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

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

"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 NZ$30,959 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 [NZ$30,959] 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

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

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

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

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

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

Placeholder Content Image

Why Madeleine McCann case is “unsolvable”

<p>Madeleine McCann’s disappearance will never be solved due to a vital missing CCTV footage, a former detective and child abuse investigator said.</p> <p>Former constable Mark Williams-Thomas said the young girl was a victim of a random act of crime.</p> <p>In his new book <em>Hunting Killers</em>, Williams-Thomas said the kidnapper could leave undetected because a crucial CCTV camera was turned off during the abduction.</p> <p>“The abduction of Madeleine McCann is one I’d put into the unsolvable category.</p> <p>“I believe Madeleine was the victim of an opportunistic criminal whose act was random – she wandered out of the apartment and into the path of this person.</p> <p>“The case hasn’t been solved simply because a crucial CCTV camera was turned off, meaning that whoever took Madeleine was not identifiable at the scene.”</p> <p>The 49-year-old said statistics show McCann’s case is unlikely to be solved.</p> <p>“The sad reality is, this far on, the likelihood of Madeleine being alive now is incredibly slim,” he wrote.</p> <p>“Unfortunately, in almost every case of stranger child abduction, within the space of 24 hours the child is dead.”</p> <p>McCann was three years old when she vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007. The British child was last seen in her bedroom with her younger twin siblings. She would be 16 years old today. Inquiries into the case – including Britain’s Operation Grange – remain <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48533619?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/c8255n4mp88t/madeleine-mccann-disappearance&amp;link_location=live-reporting-story">ongoing</a>.</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

The problem with Harry and Meghan’s “financial independence” plan

<p>Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan managed to dismantle the royal family on Thursday morning after they announced that they would be stepping down as senior royals and transition to financial independence.</p> <p>However, questions are rife about the royals’ new “working model” for 2020, and why the two – who have a combined independent wealth of around AU$60 million – need to “work to become financially independent”.</p> <p>“In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made the choice to transition into a new working model,” read the official Royal Sussex website.</p> <p>“As they step back as senior members of the Royal Family and no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant, they will become members of the Royal Family with financial independence which is something they look forward to.”</p> <p>Buckingham Palace issued a statement regarding their exit: “Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”</p> <p><strong>What are these “complicated issues”?</strong></p> <p>The pair “value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing,” the official website reads.</p> <p>This decision simply means that in order to become financially independent, the couple will no longer receive funding from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant – which previously covered 5 per cent of their costs.</p> <p>“Their Royal Highnesses prefer to release this financial tie.”</p> <p>The remaining 95 per cent is provided through the Duchy of Cornwall as allocated by Prince Charles, under the system in place since Prince William and Prince Harry first established their offices.</p> <p>It seems Harry and Meghan will still receive these funds from the Duchy of Cornwall, but this may be one of the “complicated issues” Buckingham Palace referred to in its statement.</p> <p>The Duchy of Cornwall is the estate managed by Prince Charles, which has an income of over $40 million according to 2018 financial statements.</p> <p>“The current Prince of Wales chooses to use a substantial proportion of his income from the Duchy estate to meet the cost of his public and charitable work as well as the public and private lives of his family, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and their children,” reads the Duchy of Cornwall website.</p> <p><strong>Private wealth</strong></p> <p>But despite the grant and funds from the duchy, Harry and Meghan were already wealthy beforehand with the Duchess having a reported net worth of $7 million prior to marrying Prince Harry.</p> <p>Prince Harry’s net worth was even more substantial thanks to a hefty inheritance from Princess Diana, an allowance from Charles, his salary from serving in the army and a trust set up by his great grandmother. In 2018 his worth was reported to be between $36 million and $60 million.</p> <p><strong>Other things to know</strong></p> <p><strong>Travel costs</strong></p> <p>The Duke and Duchess will pay for any travel expenses in their private time from their own income, as they pointed out that the royals have never used taxpayer funds to cover travel.</p> <p>When in the UK, their security team will be paid for by taxpayers, via the royal family as they are considered “internationally protected people”, and as such, security is required.</p> <p><strong>Frogmore cottage</strong></p> <p>According to<span> </span><em>The Times</em>, the couple may be asked to fork out money for rent if they choose to continue living in the $4.6 million Frogmore Cottage after a series of renovations took place on the historic property.</p> <p>“Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen,” reads a statement on the official Royal Sussex website.</p> <p>“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage – with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen – as their official residence as they continue to support the monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom.”</p> <p><strong>Charities</strong></p> <p>The two will still remain patrons of the same charities as they were before, but will also launch a new foundation. They will most likely receive a salary from working in the charity.</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Five punishments past and present for jurors who fall foul of the law

