Famous Australian Court Cases

The similarity in many historic or famous court cases is that a law has been interpreted differently than ever before. These cases can influence future cases of the same nature and stir up a lot of controversy. 

Here is a breakdown of a few of the most famous cases in Australian history.

Chamberlain vs. the Queen

In 1984 this murder trial was widely broadcast and the public was torn. The case was centred on the death of an infant that died while camping with her family on holiday. The prosecution’s claim was that the baby was murdered by her mother, while the defence argued that she was actually killed by a dingo. At the time, the eyewitness testimony was not strong and backed the defendant. Furthermore, blood testing was questionable. However, at the end of the trial the mother, Chamberlain, was found guilty. This case is a good example of an inference of guilt because the prosecution’s case was circumstantial and depended on forensic evidence. Many believed the prosecution did not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In 1986 new evidence emerged, indicating that the infant may have actually been killed by a dingo. Chamberlain was released and eventually acquitted.

Mabo vs. Queensland

This court case took over a decade to reach a conclusion. The plaintiff’s were Meriam people, arguing that they were entitled to the Mer Islands and sought a possessory title because of long possession. Queensland government believed that when the Crown’s dominions settled into the territory the law of England became the law of that colony, giving the Crown ownership of the land. The high court’s final decision was that all laws imported from England to new land did not apply in situations where inhabitants were already present. This case rewrote the national law land and recognized Indigenous Australians as the original inhabitants. The ruling allowed Indigenous people all over Australia to claim traditional rights to land and overturned the doctrine of terra nullius.

Commonwealth vs. Tasmania

This case ended in an environmental victory and became a constitutional landmark. In 1983 the issue arose from the construction of a hydroelectric dam. Tasmanian government wanted the legal right to build the dam while the Federal government cited the World Heritage Convention as a reason to oppose construction. The Federal government won in High Court with a majority, 4:3 and preserved a large part of Australian wilderness.

These three examples are a few influential cases that showcase how law and the interpretation of it evolves. In most circumstances cases follow precedents, however, there are always exceptions.

How To Choose an Area of Law Practice

Law school does not always prepare students for an important factor in the success of their careers. Choosing an area of practice is something to take seriously and there are many things to consider. It’s imperative that you take the stability of the field, as well as your own personal ability and satisfaction into account when deciding on an area of practice.

Law is an incredibly competitive field so choosing and committing to an area of practice is best to accomplish while still in school. Employers are interested in candidates that have already shown interest in a specific field. Once you’ve decided on an area that best suits your personal agenda you can begin demonstrating interest by more focused classwork or an internship.

When a firm is hiring, employers are going to lean towards someone who has interest and knowledge of what it is they are hiring for. It can allow you to stand out from other interviewers that may not have a focus, and even assist you in narrowing down your job search. As a lawyer’s career lengthens it can be increasingly difficult to change fields. By committing to an area of practice early you can gain expertise that will help you to grow professionally.

Certain areas of law practice are a better fit for certain types of personality. There are three broad areas of law and each involves a unique skill-set. Take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses so you can better match yourself to a practice area. For instance, corporate lawyers, which include real estate and finance are best suited for someone interested in commercial affairs and business aspects. Corporate lawyers spend a lot of time drafting contracts and closing deals, so if that sounds like something you’d find enjoyable consider how well you work within a structure of interpreting contracts and paying close attention to details.

Furthermore, if you’ve despised legal writing and research classes then you may not want to be a litigator. Litigators often work at large firms or as trial attorneys and spend large amounts of time researching, writing, and thinking analytically. Many cases are fought and settled without ever moving to the courtroom, so someone in this field should enjoy developing advocacy and dealing with writing and discovery.

If, while in school, you’ve realized that you have a passion for a specific subject or issue then you may want to consider being a regulatory lawyer. These lawyers practise at all types of levels and there are many government agencies that employ them for things such as drug laws, energy, healthcare, or the environment. As a regulatory lawyer, you will handle administrative hearings, lend legal advice to companies, and interpret laws in regards to very specific schemes.


When it comes to choosing an area of law practice, make sure that you’re doing your research. Attend industry events, speak to lawyers in different fields, and read as much as you can. It is vital that you understand your goals by being aware of what different career paths and practice areas look like.

How to Hire a Lawyer for Your Small Business

When it comes to operating your own business it is important to build a great team that collectively has a broad skill-set. By surrounding yourself with people that you can trust and delegate work to, you will bring different perspectives and expertise to the organization. 


There are two obvious professionals that every business needs early on: a lawyer and an accountant. Both positions are important to the success of a business so it’s surprising that many employers neglect to hire a lawyer until it’s too late. While hiring an accountant is obvious, as you need someone to review numbers and prepare taxes, hiring a business lawyer is not always something that entrepreneurs consider early on.


