Mandatory minimum sentences are just plain wrong – There are many reasons why people object to minimum sentences: they do nothing for victims, they do not deter offenders, they cost too much money and they displace power from judges, who give their reasons in open court, to Crown prosecutors, who make their decisions behind closed doors. … (20 October)

Breyer on US legal controversiesUS Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer speaks at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia on the death penalty, the Citizens United decision and Bush v Gore. (21 October)

Time for an independent Ombudsman – Events leading to Asher’s resignation highlight need for ombudsman to be free of government and departmental control. (20 October)

EU bans stem cell patents – Barrister Warwick Rothnie and legal academic Katy Barnett both discuss this week’s ruling by the European Court of Justice. (20 October)

Green v The Queen [2011] VSCA 311: just punishment, specific deterrence and Verdins – Barrister Kyle McDonald on the relevance for mentally impaired offenders of sentencing factors like denunciation and  general and specific deterrence in light of recent case law. (18 October)

Hate speech and free speech in the wake of Eatock v Bolt – Legal academic Katy Barnett and philosopher Russell Blackford discuss the wider issues.


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