<p>Jurors in England and Wales have come under repeated criticism in recent years for the ways they’ve carried out their duties. In late March, a jury member at Carlisle Crown Court <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-43490590">was fined £1,000</a> for playing on his phone during a trial in what the judge described as “blatant contempt of court”. In November 2017, a jury was <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-42100936">dismissed</a> at Winchester Crown Court after what one newspaper described as <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/23/parachute-trial-jury-discharged-failing-reach-verdict/">“an extraordinary row”</a> between judge and jury. Some jurors have <a href="http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/juror-who-took-role-seriously-13616425">even been imprisoned</a> for carrying out illicit research into the case before them.</p> <p>In the past there were a number of ways to punish jurors – some of which still stand today.</p> <p><strong>Attaint</strong></p> <p>In medieval England, if it was suspected that a jury of 12 had returned an inaccurate verdict in a civil trial, the case could be reheard by a 24-strong jury. If the second jury disagreed with the first jury’s verdict, the first jury would be punished. This procedure was <a href="https://www.academia.edu/33924828/Before_the_Criminal_Justice_and_Courts_Act_2015_Juror_Punishment_in_Nineteenth-and_Twentieth-Century_England_2016_36_2_Legal_Studies_179">called the attaint</a>.</p> <p>Initially, punishment under the attaint meant imprisonment and the destruction of the jurors’ homes and lands, although by the end of the 15th century this had been replaced with perpetual infamy and a fine. The attaint never seems to have been used on criminal juries, and by the end of the 16th century it seems to have stopped being used even in civil trials. The system was formally abolished in 1825.</p> <p><strong>Embracery</strong></p> <p>Chief Justice Vaughan famously <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushel%27s_Case">ruled</a> in 1670 that jurors could not be punished simply for returning a verdict which the trial judge disagreed with. He was happy to punish jurors in some circumstances, however, having convicted two jurors of “embracery” the previous year.</p> <p>Embracery occurred where threats or bribes were used in order to encourage jurors to return a favourable verdict. It was an offence both to try to “embrace” a juror and to be “embraced” when actually serving as a juror.</p> <p>One embracer was convicted as late as 1975, although the Court of Appeal complained that a simple charge of contempt of court would have been better. This stopped any further prosecutions for embracery, and the offence was <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/23/section/17">formally abolished in 2010</a>.</p> <p><strong>Perverting the course of justice</strong></p> <p>Perverting the course of justice as a juror is a broader offence than embracery, but it works in a similar way. It’s possible both for the person interfering with a jury, and for a juror who accepts a bribe or is otherwise compromised, to be punished. The offence still exists today, but prosecutions of jurors for perverting the course of justice have always been rare.</p> <p>As recently as 2011, the Court of Appeal <a href="http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/1629.html">made reference</a> to the option of prosecuting jurors under this offence where a juror had been communicating with a defendant, but judges seemed satisfied with the more conventional charge of contempt of court made against the juror.</p> <p><strong>Contempt of court – and new offences</strong></p> <p>Contempt of court is a broadly defined offence, consisting essentially of anything which undermines the authority of the court. A famous example of jurors punished for contempt came in 1670, when several jurors – including their foreman, Edward Bushel – were imprisoned for refusing to convict a pair of Quaker preachers. The Court of Common Pleas, ruling in Bushel’s case, held that juror punishment in these circumstances was unlawful. But the fact that judges could not longer punish jurors simply for returning verdicts with which the judges disagreed doesn’t mean that jurors are completely protected from contempt proceedings today.</p> <p>In recent years, several jurors have <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-16676871">been imprisoned for contempt</a> after disobeying clear judicial instructions not to go online in order to find additional evidence in the cases they are trying.</p> <p>In 2015, four <a href="http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/2/part/3/crossheading/juries-and-members-of-the-court-martial/enacted">new criminal offences were created</a> relating to independent research done by jurors. These new offences were intended to “send a message” to potential jurors that the government takes juror misconduct very seriously. It is now a criminal offence – triable by jury – for anyone acting as a juror to:</p> <ul> <li>Research the case they are trying as a juror.</li> <li>Disclose the product of any such research to a fellow juror.</li> <li>Act in any other way which demonstrates an intention to reach a conclusion based on something other than the evidence presented in court.</li> <li>Solicit or disclose the details of the jury’s deliberations to people who were not on the jury.</li> </ul> <p>In September 2017, the foreman of a jury <a href="https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/juror-who-took-role-seriously-13616425">was sentenced to four months’</a> imprisonment after going online to research some of the details of the case he was trying.</p> <p><strong>Rebukes from the bench</strong></p> <p>Beyond these formal kinds of punishment which are still possible, it’s also possible for judges to simply rebuke their jurors. In 1917, a group of jurors were kept in a state of <a href="https://www.academia.edu/33924828/Before_the_Criminal_Justice_and_Courts_Act_2015_Juror_Punishment_in_Nineteenth-and_Twentieth-Century_England_2016_36_2_Legal_Studies_179">virtual imprisonment</a> after a falling out with their judge. They were told they would never serve on another jury, but that they must still report for jury service for several weeks, on pain of punishment under the contempt laws if they failed to attend.</p> <p>In the case in November 2017, the jury at Winchester Crown Court was warned that they should not bully each other during their deliberations. Before they were discharged, they <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/23/jury-dismissed-in-trial-of-man-emile-cilliers-accused-of-tampering-with-wifes-parachute">wrote a note</a> to the court, complaining that:</p> <p>But while these jurors might feel slighted, at least they did not have to face formal sanctions. As the trial judge explained to them, it was his responsibility to keep an eye on any misconduct, and to find some way to “flush it out”.</p> <p><em>Written by Kevin Crosby. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-punishments-past-and-present-for-jurors-who-fall-foul-of-the-law-88432">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

