough fire engines for us as staff. You could fix a lot of this with a $50 to $80 million expenditure.</p> <p>I actually expect that we will see some of that from government. This crisis has frightened everyone and throwing limited amounts of money at this is something they will do. Probably not enough. And we will need to push for more. But, they’ll have a start.</p> <p>The big issue is what they’re doing about the root cause of the problem. And that’s a far more thorny kind of question.</p> <p>This is what we are seeing at 1 degree of global heating. If things were fixed right now, we are still likely to get up to the 2 degree mark. And there’s no indication that that’s going to happen.</p> <p>So, really this is just a taste of the future. Things will get worse, unless action is taken immediately.</p> <p>That means that both the state, and especially the federal government, need to accept the science and get aggressive about trying to make sure that Australia stops burning coal for our own energy consumption, exporting fossil fuels for others, and start making our nation a leader in the world for renewable energy, both for our consumption and export.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/exacerbated-by-global-heating-an-interview-with-nsw-firefighter-jim-casey/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Australian privacy laws must be strengthened

<p>The Department of Human Services fields thousands of requests for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) data from state and federal policing agencies each year, complying with the vast majority of them.</p> <p>The information released can, if detailed enough, paint a picture of a person’s medical history, including, for example, any history of mental health issues, HIV, abortion or sexually transmitted diseases.</p> <p><strong>No warrant required</strong></p> <p>And unlike <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/my-health-record-a-further-erosion-of-civil-liberties/">My Heath Record</a>, no warrant or court order is needed for the Department to release the information. Instead, it uses its own internal guidelines to decide how it will respond to a police request. These guidelines, which were created more than a decade ago, have not been updated and are not available to public.</p> <p>Until recently, there has been no imperative to release these guidelines until <a href="http://medicalrepublic.com.au/polices-secret-access-to-our-health-data/24892">The Medical Republic</a>, a specialist media publication, won a freedom of information battle to have them brought out into the open.</p> <p>According to the guidelines, department officials are required to consider whether the disclosure of private health data is necessary, and not merely convenient or helpful. They are also meant to check whether the information is available through other channels.</p> <p>Department officials are also supposed to consider whether releasing the private health information is in the public interest as distinct from any private interests of the person seeking the information.</p> <p>In the guidelines, the “public interest” is broadly defined as anything relating to national security, major crime, the administration of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/">criminal law</a>, or public safety.</p> <p>The guidelines give concrete examples of situations where disclosing private health data to police is in the public interest, such as to assist with police investigations into <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/">serious criminal offences,</a> but also states that “these examples are not to be read as in any way limiting the circumstances in which the release of information may be regarded as necessary in the public interest”.</p> <p><strong>Vague guidelines spark privacy concerns</strong></p> <p>It is precisely the vague nature of the guidelines that has privacy and civil liberties advocates concerned. While the Department says it takes it’s privacy responsibilities “very seriously” and complies with all the relevant legislation, many remain at risk of having personal information disclosed without their consent or even knowledge.</p> <p>There are calls for the guidelines to be updated in line with legislation which governs My Health Record privacy and disclosure. In that regard, laws were introduced in 2009 which require police to obtain a court order to access My Health Record data.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/about-us/publications-and-resources/privacy-policy">Department of Human Services </a> website, which covers the agencies: Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support, outlines its privacy policy as follows:</p> <p>“We are bound by strict confidentiality and secrecy provisions in social security, families, health, child support, redress and disability services law. These provisions limit how we use your information and when and to whom it can be released. We also have obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.”</p> <p>When you dig deeper into the  policy by following relevant page links, the Department discloses how it collects information (including via monitoring the website pages you visit as well as social media), <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/about-us/publications-and-resources/privacy-policy">and who it shares that information with</a>. The list is extensive.</p> <p><strong>Your right to privacy</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2014C00076">Privacy Act 1988</a> (Privacy Act) was introduced to promote and protect the privacy of individuals and to regulate how Australian Government agencies and other businesses and organisations handle our personal information.</p> <p>The Act contains 13 Australian Privacy Principles which regulate collection, storage, access to and disclosure of personal information.</p> <p>Under the Act, personal information is only meant to be collected for a lawful purpose, and your stated rights include:</p> <ul> <li>Being informed what kind of information is being collected about you and how that information is collected.</li> <li>Understanding why your personal data is collected</li> <li>Being able to access your personal information, review it and have it corrected if it is incorrect.</li> <li>To have your data stored securely, protected from interference or misuse, and to be informed of any data breaches that affect you.</li> </ul> <p>The Freedom of Information Act 1982 enables individuals to access their personal information that is held by a business or a government organisation.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/australian-privacy-laws-must-be-strengthened/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Left on the tracks: Brisbane girl hit by New York subway now suing after astonishing claim

<p>A Brisbane woman who had to have both legs amputated after a freak accident in the New York City subway plans on suing the city for negligence – claiming she was hit by two consecutive trains.</p> <p>Visaya Hoffie has filed a petition at Manhattan Supreme Court as she hopes to obtain video footage, photos and witness accounts from the night she fell onto the tracks of the 14 St PATH station last month.</p> <p>The 23-year-old dealt with a broken back, multiple head wounds and severe cuts and bruises. She also lost both her legs after being run over by seven carriages.</p> <p>In an affidavit obtained by the<span> </span><em>New York Post</em>, Miss Hoffie says she was hit twice after being left on the tracks for a long period of time.</p> <p>“After the first train left the station after running me over, I was left on the tracks for another considerable period of time … until a second P.A.T.H. train came along and hit me again,” reads the document.</p> <p>She also finds it hard to believe that the train operator didn’t see her, as she was wearing brightly coloured clothing and fell in a well-lit area.</p> <p>Miss Hoffie then said that she will be bed-ridden in hospital for the “foreseeable future” due to the tragic accident.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8FNQXJlaX9/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8FNQXJlaX9/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Wearing the top that saved my life. Terribly missing my sister @wayanpreston</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/vissyhoffe/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Vissy</a> (@vissyhoffe) on Feb 2, 2020 at 2:31pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Earlier reports stated that the Australian did not get hit by a second train due to her bright pink top that caught the conductor’s eye.</p> <p>Her mother Pat Hoffie took to social media to share a photo of her daughter, taken shortly before the incident occurred, wearing the shirt that she said spared her from being hit a second time.</p> <p>“This image of her [Visaya] was taken hours before the accident,” she wrote in a Facebook post.</p> <p>“The bright pink colour of her top is what alerted the engine driver of the second train to the fact that someone was lying across the track.</p> <p>“When the first train had rolled across her unconscious body twenty minutes earlier, her black puffy jacket and black jeans had made her invisible to the driver.</p> <p>“In the words of the investigating police, ‘it’s a miracle she survived.’ Please pray that she continues to survive and to heal and to come home.”</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Why a Will is only one piece of the estate planning puzzle