However, lawyers provide assistance in almost every aspect of a business and are vital. Their roles include tasks such as tackling zoning compliance, trademark and copyright advice, and dealing with liability in general. It is never a good idea to wait until you’re being sued to seek legal counsel. At that point, the problem has already taken place and you’ll end up paying, whether in court costs or settlement fees to resolve the issue. However, often lawsuits can be entirely avoided when you have a lawyer on the payroll. 


One decision to make right away is whether you’re better off going with a small or big firm. Larger firms are typically more expensive however they do come with their advantages. For one, a larger firm holds much more clout than a solo practitioner. This can be beneficial in a number of ways, such as being introduced to financing sources or using their reference when you seek partnership arrangements. Furthermore, a large firm usually has every legal skill under the same roof so you’ll have any and all of your needs met.


The practice of law is becoming increasingly specialized. There are different types of lawyers, so it’s always better to hire someone that has experience with a number of skills. Ideally, you’re looking for a lawyer who can do the following things: prepare contracts that you’ll be sharing with clients, customers, and suppliers. Decide whether to organize your business as an LLC or corporation, provide provisions to your benefit when leasing commercial space, understand the tax consequences of basic business transactions, and have knowledge or connections with an intellectual property specialist.


When you are conducting interviews for a business lawyer it’s important to ask direct questions about their experience. It’s not possible for a lawyer to know everything about every area of law, however, if there’s something major outside of their scope of practice, a good lawyer should have working relationships with specialists who they can refer you to for different types of legal problems.


It’s also important that your lawyer is at least somewhat familiar with your industry; specifically the legal environment of your industry. It’s good to be wary of hiring a lawyer that represents more than one of your competitors. There is of course, a legal code of ethics, however, the last thing you want is sensitive information accidentally leaked to a competitor.


While you are conducting the interview try to get a feel of what type of lawyer you’re speaking with. Every firm employs lawyers that do one of three things: bring in new clients, make sure the existing ones are happy, and actually do the clients work. If you sense that you’re not talking to the lawyer that will actually be doing your work then don’t hesitate to ask to meet that person. You want to be sure that the lawyer providing their services is someone you trust and feel comfortable with.


During the first few years of business you’ll probably be visiting your lawyer’s office frequently so choose one that is conveniently located. Make sure that the person you hire can communicate well. A good business lawyer will outline all of your available options and point you in the direction of what the situation normally calls for. You want to like the person you hire because you’ll have to be comfortable enough to communicate openly. To be happy with your decisions make sure that the person possesses thoroughness, attention to detail, intelligence, and a willingness to work hard and at the end of the day, follow your instincts. 

Hiring the Right Employees

Employee recruitment is an essential part of a business. It can make or break your business. As a leader, you have the stress of constantly being judged for your decisions. Hiring is one of those decisions. Like many other choices, who you hire may not be popular among all of your employees but you cannot please everyone. You must search for specifics in every person you interview to ensure they are the right fit for your company.

 

Commitment

A person who shows commitment to their career is a candidate you should consider adding to your team. You don’t want an employee who switches careers frequently searching for a higher salary. You want a candidate who is searching to further their development as well as helping the company they are joining. 

 

Confidence

Anyone can look good on a resume. Their true character can come out during an interview in how they hold themselves. You want an employee who answers your questions confidently and depending on the position you may have them show their abilities. This could be an analytical or writing test or you could have them bring in a portfolio of their previous work. 

 

Compatibility

A candidate can have all the needed skills and extensive experience in your field but still may not be a good hire. You want to check if they’re compatible with your company’s culture. Have them interact with current employees and managers to test their social skills. 

 

Social Media

A large percentage of companies will look up their hiring candidates online before bringing them in for an interview. This can help you get a feel for the person’s life and whether or not they would be a good fit in your company. It also helps avoid the awkward personal questions during the interview process. You will also find that more companies are listing their job openings on social media. Everyone is using it, might as well use it to benefit your business.

 

Hiring is not a minimal process. There are many steps that go into hiring the right employee. When you hire, you want to retain these employees for years. It saves on the time taken to train new employees. Take these steps to help determine if your next interviewee is ready to join your company.

 

How Franchisees Succeed

Most everyone is familiar with successful franchise businesses. Those that achieve a level of financial and social notoriety can benefit and, quite possibly transform societies and economies. This blog will explore why certain franchises succeed while others fail. Profitable franchises:

 

Master Solid Concept Development

Successful franchisees understand the value of concept creation. This concept will drive the establishment of the products, goods or services the entity in question creates or provides to customers or clients. Solid concepts are simple, in addition to being easy to produce or understand.

 

Establish A Loyal Customer Base

Once a company or organizational concept is developed, reputable franchises execute due diligence establishing a customer base. Businesses cannot survive without continual patronage from a customer base. Successful franchisees identify what their customers want and work hard to satisfy those desires.