ANZAC disgrace: Man charged with "offensive act" at war memorial

<p>A man who allegedly relieved himself on the ANZAC memorial in Sydney’s CBD has been charged.</p> <p>The 23-year-old man was grabbed by officers after allegedly urinating on the western corner of the memorial building in Hyde Park. This occurred just before 11 pm on Thursday.</p> <p>He is due to face the Downing Centre Local Court on January 22 after being charged with committing an offensive act in or on a war memorial.</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/BTSML4-DPY6/?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/BTSML4-DPY6/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Today we remember the brave men and women who have served our country. Lest we forget. Pic: @zxlee618</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/cityofsydney/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> City of Sydney</a> (@cityofsydney) on Apr 24, 2017 at 3:05pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Police say that he is the second man to be arrested for that specific offence this month, as a French tourist was allegedly caught doing the same thing on December 10.</p> <p>The 22-year-old man was walking through Hyde Park at around 10 pm when he stopped to relieve himself on the building.</p> <p>He was arrested by officers as well and charged with committing an offensive act in or on a war memorial or internment site.</p> <p>The man was granted conditional bail and is due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on January 15th .</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

No guilt, no liability: Stunning details of the massive Harvey Weinstein settlements

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein has come to an agreement with his several accusers that does not require an admission of guilt.</p> <p>After a two-year legal battle, Weinstein has agreed to a $US25 million settlement with over 30 actresses and former Weinstein employees, who in lawsuits have accused him of multiple offences ranging from sexual harassment to rape.</p> <p>The 67-year-old will not be paying out the settlement from his own pocket, but rather, his insurance companies representing his former company, the Weinstein Company, will be responsible for handing over the large sum.</p> <p>The company is currently in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings.</p> <p>The deal, which requires court approval and a final sign-off by all parties, marks the end of almost every lawsuit filed against the former Hollywood heavyweight.</p> <p>He is still scheduled to go to trial in New York in early January on charges of sexual assault involving two women, claims he denies.</p> <p>Speaking to the<span> </span><em>New York Times</em>, Katherine Kendall, an actress who said Weinstein chased her around his New York apartment naked in 1993 after she was under the impression that she was meeting him for a work chat, said she only agreed to the terms because she didn’t want to block fellow plaintiffs from getting whatever recompense they could.</p> <p>“I don’t love it, but I don’t know how to go after him,” she said. “I don’t know what I can really do.”</p> <p>On Wednesday, Weinstein’s bail was increased from $1 million to $5 million, over allegations he violated his bail conditions by mishandling his electronic ankle monitor.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"></div> </div> </div>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