<p>More than 50% of Australian’s don’t have a Will or estate plan, let alone other important medical and life documentation in place. It may be daunting to consider another person to make a life-changing medical decision, to be guardian of your children or to be your Power of Attorney if you fall ill or become incapacitated. However, the unavoidable fact is, if you don’t think about these serious decisions now, your partner or children might be put in a situation where they are left guessing your wishes, causing extreme stress, chaos and uncertainty.</p> <p>It is normal to forward plan in other aspects of our life, such as finances, insurances or superannuation to ensure we and our families are protected. Don’t skip planning for your life.</p> <p>We believe something as important as estate planning should be easy, so we have developed a unique package called <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/mylifedocuments/">MyLife Documents™</a><em>. </em>This unique offer allows you to prepare five essential estate planning legal documents easily, in one go, for a fixed price and under the consultation of an expert Wills &amp; Estate Planning lawyer.</p> <p>As I assure you in my book, <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ebook"><em>The Australian Guide to Wills &amp; Estate Planning</em></a>, Wills and estate planning doesn’t have to be as daunting, labour intensive or expensive as you may think and the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Making plans now is the best way to ensure that your family and loved ones are looked after if anything should happen to you.</p> <p>Blackburn Lawyers work with you over two consultations to prepare <strong>five</strong> vital documents:</p> <p><strong>1. A standard Will</strong></p> <p>A Will is a legal document that enables you to determine how your ‘estate’ is to be distributed after your death. This includes your money, property, shares, investments and possessions. While separate from your estate, you should also make decisions about how your superannuation is dealt with when you make your Will.</p> <p><strong>2. Enduring Power of Attorney (POA)</strong></p> <p>An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to nominate one or more persons to act on your behalf for legal, financial and personal decisions. This can start when you decide and continues to be effective if you lose the ability to make your own decisions.</p> <p><strong>3. Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker</strong></p> <p>The appointment of a Medical Treatment Decision Maker is different to a POA, as they are tasked specifically with making medical decisions for you if you are ill or injured and unable to make them for yourself.</p> <p><strong>4. Advance Care Directive</strong></p> <p>In relation to your medical decisions, you are also able to prepare a second document called an Advance Care Directive which allows you to record your wishes regarding treatment and communicate them to your Medical Treatment Decision Maker so that they have an understanding of what is important to you.</p> <p><strong>5. Statement of Wishes</strong></p> <p>A Statement of Wishes is a separate document to your Will. A Statement of Wishes is not binding but can assist your executors when it comes time to administer your estate.</p> <p>At Maurice Blackburn, we store your Statement of Wishes with your Will so that executors have everything they need to administer your estate.</p> <p>Things that might be included in a Statement of Wishes:</p> <ul> <li>music that you wish to be played at your funeral</li> <li>who your pallbearers will be</li> <li>who will scatter your ashes</li> <li>other preferences around burial or cremation</li> <li>the location of your assets so your executors may easily find them</li> <li>who you would like notified about your death.</li> </ul> <p>These five essential legal and medical documents<strong> </strong>work hand-in-hand to protect your loved ones in the event you are injured or incapacitated, or if you pass away. Failure to do so can create uncertainty and stress for family and friends, leaving them guessing your wishes.</p> <p>In my experience, the cost of not planning your estate is far greater than the cost of planning it. Don’t put it off any longer, as your family will always be better off with these documents in place. By making one simple phone call today, you can take the pressure off your family and loved ones down the line.</p> <p>Andrew Simpson is the National Head of Wills &amp; Estate Planning at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.</p> <p>Andrew has 20 years’ experience as a lawyer and for the past 18 of these years he has practiced in <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/our-people/lawyers/andrew-simpson/">Wills disputes</a> and <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/our-people/lawyers/andrew-simpson/">Estate planning</a>, so he understands the many facets of<span> </span><a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/our-people/lawyers/andrew-simpson/">Estate law</a>.</p> <p>He is so passionate about this area of law that he wrote a plain English book about it to help people understand the importance of Estate planning.</p> <p>A best-seller,<span> </span><em><a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ebook">The Australian Guide to Wills &amp; Estate Planning</a></em>, has just been republished and is available in all good bookstores.</p> <p>For all oversixty.com.au readers, we are pleased to offer a<span> </span><span><strong><a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ebook">FREE download</a></strong></span><span> </span>of Andrew’s book, valued at $29.95</p> <p><em>This is a sponsored post written in partnership with<span> </span></em><a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/createmywill"><em>Maurice Blackburn Lawyers</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Should I tell my lawyer the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

<p>When engaging a criminal defence lawyer, clients are sometimes unsure about how much to say at the first meeting – concerned that telling their lawyers everything all at once could make it harder to achieve the best possible outcome.</p> <p>Indeed, in serious cases, lawyers may not obtain full instructions from their clients until they have received the statements and other materials upon which the prosecution relies, and until both they and their clients have gone through those materials.</p> <p>So, what are the rules that affect how a lawyer can deal with information from clients?</p> <p><strong>Legal professional privilege</strong></p> <p>The client/solicitor relationship is one of the most fundamental of our legal system.</p> <p>As such, principles have been established so that clients can provide full and frank disclosure to their lawyer without fear that this information will be used against them.</p> <p>Chief of these principles is ‘legal professional privilege’ also known as ‘client legal privilege’ which protects conversations between lawyers and clients. In the words of Dean J in <em>Baker v Campbell </em>(1983) 153 CLR 52:</p> <p><em>“That general principle represents some protection of the citizen – particularly the weak, the unintelligent and the ill-informed citizen – against the leviathan of the modern state. Without it, there can be no assurance that those in need of independent legal advice to cope with the demands and intricacies of modern law will be able to obtain it without the risk of prejudice and damage by subsequent compulsory disclosure on the demand of any administrative officer with some general statutory authority to obtain information or seize documents.”</em></p> <p>Legal professional privilege protects against the disclosure of communications between client and lawyer made for the dominant purpose of seeking or providing legal advice or for use in anticipated legal proceedings.</p> <p>This means your lawyer is generally prohibited from disclosing communications made for the purpose of your cases, subject to the exceptions outlined below.</p> <p>Privilege applies to both verbal and written communications between a lawyer and his or her client; whether in person, over the phone, by mail or over the internet – so it’s a broad protection which seeks to facilitate free communication between the parties.</p> <p><strong>Exceptions to client legal privilege</strong></p> <p>There are, however, a number of exceptions to client legal privilege that you need to be aware of.</p> <p>In NSW, sections 121 to 126 of the Evidence Act provide a number of situations where client legal privilege does not apply to the admissibility of evidence, which are:</p> <p><a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ea199580/s121.html">121</a> – Where the client has died or where disclosure is necessary to enforce a court order,</p> <p><a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ea199580/s122.html">122</a> – Where the client waives privilege, or consents to the lawyer disclosing information or producing materials, or where the client acts in a manner inconsistent with maintaining the privilege (eg discloses to others),</p> <p><a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ea199580/s123.html">123</a> – Where a defendant is giving evidence in criminal proceedings, unless it is a a confidential communication or document between an associated defendant and a lawyer acting for that person in connection with the prosecution of that person.</p> <p><a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ea199580/s124.html">124</a> – Where two or more clients have jointly retained a lawyer in civil proceeding and one or more of them wishes to disclose a confidential communication or contents of a confidential document,</p> <p><a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ea199580/s125.html">125</a> – Where a communication is made or document prepared in furtherance of a <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/fraud-charges/">fraud</a>, an offence or an act which would render a party liable for a civil penalty, and</p> <p><a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ea199580/s126.html">126</a> – Certain information necessary to understand material to which privilege does not apply as a result of the preceding sections.</p> <p>What if I’m actually guilty but want to plead not-guilty?</p> <p>There are some circumstances where being too frank with your lawyer may limit how they can advocate for you inside the courtroom.</p> <p>And it should be said that if you are indeed guilty, pleading that way will entitle you to <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/what-is-a-guilty-plea-discount/">a guilty plea discount</a> – which could result in a less serious type of penalty than if your were to plead not guilty and be found guilty. For example, an early plea of guilty could result in a penalty such as an <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/penalties/nsw/intensive-correction-orders/">intensive correction order</a> or <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/penalties/nsw/community-correction-order/">community correction order</a> instead of a prison sentence.</p> <p>However, an experienced criminal defence lawyer will be able to ask you questions in a way that reduces the risk of future prejudice.</p> <p>If you do admit to the offence, but wish to plead not-guilty to it – your lawyer will be limited in how he or she can present your case in court.</p> <p>This is because all lawyers are required to abide by professional ethics and conduct rules which can limit the questions that can be asked in certain situations, and the way cases can be argued.</p> <p>The rules <u>do not</u> prohibit lawyers from representing clients who admit their guilt to their lawyer; however, lawyers are strictly prohibited from lying or knowingly misleading the court on behalf of their clients.</p> <p>A lawyer who knows their client is guilty can still ‘put the prosecution to proof’; which means they can ask questions of prosecution witnesses and make submissions to the court to the effect that the prosecution has failed to prove each of the ‘essential elements’ (or ingredients) of the charge case beyond a reasonable doubt, and that their client should therefore be acquitted.</p> <p>But again, the lawyer will not be able to elicit false or misleading evidence, or make false or misleading submissions to the court.</p> <p>For example, a lawyer to whom you admit your guilt can assist by questioning and challenging prosecution witnesses. But he or she cannot allow you or another person to tell lies on the witness stand. If this nevertheless occurs, the lawyer would be well advised to submit to the court that he or she is ‘embarrassed’ and withdraw from the case.</p> <p>Often honesty is preferable, as you may be guilty of a lesser offence than the one you have been charged with, in which case your lawyer can push for the charge to be downgraded, or tailor your defence to ensure you are found not guilty of the charged offence in court.</p> <p>So it’s a bit of a tricky area, but experienced defence lawyers are well-aware of the rules, the pitfalls and how to act in the best interests of their clients whilst abiding by their other ethical obligations.</p> <p><strong>Changing</strong> <strong>lawyers</strong></p> <p>If you don’t feel your lawyer can adequately represent you – whether this is because you have told them something you shouldn’t have, or you believe they are not suitably experienced, or for another reason – it may be in your interest to obtain new legal representation.</p> <p>Changing lawyers is a simple process, and when making that decision you should always bear in mind that choosing the right lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you ever make, and that you should always be looking out for your own best interests.</p> <p>If you want to change lawyers, you will normally need to sign an ‘authority to uplift’. Your new lawyer will be able to provide you with this document, and can send it to your previous lawyer on your behalf in order to obtain the materials they have.</p> <p>If you have unpaid fees with your previous lawyer, it is advisable that you pay these to enable a smooth transfer and ensure your previous lawyer doesn’t seek to exercise a ‘lien’ over your materials – which means to refuse to forward your materials on to your new lawyer.</p> <p><strong>Going to Court?</strong></p> <p>If you are going to court and require expert advice <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/about/lawyers/">from experienced, specialist criminal defence lawyers</a>, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers anytime on (02) 9261 8881 to arrange a free first conference.</p> <p><em>Written by Jarryd Bartle. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-i-tell-my-lawyer-the-truth-the-whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