White Island tour firm could face millions in fines

<p>The death toll from New Zealand’s White Island volcano eruption has increased to eight as authorities are investigating tour companies for potential breaches of health and safety laws.</p> <p>Tour operators – including White Island Tours, which brought visitors to the island on the day of the eruption – could be fined up to NZ$1.5 million if Worksafe finds serious breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.</p> <p>A fine could only be imposed by the courts if a prosecution found any breaches, according to a Worksafe spokeswoman.</p> <p>Hemi Morete, the safety auditor for White Island Tours said the company was “a very professional outfit” and had passed its safety audits over the past three years.</p> <p>“They passed their audit,” Morete told <em><a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/118130800/fine-of-up-to-15-million-possible-if-white-island-tour-operator-breached-safety-laws">Stuff.co.nz</a></em>. “I can’t go into the details of it now as Worksafe is investigating.”</p> <p>White Island Tours was named New Zealand’s safest place to work in <a href="https://www.safe365.co.nz/news/2018-sptw-finalists-announced/">a workplace safety award</a> in 2018.</p> <p>Mayor Judy Turner of Whakatane said the tour organiser is “a very responsible operator”.</p> <p>“I think the nature of adventure tourism, where people do consider a degree of risk, and trust an operator to safely conduct them through that, that’s going to be a challenge with this one,” Turner said.</p> <p>Other companies – including US-based cruise operator Royal Caribbean – also held guided tours to the island, <em>Stuff.co.nz </em>reported.</p> <p>Specialist insurance lawyer Graeme Christie told the <em>New Zealand Herald</em> grieving families could file personal injury claims against Royal Carribean in the US to get around restrictions in New Zealand.</p> <p>Eight people have been confirmed dead following the Monday incident. Seven are Australians and one a New Zealander, tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman. Twenty-eight people remain in hospital.</p> <p>According to police, there were 47 people on the island at the time of the eruption, including 24 Australians, nine Americans, five New Zealanders and others from Germany, Britain, China and Malaysia.</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Time to end drug company distortion of medical evidence

<p>While there’s much to celebrate in medicine, it’s now beyond doubt that we have <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f7141">too much</a> of it. Too many tests, diagnoses, pills and procedures are wasting resources that could be better spent meeting genuine need.</p> <p>As a recent <a href="http://www.oecd.org/health/tackling-wasteful-spending-on-health-9789264266414-en.htm">OECD report</a> concluded, up to one-fifth of health spending may be wasted, and many patients “unnecessarily harmed” by treatments they didn’t need.</p> <p>Antidepressants, for example, can be life-savers for some people. But drug company-funded studies have <a href="https://ebm.bmj.com/content/early/2019/09/24/bmjebm-2019-111238">overplayed their benefits</a> and <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4320">downplayed</a> their harms, contributing to overuse and unnecessary side effects.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2009/Conflict-of-Interest-in-Medical-Research-Education-and-Practice.aspx">Widespread industry influence</a> is jeopardising the integrity of research and medical education, and threatening the quality of patient care.</p> <p>Today in <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6576">The BMJ</a> a global group of researchers, doctors, editors, regulators and advocates outline key strategies to reduce the financial entanglement with industry. The first step is ensuring the evaluation of any new tests, treatments and technologies are free from industry influence.</p> <p>Distorted research, education and clinical practice</p> <p>A huge proportion of medical research is currently funded by industry – in the United States <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2089358">almost 60%</a>. Yet there’s a <a href="https://www.cochrane.org/MR000033/METHOD_industry-sponsorship-and-research-outcome">mountain of evidence</a> that company-sponsored studies tend to overstate product benefits and playdown harms.</p> <p>One example is cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins. A <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040184">review</a> analysing almost 200 studies of statins found that company-sponsored studies were much more likely to find results favourable to the sponsors’ drug.</p> <p>There’s similar distortion with devices, like <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5515">pelvic mesh</a>, used to treat pelvic organ prolapse. In this case, poor testing meant many women received the mesh without knowing the risks of horrendous harms, including severe pain, infection, and repeated surgery.</p> <p>Those same companies then <a href="https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/6/e016701">sponsor the “education” of your doctor</a>, often with the evidence they’ve funded, and good food and wine.</p> <p>As a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2528290">study of 280,000 doctors reveals</a>, accepting just one sponsored meal is associated with higher prescribing of the sponsor’s products: a 20% increase in statins, and a doubling of antidepressants.</p> <p>Industry argues it’s information helps patients, but a <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000352">systematic review</a> found differently. Doctors who accept marketing, including sales representatives, tend to prescribe more, at higher cost, and lower quality, such as prescribing an inappropriate drug, or prescribing that is not in line with guidelines.</p> <p>Just look at the opioid epidemic in the United States. One <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2720914">study</a> found the amount of marketing, including payments to doctors, was associated with small but significant increases in both prescriptions and deaths from overdose.</p> <p>How to end commercial influence</p> <p>Evidence of the dangers of financial relationships with industry has caused many groups to seek more freedom. As we show in today’s <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6576">BMJ Analysis</a>, there are signs of change.</p> <p>In Norway, industry-supported education can no longer be used formally by doctors, and the government funds independent drug information.</p> <p>Some medical journals no longer accept drug company advertising. Citizen groups like the US <a href="https://www.nwhn.org/">National Women’s Health Network</a> accept no funds from companies selling healthcare products.</p> <p>The biggest challenge is working out ways to evaluate tests and treatments, free from the influence of companies developing them. But radical reform is in the wind in many places.</p> <p>In <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2362.2009.02226.x">Italy</a>, the promotional budgets of drug companies are taxed to create a pool for independent research.</p> <p>In Britain, <a href="https://cancerunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Medicines-For-The-Many.pdf">Labour</a> is proposing the government funds clinical trials and creates <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/24/labour-pledges-to-break-patents-and-offer-latest-drugs-on-nhs">state-owned pharmaceutical makers</a>.</p> <p>More needs to be done</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l6576">proposals</a> are from a team with expertise across medicine, law, and philosophy and includes people from The BMJ and the World Organisation of Family Doctors.</p> <p>We argue the pathway to independence includes three key reforms:</p> <ul> <li>government policies ensuring the evaluation of tests, treatments and technologies is free from sponsor influence</li> <li>reforms to ensure medical education is free from industry support and on-going professional accreditation can’t be gained from company-sponsored events</li> <li>new rules to end marketing interactions between industry and prescribing doctors, such as sales representatives’ visits.</li> </ul> <p><em>Written by Roy Moynihan. Republished with permission of <a href="/While%20there’s%20much%20to%20celebrate%20in%20medicine,%20it’s%20now%20beyond%20doubt%20that%20we%20have%20too%20much%20of%20it.%20Too%20many%20tests,%20diagnoses,%20pills%20and%20procedures%20are%20wasting%20resources%20that%20could%20be%20better%20spent%20meeting%20genuine%20need.">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries

<p>Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/78790234/the-history-of-hell-pizza">Hell Pizza</a> offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based.</p> <p>Some customers <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113824494/hell-pizza-covertly-dishes-up-beyond-meat-burger-patties">complained</a> to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in New Zealand. Yet, <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113867599/scorned-hell-pizza-customers-bitter-over-fake-burger-meat">others</a> did not mind – or even appreciated – the move. The Commerce Commission, however, warned that the stunt likely breached consumer protection law.</p> <p>Hell Pizza’s ruse should catalyse discussion around the scope and purpose of consumer law, the culture of meat consumption and the future of animal farming. Under current law, “teaching through deception” is not possible. But we argue that consumer law needs to adopt a more nuanced approach.</p> <p><strong>Traditional legal approach</strong></p> <p>In October, the Commerce Commission <a href="https://comcom.govt.nz/case-register/case-register-entries/the-depths-lp-ta-hell-pizza/media-releases/commission-warns-hell-pizza-over-burger-pizza">warned</a> the pizza chain that it had probably breached the <a href="http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1986/0121/latest/DLM96439.html">Fair Trading Act 1986</a>. In particular, it had likely made false or misleading representations.</p> <p>The Commerce Commission <a href="https://comcom.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0034/178792/Warning-letter-to-The-Depths-LP-trading-as-Hell-Pizza-Redacted-25-September-2019.pdf">stated</a> that a “burger traditionally includes a patty of minced beef” and “medium-rare is a term associated with meat, usually beef”.</p> <p>As a result, the pizza chain advised it had <a href="https://comcom.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0034/178792/Warning-letter-to-The-Depths-LP-trading-as-Hell-Pizza-Redacted-25-September-2019.pdf">no intention</a> of engaging in this kind of campaign again. Interestingly, the pizza company has recently announced that the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbaEo19Oc9k">Burger Pizza is back on the menu</a>.</p> <p>Australia’s consumer law around misleading and deceptive conduct is notably similar to New Zealand’s. In Australia, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-15/push-to-ban-milk-meat-seafood-labels-on-plant-based-produce/11513754">debates</a> around the meaning of the terms “milk”, “seafood” and “meat” are taking place. These discussions present an opportunity to rethink some of our conventions.</p> <p><strong>When is meat meat?</strong></p> <p>The traditional need to protect consumers from deceptive practices is clear. That said, it is perhaps also time to nudge consumers to reconsider their preconceptions and consumption of meat.</p> <p>Hell Pizza said it launched its plant-based meat product out of concerns for the future of the planet. According to the company, <a href="https://hellpizza.com/wickedpedia/2019/07/03/burger-pizza-statement">80% of consumers did not have an issue with being duped</a>, and 70% would order the pizza again.</p> <p>There are a few good reasons to reduce the amount of meat we eat. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19339402">Research shows</a> that meat consumption is putting pressure on the environment. The amount of food and water required to raise animals for consumption <a href="https://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat">exceeds</a> the nutrient value humans get from consuming meat. Further, livestock create <a href="https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/ehp.11034">waste and emissions</a> that contribute to climate change.</p> <p>Plant-based meat may be more environmentally friendly. It also eliminates concerns around animal rights. Additionally, it is often perceived as a <a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/cf90/d287aa226b483aed430ff4f0432081bfd3d7.pdf">healthier alternative</a>.</p> <p><strong>Future foods</strong></p> <p>The plant-based meat industry faces two immediate challenges. The first is taste. If meat substitutes do not taste as good as animal-based meat, people will be <a href="http://freakonomics.com/podcast/meat/">less willing to consume them</a>.</p> <p>The second main challenge is cost. If plant-based meat is significantly more expensive than animal-based meat, consumers may opt for the latter.</p> <p>The cost of plant-based meat has become affordable enough for prominent market players, such as <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/116767086/dominos-adds-plantbased-meat-to-its-pizza-menu">Dominoes Pizza</a> and <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/116657991/burger-king-finds-recipe-for-success-with-its-impossible-whopper">Burger King</a>, to offer plant-based products.</p> <p>Hell Pizza was not the first New Zealand company to offer its consumers plant-based meat products. In another controversy, Air New Zealand offered plant-based burgers in the business cabin on selected flights. This led to some criticism, including the deputy prime minister, Winston Peters, who was acting prime minister at the time, complaining that it was a “<a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/105216779/air-nzs-impossible-burger-criticised-by-former-primary-industries-minister">bad look</a>” for the airline not to promote New Zealand meat.</p> <p>Such a response is short-sighted. Animal farming is an important industry in New Zealand, <a href="http://www.environmentguide.org.nz/activities/agriculture/">contributing significantly</a> to the economy and social fabric. Because of its importance, New Zealanders should take seriously the potential impact of plant-based meat and the consequences of this emerging market.</p> <p><strong>Market disruption</strong></p> <p>Some companies have already stated their aspiration to completely <a href="http://freakonomics.com/podcast/meat/">replace animals as a food production technology</a> by 2035. The meat industry is likely to use its power to protect its interests. But these interests are not the only ones that should be voiced and considered.</p> <p>Instead of merely criticising companies that offer meat alternatives and use innovative marketing tools to do so, we should embrace these initiatives as an opportunity to rethink some of our conventions. We need to adapt to new realities in ways that make our societies more ethical, while also encouraging consumers to be more mindful of the environment and health-related aspects of their foods.</p> <p>The boundaries of consumer law should reflect this. The law regulates against misleading and deceptive conduct mainly because it is purportedly bad for consumers. However, the law should adopt a more holistic approach - one that considers the motivation for the allegedly misleading behaviour.</p> <p>Protecting consumers from deceptive conduct is not an end in itself. Perhaps the degree and context of the misleading behaviour should be considered against other legitimate objectives. We believe that such legitimate objectives include caring for the environment, minimising animal cruelty and advancing public health.</p> <p><em>Written by Samuel Becher and Jessica C Lai. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-plant-based-meat-is-stretching-new-zealands-cultural-and-legal-boundaries-127901">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Understanding the financial pages