“Very, very wrong”: Margaret Court hits back at McEnroe and Navratilova

<p>Tennis legend Margaret Court has slammed tennis stars John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova for their protest, saying that their actions were “very, very wrong”.</p> <p>Court has developed into a controversial figure due to her views on homosexuality and transgender athletes, which lead to McEnroe and Navratilova protesting for a name change of the Margaret Court Arena.</p> <p>McEnroe and Navratilova held a homemade sign which read “Evonne Goolagong Arena” as the Australian Open was celebrating Court’s achievements in the world of tennis.</p> <p>Court spoke to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/margaret-court-australian-open-interview-controversy-fundamentalist-views/53475172-0613-4f50-80cd-edb436911284" target="_blank">Nine News</a></em><span> </span>about the incident, saying that she “felt sorry” for McEnroe.</p> <p>“I always got on quite well with John McEnroe. I always thought we got on and I’ve always respected him,” Court said.</p> <p>“I feel sorry for him that he can’t separate one part of life to another.”</p> <p>She also labelled their actions as “very, very wrong” as Court feels that they should not have protested the way that the pair did on Australian soil.</p> <p>“I’d never go to another nation, whatever I thought of a person, I would never say, ‘Hey, you should take their name off a building’,” Court said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">“She is a great Australian and a great tennis player… but Margaret Court still doesn’t acknowledge the damage she’s done with her opinions about homosexuals and same-sex marriage.” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9Today?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9Today</a> <a href="https://t.co/DEPt87kXpk">pic.twitter.com/DEPt87kXpk</a></p> — The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheTodayShow/status/1224785361597014019?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 4, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>“I would never do that … I think that was very, very wrong.”</p> <p>Court has also slammed Tennis Australia for the treatment of her, labelling it “very sad”.</p> <p>"I think they said they were going to honour me but not celebrate me," the 77-year-old told 9News' Georgie Gardner.</p> <p>"Because of my stance and my views on gay marriage and all of those areas, and I've got nothing against people.</p> <p>"From the tennis side they've pointed the finger at me and tried to discriminate in everything that I've done and I think that's very sad."</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

"He never asked me how old I was": Actress claims she slept with Mick Jagger at 15

<p>Actress Rae Dawn, the daughter of American comedian Tommy Chong, has claimed she spent a “fabulous” two days with Mick Jagger when she was just 15 years old in 1977.</p> <p>Dawn, who played prominent roles in the 1985 films <em>The Colour Purple </em>and <em>Commando</em>, shared her underage fling with the Rolling Stones legend to the <em>Daily Mail.</em></p> <p>Dawn’s admission came<em> </em>after she claimed to have accidentally blurted out the news while taping a forthcoming podcast from <em>The Hollywood Reporter</em>.</p> <p>“He wasn’t that much older than me in my brain. He was 33 and young and gorgeous with a nice body,” she described to the outlet in a quick attempt to get ahead of the story.</p> <p>“It wasn’t a bad thing; it was fabulous. Totally rock ‘n’ roll. He didn’t make me do anything I didn’t want to do, but he was very vain, always looking in the mirror.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834290/mick-jagger-rae-dawn.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/53dc25bbdd6b48dcaea59030b1a622f5" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Mick Jagger and Rae Dawn Chong in the 1985 Rolling Stones video, Just Another Night.</em></p> <p>Now 58-years-old, Dawn says she slept with the famous superstar while he was still married to his first wife after meeting him at a friend’s home.</p> <p>The actress was friends with the daughter of John Phillips, the singer of The Mamas &amp; the Papas, and introduced herself to Jagger when they were both visiting Phillips’ home.</p> <p>“He never asked me how old I was and I never told him,” she told the <em>Daily Mail</em>.</p> <p>“It never came up. I remember thinking he was really cute. He had tousled hair. I thought, ‘Oh man, he is beautiful.’”</p> <p>The pair ended up spending two days together in New York, according to the <em>Daily Mail</em>.</p> <p>She insisted that any relations between the two was completely consensual and worried that the revelation would land Jagger in deep water.</p> <p>“He did nothing wrong,” said Dawn. “He didn’t make me do anything I didn’t want to do.”</p> <p>Dawn bumped into Jagger a number of times after the romance occurred. Years later he casted her for an appearance in the video for the Rolling Stones’ song, <em>Just Another Night</em>.</p> <p>However, it seems their relationship as friends turned sour when Dawn publicly complained about Jagger’s “licky” behaviour on set.</p> <p>“In real life, he was a great kisser, but in the film, he did lots of ‘licky’ things,’ she said. “I talked about that in an interview. He has a fragile ego. He hasn’t spoken to me since.”</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Sorry, not sorry: Djokovic speaks out on patting chair umpire's feet