<p>Looking at the financial pages of the daily newspaper may seem like a bewildering onslaught of information with reams of market statistics and measurements. This can make the investment world seem quite complex and intimidating, but when you break it down and try to grasp each of the component parts, it is well within the capacity of most lay people to understand.</p> <p>Here are a few tips that may help to get you started:<strong><br />Firstly, a word of warning</strong><br />Beware of the temptation to start reading the financial pages in the same way you would read the form guide for horse racing!</p> <p>It is easy to get caught up in habit of tracking daily movements of particular share values, but this can distract you from the taking the broad, long term view that is so essential to successful investing. In short, don’t be tempted to try and ‘pick winners’.</p> <p><strong>Understanding the ASX table</strong><br />The financial section of the newspaper will normally show the full list of companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Next to each company will be a range of figures, usually beginning with the price of the share for that company at the end of the previous day’s trading. Some publications will also show a three letter ‘ASX code’ used to identify the company.</p> <p>Other measurements shown on this table include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Weekly volume</strong> – The total number of shares of a company that were bought and sold within the last week.</li> <li><strong>Price movements</strong> – This may be shown as the price change since the previous day’s closing price, or it may be shown as a change over the previous week and some financial tables will even show the change over the last 12 months.</li> <li><strong>Dividend yield percentage</strong> – This figure is sometimes also shown and is the amount a company pays out in dividends each year as a percentage of the current share price. For example, if a particular share has a value of $100 and has paid a dividend of $5 then its dividend yield is 5% ($5 divided by $100).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Market indices</strong> <br />While the ASX table breaks down the performance of each company separately, you can also look at the collective performance of the market as a whole via the ‘All Ordinaries Index’. This tracks the movement of the total value of all shares on the exchange and the change over the last week and month may also be shown.</p> <p>Apart from the All Ordinaries Index, there are also a range of other sub-indices which indicate the performance of different segments of the market. The ASX 200, for example, is an index that tracks the change in collective value of the largest 200 public companies.</p> <p>Some indices focus on specific industrial segments. The S&amp;P ASX200 Energy Index, for example, measures the largest 200 energy companies. There are indices for and range of other sectors, such as health care, industry, finance, and metals and mining.</p> <p><strong>International markets</strong><br />Financial pages will also usually show various indices for major stock markets in other countries, such as the Dow Jones index in the USA, the FTSE in the UK and the Hang Seng in China.</p> <p><strong>Commodity prices</strong><br />The prices and price changes of key commodities are also a feature of many financial pages. Oil and gold are two such commodities that will usually be shown because of their importance as indicators of the general direction of the world economy and of market sentiment.</p> <p><strong>Exchange rates</strong><br />These are another important indicator of economic conditions and the state of the economies of different countries relative to each other. The financial pages will usually show the daily movement of the Australian Dollar against major world currencies, such as the US Dollar, the Euro and the Yen.</p> <p>There can be many factors within each country’s domestic economy which influence the movements in exchange rates. These can include interest rates, inflation, political stability, government debt and terms of trade.</p> <p><strong>Making sense of it all</strong><br />It would obviously take quite some time if you were to review and analyse all the items being reported and measured on the daily financial pages. Even if you do have the time to do that, it takes a considerable amount of skill and experience to interpret what different movements mean.</p> <p>Often the day to day movements in things like share prices and exchange rates are the result of transient factors and it is only a consistent analysis over a long period of time that can start to make a coherent interpretation.</p> <p>While it can be interesting to follow the fluctuating fortunes of particular shares, or the daily machinations of indices, commodities and exchange rates, it helps to have a financial adviser on your side to look at the bigger, long term picture.</p> <p>They will have access to expert research resources that constantly analyse markets at home and abroad and can position you to grow wealth without the need to personally keep track of day to day changes.</p> <p>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/understanding-the-financial-pages.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Ex-police sergeant charged for stealing from homes of the dead