<p>Novak Djokovic has apologised for touching the umpire during his Australian Open final match on Sunday night.</p> <p>The Serb initially defended his decision to tap official Damien Dumusois twice on the foot, describing it as “a nice, really friendly touch”, but expressed his regret on Monday.</p> <p>“In a professional sport, things happen that obviously you’re not proud of,” Djokovic said.</p> <p>“Sometimes you do things that you’re not happy with and you go through different emotions, you go through ups and downs.</p> <p>“Of course, I’m not happy that I touched the chair umpire. And I’m sorry if I offended him or anybody else.</p> <p>“But in the heat of the battle, some decisions that he makes or some decision that happens just distracts you and sets you off the balance a little bit.”</p> <p>According to the official grand slam rule book, Djokovic could be charged with a fine of up to AU$30,000 for the action.</p> <p>“Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site,” the rules state. “Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine up to US$20,000 [AU$30,000] for each violation.”</p> <p>In the post-match press conference, Djokovic said he did not believe he overstepped the mark. “For touching his shoe? I mean, I didn’t know that’s completely forbidden,” he said after securing his 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 against Dominic Thiem.</p> <p>“I thought it was a nice, really friendly touch. I wasn’t aggressive with him in terms of physical abuse.”</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Which crimes are most frequently detected in Australia?

<p>The common populist phrase ‘if you do the crime, you should do the time’ suggests that those who commit criminal offences should be caught and prosecuted – regardless of how trivial or outdated the offence may be, or how futile or costly it is to put this ‘zero tolerance’ approach into practice.</p> <p>An example of an offence which many consider unjustifiably costly and futile to prosecute is <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/criminal/offences/drug-offences/drug-possession/">the crime of drug possession</a> – whereby ‘zero tolerance’ policing has done nothing to deter would-be offenders, has cost billions of dollars to enforce, and has led to a range of other socially undesirable consequences, including the stigmatisation of drug users, the reluctance of those whose use detrimentally affects their lives to seek medical help and a thriving black market with all the associated violence and health risks – including the dangers of low-grade drugs that contain potentially deadly fillers.</p> <p>But what are the most frequently detected crimes in Australia?</p> <p>And which offences tend to go unreported and undetected?</p> <p><strong>The most frequently detected offences</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.crimestats.aic.gov.au/facts_figures/2_offenders/">National statistics</a> suggest that the most frequently detected offence-types in the year 2016/17 were:</p> <p>1. Drug offences – 81,160</p> <p>2. Acts intended to cause injury – 78,421</p> <p>3. Theft – 78,093</p> <p>4. Public order offences – 61,198</p> <p>This does not necessarily mean that these are the most common offences committed, just that they are the most frequently detected. In fact, there is research to suggest that certain driving offences such as <a href="http://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/traffic/offences/drink-driving/">drink driving</a> or negligent driving (eg failing to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians or other motorists) may be more common that all of those above, but they are less likely to be detected.</p> <p>A factor in detection rates is also that many assault offences – which come under acts intended to cause injury – <a href="https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi409">are committed in view of the public</a>; a situation where police are most likely to be called.</p> <p>A factor relating to the detection of drug offences is the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955395918300756">pro-active detection policy of police</a>; which is signified by the heavy presence of police and drug detection dogs at music festivals and other venues.</p> <p>So as statistics can be skewed by a range of factors, the statistics on detection should not be equated with prevalence of offending.</p> <p><strong>Hidden crimes</strong></p> <p>Many types of crime go unreported to police which makes it difficult to estimate their prevalence or to identify perpetrators.</p> <p>There are many reasons why someone may not want to report a crime to police including a belief that they won’t be taken seriously, a reluctance to dob in a friend or relative or concerns about re-victimisation either by the criminal justice system itself.</p> <p><a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4530.0~2016-17~Main%20Features~Sexual%20assault~10004">Victimisation surveys</a> attempt to bridge the gap between reported crime and the actual rate in the community. These surveys find that the rate under-reporting depends a lot of the type of crime committed.</p> <p>Whilst 90% of motor vehicle thefts are reported to police, only 39% of sexual assaults are reported.</p> <p>Under-reporting of sexual assault has been well documented globally. The reasons for under-reporting <a href="https://aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/non-reporting-and-hidden-recording-of-sexual-assault-an-international-literature-review.pdf?v=1509677779">differ between surveys</a> but include wishing to deal with matters privately, feelings of shame and embarrassment and fear of not being believed by police.</p> <p>Some advocates point to low rates of convictions as being a cause of reluctance by sexual assault victims. In Australia, only 1 in 6 reports to police of rape and less than 1 in 7 reports of incest or sexual penetration of a child <a href="http://www.lawreform.vic.gov.au/projects/sexual-offences/sexual-offences-final-report">result in prosecution</a>.</p> <p><strong>Other offences with low detection rates</strong></p> <p>Physical assaults have notably low reporting rates, with only about half of such incidents being reported to police, usually because the victims view the crime as trivial or not worth reporting.</p> <p>Domestic violence is noted as being one of the most underreported categories of crime globally. Domestic violence under-reporting is driven by a number of complex <a href="http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/134467/1/Content.pdf">factors</a> from financial or familial dependence to normalisation of violence and self-blaming.</p> <p>Moreover, vulnerable communities such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as sex workers, are known to under report crimes due to a general distrust of police and the criminal justice system.</p> <p><strong>Unsolved crimes</strong></p> <p>Even when crimes are detected by, or reported to police, identifying offenders can be difficult if certain barriers to investigation exist.</p> <p>There are no independent national statistics on the number of unsolved crimes in Australia. But, generally, the data indicates that a large number of reported crimes go unsolved, particularly property crime and theft.</p> <p>A lack of (cooperative) eye-witnesses or CCTV footage of a crime, very little physical evidence and little connection between perpetrator and victim are all common factors likely to mean a crime goes unsolved.</p> <p>An <a href="http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.569.1433&amp;rep=rep1&amp;type=pdf">analysis</a> of ‘solvability factors’ for homicide in Australia undertaken in 2001 found that unsolved homicides were more likely to involve a single victim, to have involved the use of a firearm and to have occurred in a non-residential area.</p> <p>Police factors in unsolved homicides included failures by police to rapidly secure a crime scene and a lack ample resources devoted to the investigation.</p> <p>Generally, crimes committed between strangers are difficult to solve, particularly if there is no clear motive that can narrow down potential suspects.</p> <p>Finally, perpetrators that have no prior criminal record are less likely to come to the attention of investigators making it less likely for them to be identified.</p> <p>So, not all crimes are equal when it comes to being caught.</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim and Jarryd Bartle. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/which-crimes-are-most-frequently-detected-in-australia/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Prince Harry deals with huge blow as his media complaint is dismissed

<p>Prince Harry has lost an Ipso complaint over a<span> </span><em>Mail on Sunday</em><span> </span>story that revealed he had photos taken with a “drugged and tethered” elephant.</p> <p>The Duke of Sussex lodged a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, saying the paper had breached Clause 1 of its Editors’ Code of Practice, “Accuracy”, regarding the article published on April 28 last year.</p> <p>For Earth Day, Harry took to the Sussex Royal Instagram account to post wildlife photos – the same pictures were used by<span> </span><em>The Mail on Sunday</em><span> </span>for a story with the headline: “Drugged and tethered … what Harry didn’t tell you about those awe-inspiring wildlife photos”.</p> <p>The article stated that the photographs “don’t quite tell the full story” as the image on Instagram cropped out the rope that was wrapped around the back legs of one of the elephants, adding that the complainant “notably avoided explaining the circumstances in which the images were taken.”</p> <p>The same article reported that a spokesperson for the complainant had refused to discuss the photos, though “sources denied the rope was deliberately edited out of the elephant picture, claiming instead that ‘it was due to Instagram’s format’.”</p> <p>All three animals pictured – a rhino, elephant and lion – had been tranquilised and the elephant had been tethered as they were being relocated as part of a conservation project, according to reports.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B79sjhPp7pT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B79sjhPp7pT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by La Crónica de Hoy (@lacronicadehoy)</a> on Jan 30, 2020 at 4:31pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Harry believed the article was inaccurate as it had implied that he purposely conned the public through cropping. But Ipso said no code had been breached, saying there had been “no failure to take care not to publish inaccurate information”.</p> <p>He said that the image was cropped due to Instagram’s sizing requirements and because his feed had a specific style guide that they needed to stick to.</p> <p>The press regulator posted their findings online, saying: “The Committee considered that it was not clear from the images themselves that the animals had been tranquilised and tethered.</p> <p>“The photograph of the elephant had been cropped to edit out the animal’s tethered leg; the publication had demonstrated that the photograph could have been edited differently and the complainant accepted that the album could have been uploading in a different format which would have made editing the photograph unnecessary.</p> <p>“The accompanying caption did not make the position clear or that the images had previously been published, unedited, in 2016.</p> <p>“The position was not made clear simply as a result of the inclusion of the link to the website.</p> <p>“In these circumstances, the Committee did not consider that it was significantly misleading to report that the photographs posted on the complainant’s Instagram account did not quite tell the full story and that the complainant had not explained the circumstances in which the photographs had been taken.</p> <p>“There was no breach of Clause 1.”</p> <p>The ruling then says: “Where the article focused on the complainant’s publicly available Instagram posts and the information they displayed, the Committee did not consider that it was necessary for the newspaper to contact the complainant for comment on the published claims.”</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

<p><strong>Is there a vaccine under development for the coronavirus?</strong></p> <p>Work has begun at <a href="https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/mers-sars-therapeutics-vaccines">multiple organizations</a>, including the National Institutes of Health, to develop a vaccine for this new strain of coronavirus, known among scientists as <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html">2019-nCoV</a>.</p> <p>Scientists are just getting started working, but their vaccine development strategy will benefit both from work that has been done on closely related viruses, such as <a href="https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/niaid-officials-discuss-novel-coronavirus-recently-emerged-china">SARS and MERS</a>, as well as advances that have been made in vaccine technologies, such as <a href="https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S39810">nucleic acid vaccines</a>, which are DNA- and RNA-based vaccines that produce the vaccine antigen in your own body.</p> <p><strong>Was work underway on this particular strain?</strong></p> <p>No, but work was ongoing for other closely related coronaviruses that have caused severe disease in humans, namely MERS and SARS. Scientists had not been concerned about this particular strain, as we did not know that it existed and could cause disease in humans until it started causing this outbreak.</p> <p><strong>How do scientists know when to work on a vaccine for a coronavirus?</strong></p> <p>Work on vaccines for severe coronaviruses has historically begun once the viruses start infecting humans.</p> <p>Given that this is the third major outbreak of a new coronavirus that we have had in the past two decades and also given the severity of disease caused by these viruses, we should consider investing in the development of a vaccine that would be broadly protective against these viruses.</p> <p><strong>What does this work involve, and when might we actually have a vaccine?</strong></p> <p>This work involves designing the vaccine constructs – for example, producing the right target <a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/antigen">antigens</a>, viral proteins that are targeted by the immune system, followed by testing in animal models to show that they are protective and safe.</p> <p>Once safety and efficacy are established, vaccines can advance into clinical trials in humans. If the vaccines induce the expected immune response and protection and are found safe, they can be mass produced for vaccination of the population.</p> <p>Currently, we lack virus isolates – or samples of the virus – to test the vaccines against. We also lack antibodies to make sure the vaccine is in good shape. We need the virus in order to test if the immune response induced by the vaccine works. Also, we need to establish what animals to test the vaccine on. That potentially could include mice and nonhuman primates.</p> <p>Vaccine development will likely take months.</p> <p><strong>Can humans ever be safe from these types of outbreaks?</strong></p> <p>We expect that these types of outbreaks will occur for the foreseeable future in irregular intervals.</p> <p>To try to prevent large outbreaks and pandemics, we need to improve surveillance in both humans and animals worldwide as well as invest in risk assessment, allowing scientists to evaluate the potential threat to human health from the virus, for detected viruses.</p> <p>We believe that global action is needed to invest in novel vaccine approaches that can be employed quickly whenever a new virus like the current coronavirus – and also viruses similar to Zika, Ebola or influenza – emerges. Currently, responses to emerging pathogens are mostly reactive, meaning they start after the outbreak happens. We need a more proactive approach supported by continuous funding.</p> <p><em>Written by Aubree Gordon and Florian Krammer. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-will-there-be-a-coronavirus-vaccine-5-questions-answered-130590">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Is it legal to record a phone call in Australia?