<p>A 66-year-old ex-police sergeant whose job it was to comfort grieving families may land himself in jail after it was found out he was stealing from the homes of the dead. </p> <p>Graeme 'Taff' Williams’ role was “sudden death coordinator” at Stoke Newington police station, in London, UK, until 2013.</p> <p>His job was to locate relatives of the deceased and log their belongings and valuables.</p> <p>However, it was revealed William’ stole more than $10,000 and valuable furniture from the homes of three deceased people after visiting their homes.</p> <p>He was “trusted implicitly” by his employers and was paid an annual salary of $52,966.82 by the time he retired.</p> <p>Williams was convicted of three charges of theft by a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court.</p> <p>Prosecutor, Alexandra Felix, said Williams abused his position “by helping himself to the cash that was recovered, stealing it and providing information to heir hunters in return for payment”.</p> <p>Expensive furniture, artwork and other pricey goods were stolen from the home of one deceased, whose family thought were being taken to a homeless charity.</p> <p>An $800 watch, a 60-inch flat-screen TV, a fridge-freezer and washing machine were missing from the home, said the deceased's sister.</p> <p>She noted only the expensive items were the ones that had gone missing.</p> <p>William told Hackney council in 2012 that $35,835 had been recovered from the home of an elderly man who had been moved to a care home despite $40,835 being “banked” in the superintendent’s safe.</p> <p>Despite retiring in 2013, he continued to volunteer at Newingtown station and made money from heir hunters.</p> <p>Jurors heard $6,520 was missing from $46,315 cash that was found from under the bed of a man who died in his flat in 2015.</p> <p>Police raided Williams' home and found $20,000 in a safe and $5,000 in a box.</p> <p>Not stopping there, he had also received $11,504.02 in “discretionary” referral fees from heir hunting firm Fraser and Fraser, after he left the force.</p> <p>Company boss Andrew Fraser told jurors that as far as his firm was aware Williams was retired.</p> <p>Her further went on to say he hadn’t realised he was still working with police.</p> <p>“I knew he was retired because I was invited, as lots of other people were to his retirement. I didn't know he continued to work at Stoke Newington police station” Mr Fraser explained.</p> <p>“A number of cases were referred to us after his retirement. I think there might have been a dozen or so.</p> <p>“A couple of cases were looked at but we didn't spend much time on them but couldn't establish much value in them.</p> <p>“'After he retired he was a private individual. These referral fees were paid out at discretion.</p> <p>“Payments of $8,000 and $3,504.02 were paid in discretionary referral fees in relation to two estates.”</p> <p>The court heard that Firm Fraser had received an email addressed to them from William’s police email on at least one occasion.</p> <p>“The whole firm thought he had retired from the police,” Mr Fraser said.</p> <p>“If I knew he was still any matters referred to us from a police officer I would not have made payment. We saw him as a member of the public from after his retirement.”</p> <p>Williams denied but was convicted of three charges of theft. A separate charge of fraud was dropped earlier in the trial.</p> <p>Judge Alex Gordon ordered a medical report and bailed Williams ahead of sentence on 7 January.</p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

“You destroyed my life”: Widow’s heartbreaking reply to man who killed her husband

<p>A man who bashed a grandfather in Adelaide to death with a hammer in front of his wife has been ordered to spend the rest of his life under mental health supervision.</p> <p>In May 2018, Steven Berg stormed the house of the couple and attacked 74-year-old Deon Hewitt who was cooking dinner with his wife, Patricia. The attack ended in death.</p> <p>Patricia saw the horrific crime and said to Berg in court that he “destroyed my life”.</p> <p>"You destroyed my life. I couldn't even say goodbye to the man I spent the best parts of my life with…. For this I will never forgive you."</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F9NewsAdelaide%2Fvideos%2F1434612646686069%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>Berg was found not guilty of murder due to mental incompetence as the court was told he was suffering delusions at the time of the unprovoked and random attack.</p> <p>"My husband was my best friend, taken from me in the most horrific way - You have inflicted more pain on my family than any sentence can on you - until my final day I'm to live without my husband, stuck with the memory of that night," Ms Hewitt said.</p> <p>Five victim impact statements were read out in court by family members of Leon, as his grandchildren outlined their grief and the toll his passing had on their mental health.</p> <p>"When we were feeling down, we had Pop to call," they said.</p> <p>Leon and Patricia’s daughter Vanessa said that as long as Berg is detained “society is a safer place”.</p> <p>"the day you took dad from us, we lost a mother as well - I fear for the day Berg is released - While he is detained, society is a safer place,” she said.</p> <p>Berg is being held in the secure mental health facility of James Nash House.</p>

Legal