<p>Is it legal to record a phone call in Australia?</p> <p>The rules vary across the nation when it comes to the legality of recording telephone calls.</p> <p>There are various reasons why someone might want to record a phone call, including to gather incriminating evidence against another person.</p> <p>But the reality is that it is normally against the law to record a phone call without the other person’s consent.</p> <p>In fact, ‘covertly’ (secretly) <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-law-in-nsw-recording-conversations/">using a listening device</a> such as a mobile phone or digital recorder and publishing or otherwise distributing that material can amount to a criminal offence.</p> <p>Here’s an outline of what the law says about recording phone calls in Australia.</p> <p><strong>Recording private conversations</strong></p> <p>The laws relating to using a listening device vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; in other words, between states and territories.</p> <p>In addition to this, the question of whether a person has committed an unlawful act will generally depend on where they were when they engaged in the conduct.</p> <p>So for example, if Person A is in Victoria and pressed record on their iPhone whilst on the phone with Person B who was in New South Wales, it is generally the Victorian law or the <em>Surveillance Devices Act 1999</em> (Vic) that applies.</p> <p>What counts as a ‘listening device’ is very broad and includes anything used to overhear, record, monitor or listen to a private conversation, or to the words spoken to or by any person in a private conversation. It does not include hearing aids or other similar devices.</p> <p>The laws only apply to ‘private conversations’, which is one where the parties may reasonably assume that they don’t want to be overheard by others.</p> <p>One of the exceptions to the prohibition against recording and/or publishing or distributing records of private conversations is where police officers have obtained what’s known as a ‘surveillance device warrant’ – also known as a ‘wire tap’ – which allows for the recorded material to be used for investigations and tendered in court provided, of course, that the material is relevant to the proceedings at hand.</p> <p>These warrants can allow both undercover police officers and third parties, such as police informants, to lawfully record private conversations.</p> <p><strong>Between jurisdictions</strong></p> <p>It is legal in all jurisdictions to record a phone call if <strong><u>all parties</u></strong> to the phone call consent.</p> <p>Consent can either be explicit or implied. Implied consent occurs if a reasonable person would assume consent. For example, one person on a group call says “I will start recording the call now” and there is no objection, this will imply consent by all parties involved.</p> <p>In the <a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nt/num_act/sda200719o2007256/s11.html">Northern Territory</a> and <a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/vic/consol_act/sda1999210/s6.html">Victoria</a> you can record a private conversation without consent of all parties as long as you are a party to the conversation yourself.</p> <p>A person is ‘a party’ to a private conversation if words are spoken by them or to them in the course of the conversation.</p> <p>Similar rules apply in <a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/qld/consol_act/iopa1971222/s43.html">Queensland,</a> with an additional criteria that, once recorded, you cannot share the recording with anyone who wasn’t a party to the original conversation.</p> <p>In <a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/sda2007210/s7.html">New South Wales</a>, <a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/tas/consol_act/lda1991181/s5.html">Tasmania</a> and the <a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/act/consol_act/lda1992181/s4.html">Australian Capital Territory</a>, it is legal to record a private conversation without consent of all parties if you are a party to the conversation and either:</p> <ul> <li>It is reasonably believed that recording the conversation protects your lawful interests; or</li> <li>The recording is not made for the purpose of communicating or publishing the conversation, or a report of the conversation, to persons who are not parties to the conversation.</li> </ul> <p>In <a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/sa/consol_act/sda2016210/s4.html">South Australia</a> and <a href="http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/wa/consol_act/sda1998210/s5.html">Western Australia</a>, it is generally illegal to record a private conversation without consent of all the parties even if you are a part to the conversation. Exceptions apply if:</p> <ul> <li>The recording is in the public interest; or</li> <li>The conversation was recorded to protect the lawful interests of one party.</li> </ul> <p>A ‘lawful interest’ includes if a person has a genuine fear for their safety (Groom v Police [2015] SASC 101) however may not include recordings designed to gain an advantage in civil or family proceedings (see Thomas &amp; Anor v Nash [2010] SASC 153).</p> <p>It is recommended that legal advice is sought before attempting to record a conversation without consent in order to protect the ‘public interest’ or protect the lawful interests of a party.</p> <p><strong>Penalties</strong></p> <p>Recording conversations in breach of the law could result in a criminal charge. The maximum penalties (or punishment) varies by jurisdiction but can include:</p> <ul> <li>250 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years or both (Northern Territory)</li> <li>240 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years or both for an individual and 1200 penalty for a body corporate (Victoria)</li> <li>40 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years or both (Queensland)</li> <li>100 penalty units or imprisonment for 5 years for an individual or both and 500 penalty units for a body corporate (New South Wales).</li> <li>40 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years for an individual or both and 500 penalty for a body corporate (Tasmania)</li> <li>50 penalty units (Australian Capital Territory)</li> <li>$15,000 or imprisonment for 3 years or both for an individual and $75,000 for a body corporate (South Australia).</li> <li>$5,000 or imprisonment for 12 months or both for an individual and $50,000 for a body corporate (Western Australia).</li> </ul> <p>The value of a ‘penalty unit’ varies in each State and Territory, you can see how much each unit is worth <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/what-is-a-penalty-unit/">here</a>.</p> <p><strong>Can an illegal recording be used as evidence?</strong></p> <p>Generally, if a recording has been obtained illegally it cannot be used as evidence.</p> <p>However, the admissibility of evidence obtained via listening devices is a complex area of law and there are some exceptions where an illegally obtained recording <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/can-evidence-that-is-recorded-illegally-be-used-in-court/">may still be used in court</a>.</p> <p>In most jurisdictions, the question of whether such evidence is admissible is governed by <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ea199580/s138.html">section 138</a> of the Evidence Act 1995, which gives the court a “discretion to exclude improperly or illegally obtained evidence”.</p> <p>The section provides that unlawfully obtained evidence is not to be admitted unless the desirability of admitting the evidence outweighs the undesirability of admitting evidence that has been obtained in the way in which the evidence was obtained.</p> <p>In making that assessment the courts will look at a range of factors including the importance of the evidence in the proceedings, the gravity of the unlawful conduct used to obtain the evidence and the seriousness of the offence to which the evidence relates.</p> <p>If you plan to record a conversation in anticipation of a legal proceeding it is suggested you obtain legal advice to ensure you are doing so lawfully, in order to ensure the recording has the best chance of being admitted into evidence.</p> <p><em>Written by Jarryd Bartle. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/is-it-legal-to-record-a-phone-call-in-australia/"><em>Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</em></a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Food fraud is hidden in plain sight

<p>The globalization of the food chain has resulted in increased complexity and diminished transparency and trust into how and where our foods are grown, harvested, processed and by whom.</p> <p>Furthermore, recurring incidents of <a href="https://globalnews.ca/news/4014182/food-fraud-avoiding-fake-product/">food fraud</a> remind us that some of those involved in the food chain are exploiting this complexity. Today, consumers are at an <a href="https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/02/20/Fragmented-global-supply-chains-have-led-to-an-increase-in-food-fraud">increased risk</a> of buying lower-quality food than what they paid for, or worse, eating food with unsafe ingredients or undeclared allergens.</p> <p>Historically, food chain transparency and trust was established between the shopper and the farmer or fishmonger, green grocer, butcher, milkman and baker. Dutch scholar <a href="https://research.wur.nl/en/publications/governing-chinas-food-quality-through-transparency-a-review">Arthur Mol</a> argued that this personal interaction enabled face-to-face transparency, which built trust.</p> <p>Before modern supermarkets, a local village or town grocery store stocked up to 300 items grown or processed within a 240-kilometre (150-mile) radius. In comparison, our post-modern supermarkets carry an <a href="https://www.fmi.org/our-research/supermarket-facts">average of 33,000</a> items that travel 2,400 kilometres or more. The Canadian government is poised to tackle that problem by announcing <a href="https://globalnews.ca/news/6435463/buy-canadian-promotional-campaign/">a Buy Canadian food campaign.</a></p> <p>While the extent of global food fraud is difficult to quantify, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suggests <a href="https://inspection.gc.ca/food-safety-for-industry/information-for-consumers/food-safety-system/food-fraud/eng/1548444446366/1548444516192">food fraud</a> affects 10 per cent of commercially sold food. Various academic and industry sources suggest that globally, food fraud ranges from US$10 billion to $49 billion. This is likely a conservative range considering estimates of <a href="https://www.afr.com/life-and-luxury/food-and-wine/cracking-down-on-fake-steak-with-invisible-trackable-barcodes-20180810-h13t3n">fake Australian meats</a> alone and sold worldwide are as high as AUD$4 billion, or more than US$2.5 billion.</p> <p>If you add the sales of fake wines and alcohol, adulterated honey and spices, mislabelled fish and false claims of organic products, wild-caught fish or grain-fed meat, the numbers, and risks, increase significantly.</p> <p><strong>Are Canadian regulations adequate?</strong></p> <p>Regulations are in place to protect Canadians. The Safe Food for Canadians Act (known <a href="https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2018-108/index.html">as the SFCR</a>) and the <a href="https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F-27/page-2.html#h-234067">Food and Drug Act</a> work together to protect Canadian consumers from food safety and food fraud risks.</p> <p>The SFCR states that food businesses must have preventative controls in place as well as product traceability records to ensure imported products meet Canadian laws. A provision of the Food and Drug Act states:</p> <p><em>“No person shall sell an article of food that (a) has in or on it any poisonous or harmful substance; (b) is unfit for human consumption; (c) consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, disgusting, rotten, decomposed or diseased animal or vegetable substance; (d) is adulterated; or (e) was manufactured, prepared, preserved, packaged or stored under unsanitary conditions.”</em></p> <p>Another section of the act declares:</p> <p><em>“No person shall label, package, treat, process, sell or advertise any food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, composition, merit or safety”.</em></p> <p>But are the regulations being enforced?</p> <p>The CFIA is very active in food fraud prevention and detection. In July 2019, the agency received $24.4 million in new <a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/food-inspection-agency/news/2019/07/government-of-canada-prevents-nearly-12800kg-of-adulterated-honey-from-entering-the-canadian-market.html">food fraud funding</a> after announcing that 12,800 kilograms of adulterated honey was blocked from entering the Canadian market. Honey adulteration is the process of cutting pure honey with fillers and cheaper sweeteners, including corn syrup.</p> <p>The CFIA has several enforcement instruments it can apply to offenders including <a href="https://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/accountability/compliance-and-enforcement/amps/fact-sheet/eng/1547233099837/1547233100149">administrative monetary penalties</a>, <a href="https://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/accountability/compliance-and-enforcement/licences/eng/1324052022644/1324052753628">licence suspension or cancellation</a> and <a href="https://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/newsroom/prosecution-bulletins/eng/1298575869119/1299852705293">criminal prosecution</a>.</p> <p><strong>Is food fraud the same as consumer fraud?</strong></p> <p>No. Canada is recovering from a significant consumer fraud incident where some of the most trusted brands colluded for more than a decade to fix the price of bread in what’s <a href="https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04335.html">often termed breadgate</a>. This was a breach of the <a href="https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04267.html">Canadian Competition Act</a>.</p> <p>Canada was one of the first countries in the world with a formal Competition Act, initiated in 1889. While breadgate’s egregious breach of trust shocked Canadians, consumers are known to have short memories and to quickly forgive.</p> <p>The protection of insiders acting as whistle-blowers in the food industry is critically important to expose both consumer fraud and food fraud. However, most food fraud detection requires the use of advanced high-tech methods.</p> <p>In 2017, the University of Guelph’s Biodiversity Institute, in partnership with the CFIA, received $320,000 in <a href="https://news.uoguelph.ca/2017/09/u-g-cfia-collaboration-gets-320000-investment/">federal funding</a> to develop better genomics and DNA bar-coding tools, including portable devices. DNA bar-coding allows researchers to match animal and plant DNA against a reference database to identify a species.</p> <p><strong>Mislabelled fish, sausage</strong></p> <p>The partnership has published a number of research papers uncovering food fraud and <a href="https://news.uoguelph.ca/2019/02/persistent-seafood-mislabeling-persistent-throughout-canadas-supply-chain-u-of-g-study-reveals/">revealing the mislabelling of fish</a> species in Canadian restaurants and grocery stores, an area of the institute’s research that now spans more than a decade.</p> <p>In January 2019, the institute <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996919300304?via%3Dihub">published a paper</a> entitled “Re-visiting the occurrence of undeclared species in sausage products sold in Canada” as a followup to a previous study that showed a <a href="https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/guelph/20-of-tested-sausages-contained-mislabeled-meat-u-of-g-study-1.3532113">20 per cent mislabelling rate for sausages</a>.</p> <p>The followup indicated 14 per cent of the 100 sausages tested still contained meat DNA that was undeclared on the label. Even more concerning for the public is that many types of food fraud and mislabelling have gone undetected. New technology and methods of testing still has to catch up.</p> <p>As social media amplifies recurring high-profile incidents of food fraud, trust in our global food supply chains remains a concern. For the foreseeable future, much of Canada’s food fraud remains hidden in plain sight, sitting right there on our grocery store shelves.</p> <p><em>Written by John G. Keogh. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/fish-sausage-even-honey-food-fraud-is-hidden-in-plain-sight-130186"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Deceased estates: knowing where to start needn’t be stressful

<p>Managing the estate of a deceased friend or loved one can be an overwhelming task. Aside from processing the sadness of loss, you have the added pressure of honouring someone’s wishes while trying to understand jargon in a complicated legal process.</p> <p>The first question you need to ask when managing a deceased person’s estate is simple: Do they have a Will?</p> <p><strong>There is no Will</strong></p> <p>If your loved one has passed away without a Will, there will be no executor appointed to start work on the estate and there won't be any formal instructions to help you determine what happens with their estate. Things can get very complicated, very quickly.</p> <p>We understand that losing someone close to you is very distressing. In addition to the emotional strain of dealing with the loss, you may need to quickly take care of practical matters such as organising their funeral, contacting different organisations (such as utility providers and superannuation funds), and working out the assets and debts of the estate.</p> <p>Having expert help and advice can make all the difference.</p> <p><strong>How is an intestate estate dealt with?</strong></p> <p>Dying without a Will is known as “dying intestate”. This is not an ideal situation, but it’s far more common than you think. So, where do you start?</p> <p>If your loved one has passed without a Will, an application needs to be made to the Court to appoint a person to act as the Administrator of the estate. This is because there is no executor appointed. This application is referred to as an application for a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/wills-and-estates/letters-of-administration-on-intestacy/" target="_blank">Grant of Letters of Administration</a> on intestacy and it’s the first thing you need to do. The process can be complex and you may need to have a lawyer assist you in making the application.</p> <p>In all cases where it is necessary to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration, it is usually the person with the greatest entitlement to the estate, as determined by applying the intestacy formula, that applies for the Grant. For example, if a spouse or partner survives the deceased, they would usually bring the application. If the deceased is survived by children (and no spouse/partner), then one or more of them could apply.</p> <p><strong>There is a Will</strong></p> <p>When someone names you as the executor of a Will, you become responsible for their estate and their final wishes upon their death. Being an executor of a <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/wills-and-estates/writing-a-will/">Will</a> can feel overwhelming for some people, but it doesn’t need to be.</p> <p>Your main role as executor is to represent the person who has passed away and wrap up all of their personal, financial and legal affairs. Ideally, the Will-maker will have explained how they’d like you to carry out your duties in their Will.</p> <p>Here is a list of the main responsibilities you now have as an executor of a Will:</p> <p><span>1. Identify the assets and liabilities of the estate; </span></p> <p>2. protect these assets (ie; store them safely where necessary and make sure they’re insured);</p> <p>3. apply to the Court for a Grant of Probate where necessary;</p> <p>4. collect the assets of the estate and hold them on behalf of the estate prior to them being distributed;</p> <p>5. make sure all estate liabilities, including tax, have been paid;</p> <p>6. defend the estate from any challenges;</p> <p>7. distribute the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the Will.</p> <p>If you need advice on administering a Will, our expert Wills &amp; Estates lawyers can guide you through the process and ensure you make informed decisions.</p> <p><strong>Do I have to accept the responsibility of being the executor?</strong></p> <p>A lot of people ask me this question, and I refer to it in detail in my book <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ebook"><em>The Australian Guide to Wills &amp; Estate Planning</em></a>. You are not legally obliged to take up the appointment of executor, even if you agreed to accept the role while the Will-maker was alive. A lot can happen in the time between the writing of a Will and the time when the administration of an estate is required. We can help if you decide that you don’t want to act as executor.</p> <p><strong>What is the difference between a Grant of Probate and a Grant of Letters of Administration?</strong></p> <p>An <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/wills-and-estates/probate-and-estate-administration/" target="_blank">application for a Grant of Probate</a> is made to the Court by an executor appointed by a Will. The Grant of Probate confirms that the Will is valid and that the executor has the authority to deal with the assets of the estate.</p> <p>An application for a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/wills-and-estates/letters-of-administration-on-intestacy/" target="_blank">Grant of Letters of Administration</a> is usually made to the Court where there is no Will and, therefore, no appointed executor. In this case, a beneficiary of the intestate estate will apply to be granted the formal right to administer the estate as Administrator. An application for a Grant of Letters of Administration may also need to be made where there is a Will but the nominated executor refuses or is unable to take up the role.</p> <p><strong>Assistance with administering an estate</strong></p> <p>We can help take the pressure off you during this difficult time. Our expert lawyers can manage everything and you can be sure that the estate will be handled professionally and impartially. We can handle the entire administration process, or assist in <span>applying for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration.</span></p> <p>We’re here to help.</p> <p>If you would like us to administer the estate of your loved one, or you would like to discuss the options available to you, please feel free to <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/wills-and-estates/executor-of-a-will/">contact us</a> and speak to our expert lawyers today.</p> <p><strong>How do I make a Will?</strong></p> <p>Our online Wills service, <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/createmywill">MyLife Wills™</a> is a great place to start. You can provide the information for your Will online in the comfort of your own home or on your lunch break. It only takes about 30 minutes, reducing face-to-face time with a lawyer, therefore reducing the cost. The main difference with our online service is that an expert Wills and Estates lawyer will draft your Will so you can be confident that it is not only thorough, but also legally valid.</p> <p>To protect yourself, your assets and your loved ones when you eventually do kick the bucket, it’s time to take your Will out of the too-hard pile and put it in the must-do pile. Maurice Blackburn has made it easy for you to <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/createmywill">start online</a> today.</p> <p><strong>Need more information?</strong></p> <p>Andrew Simpson is the National Head of Wills &amp; Estate Planning at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.</p> <p>Andrew has 20 years’ experience as a lawyer and for the past 18 of these years he has practiced in <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/our-people/lawyers/andrew-simpson/">Wills disputes</a> and <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/our-people/lawyers/andrew-simpson/">Estate planning</a>, so he understands the many facets of <a href="https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/our-people/lawyers/andrew-simpson/">Estate law</a>.</p> <p>He is so passionate about this area of law that he wrote a plain English book about it to help people understand the importance of Estate planning.</p> <p>A best-seller, <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ebook"><em>The Australian Guide to Wills &amp; Estate Planning</em></a>, has just been republished and is available in all good bookstores.</p> <p>For all oversixty.com.au readers, we are pleased to offer a <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/ebook">FREE download</a> of Andrew’s book, valued at $29.95.</p> <p><em>This is a sponsored post written in partnership with <a href="http://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/createmywill">Maurice Blackburn Lawyers</a>.</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Queen's grandson spotted in bizarre Chinese milk ad

<p>The Queen’s eldest grandson, Peter Phillips has been spotted starring in a television advertisement for a Chinese milk brand.</p> <p>In result, controversy has sparked on whether there is an issue with The Firm using their royal connections to generate a private income.</p> <p>41-year-old Mr Phillips is the son of Princess Anne and her ex-husband Captain Mark Phillips, however he is not a working royal and has never had a royal title.</p> <p>He has become the poster boy over the years to prove royal family members can have private lives, despite belonging to one of the most famous families in the world.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">'Royal Peter' for hire in China: As Prince Harry flies to Canada to earn millions, the Queen's eldest grandson Peter Phillips is revealed to be trading on his royal status by advertising milk on TV<br /><a href="https://t.co/9FlNesAaWx">https://t.co/9FlNesAaWx</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZoYSd6biSB">pic.twitter.com/ZoYSd6biSB</a></p> — Brightly (@Brightl36034096) <a href="https://twitter.com/Brightl36034096/status/1219665215752720387?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 21, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Throughout his adulthood, he has held prominent positions with Jaguar and a Formula One racing team. He is married to Canadian Autumn Kelly, and the couple share two daughters together who don’t have royal titles.</p> <p>Mr Phillips’ latest public endorsement features him dressed to the nines in a dinner jacket and black bow tie for a 30-second ad for China’s state-owned Bright Dairies.</p> <p>In the advertisement he can be seen peering out the window of a stately country house in Britain’s Wiltshire. A replica of a horse-drawn royal carriage pulls outside the home and then a butler approaches Phillips.</p> <p> </p> <p>In the ad he is described as “British Royal Family member Peter Phillips.”</p> <p>“Bright Dairies has got a fantastic reputation all over China and outside of China as well, for producing high quality dairy products,” Mr Phillips says in a separate, behind-the-scenes video.</p> <p>“As children, we used to spend a lot of time down at the dairy. There was a herd of Jersey cattle at Windsor and we were brought up on it.</p> <p>“And it was always much fuller of flavour, much creamier, than other milks that we had growing up. That has something to do with the way the cows are bred.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834093/peter-phillips-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/799c9170cffe4419951ba8dc9d2f6f48" /></p> <p>Peter and Zara have been free to pursue their own careers as non-working members of the royal family. Zara, 38, is a champion equestrian who also earns a comfortable living as an ambassador for luxury brands, including Rolex and Land Rover, while Peter is the managing director of a sports and entertainment agency.</p> <p>The ad has been released in the midst of a huge debate surrounding both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who recently announced their intention to step down from their position as senior royal to seek a more “private life” and generate a private income.</p> <p>Buckingham Palace announced that the couple would no longer formally represent the Queen nor be able to use their HRH titles.</p> <p>However they will remain the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as it was titles given to them as a wedding present by the Queen.</p> <p>They have also already applied to trademark their Sussex Royal brand.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7834094/peter-phillips-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/97cd0a1731404f54bdca126ad86d92c7" /></p> <p>The couple already have the username Sussex Royal on their website and Instagram account, which has 11 million followers.</p> <p>The trademark will allow Prince Harry and Meghan to release their own personal line of branded products, including books, calendars and clothing, in the future.</p> <p>The couple are rumoured to also be moving into content creation and could possibly sign deals with the likes of Netflix or do further work with Disney.</p> <p>Thomas Woodcock, a senior adviser to the Queen, told <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/queens-aide-warns-harry-and-meghan-against-sussex-royal-title-rx0nj7f9w"><em>The Times</em></a> on Tuesday that he didn’t believe the name <em>Sussex Royal </em>was right to keep.</p> <p>“I don’t think it’s satisfactory. One cannot be two things at once. You either are [royal] or you’re not,” he said.</p> <p>Royals must be meticulous in making sure they’re not seen exploiting their royal connections or tarnishing the family’s tightly guarded brand.</p> <p>Mr Woodcock, who is the Garter King of Arms, aids the Queen in being a principal adviser on ceremonial matters and heraldry.</p> <p>He is also part of ensuring that commercial concerns do not make illegitimate use of royal symbols.</p> <p>“It is such unusual times that it is a matter of waiting and seeing how things develop,” he said.</p> <p><em>The Telegraph</em>’s royal editor Camilla Tominey also said she thinks the couple may be asked to rebrand by Kensington Palace who may be averse to idea of Harry and Meghan keeping <em>Royal </em>in their name.</p> <p>“It remains to be seen whether they’ll be able to keep that royal aspect because for all intents and purposes, they are not carrying out any engagements on behalf of the Queen or their military appointments,” she told <em>ITV’s This Morning</em> program on Monday.</p> <p>“They are keeping their private patronages and their charitable work to themselves as they go off and have this new life in North America.”</p> <p>After a week of intense negotiations with the Queen, Prince William and Prince Charles, Harry was spotted travelling home to be reunited with his wife, Duchess Meghan and their 8-month-old son Archie.</p> <p>They are expected to spend most of their time in North America.</p>

Legal