 

Identify Appropriate Locations

Many popular franchises succeed because they establish locations at more optimal locations. Profitable franchises position establishments in locations that will attract the most customers.

 

Conduct Consumer Research

In addition to providing reputable, necessary or enjoyable products, goods or services to a consumer base, successful franchises will continually strive to make improvements. No matter how profitable a franchise is and how satisfied the customer base is, chances are there will always be some matter that could use improvement. Franchise overseers might better identify what these issues are by conducting thorough consumer research and feedback. Researching the habits and desires of a business’s customers can enable the entity to provide improved services and greatly enhance their reputations.

 

Do Not Expand Hastily

Certain business insiders who study failed franchises opine that some of these entities did not succeed because they expanded far too hastily. The temptation to “spread the wealth” is an understandable, yet common mistake unsuccessful entities engage in. Successful franchisees will dot and cross all the proverbial “I’s” and “t’s” before expanding into new locations.

 

Do Not Saturate An Already Flooded Market

Successful franchisees do not saturate a flooded market for a particular product or service. For example, a pizza franchisee will typically not enter a market that is already teeming with other pizza franchises. Such an entity might do so only if it provides a unique niche or service the public may clamor for, which using the preceding example, could be an item like gourmet pizza. 

Protecting Your Online Business From Lawsuits

Legal liabilities and lawsuits are some common worst fears that can easily crumble a business if not prevented or managed. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your online business is well protected against potential cases that can easily damage the business’s reputation. 

 

Uphold information security

Your online business, most likely, holds customers’ data, such as names and social security numbers. Safe data handling practices, including safeguarding client’s data and protecting financial information from illegal disclosure, ensures that your clients do not file lawsuits against you for potential mishandling of their data.

 

Proper communication with customers

Business-customer communication is a constant process that should be properly regulated to ensure that the kind of information disclosed is accurate and relevant. The kind of information that you display on your business’s website, including potential advice to web users and information relating to products and services should be well regulated to ensure accuracy. This can prevent a possible situation where customers feel defrauded or misled by the business.

 

Compliance with industry practices

Every business investing within a particular industry or area of investment is governed by specific as well as universal standards and practices. Among the crucial standards thereof is the need for businesses to ensure that all products and services are within the quality specifications and standards. Releasing products and services out there that do not meet the industry standards will most likely land your online business in legal trouble.

 

Insurance 

Online businesses are increasingly focusing on adding insurance to their operations and products against potential risks and damages. Such protection is crucial, especially since the products are normally handled by multiple persons before they finally get to the customer. Obtaining insurance for your products gives customers the peace of mind that the product will be in good working condition as described within the e-commerce site.

 

Child protection

Different jurisdictions have different requirements for child protection when it comes to online businesses. In the US, your online business will be required to obtain parental permission when collecting data and information from children under the age of 13 years. It is, therefore, upon you to exercise due caution and put in place mechanisms ensuring that you have an accurate overview of each client who visits your business.

 

**This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. In relation to your individual situation, always seek advice specific to your circumstances from a lawyer.

Tips on Protecting Your Business from Online Attacks

To be competitive, every business today has invested in establishing an online presence. The rising trend of cyber threats is, however, an important issue that every business must consider to address. To remain secure across the web and prevent itself against online threats, your business must put in place strong cybersecurity measures. 

 

Work with a secure hosting platform

Your business’s website should be hosted on a secure and certified web hosting service provider. Among the factors to consider when selecting a hosting service provider include the provider’s compliance with the international PCI standards as regards to security and data protection. This guarantees that every online activity that your business will be engaging in from your website will be secure.

 

Ensure that you use https

All your online and web communications should be based on a Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (https) channel. The https protocol is more secure for your website and web service as it provides added layers of security that are necessary to prevent potential siphoning and eavesdropping into your business’s communication.

 

Training your employees

Untrained employees are highly likely to compromise on any layer of digital security that you put in your business. To ensure that everyone within your business is cybersecurity-competent, it is important to train the workers on the broad concept of digital security, cyber threats, and how they can contribute actively towards making the workplace digitally secure. Progressively training your employees on the evolving thresholds of cyber threats to your business ensures that they do not compromise unknowingly.

 

Use appropriate software

As an added layer of digital security in your business, it is important to use protective software, such as anti-malware and antivirus programs. These programs should be regularly updated to ensure that they can competently detect and ward-off any potential cyber threats.

 

Back up your data

Exposure to some of the modern-day cyber threats can lead to an abrupt loss of organizational data or a compromise on the data’s integrity. Such an eventuality can cripple the business and bring its operations to a standstill. To be on the safe side, it is important to consider backing up your data daily.

Business Standards in Australia

Companies function differently in all parts of the world. Whether you are just starting out in a career path, looking to move overseas for work, or doing business with a foreign country. Australia has different business standards than other countries.

 

Businesses in Australia typically follow the work schedule of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or around 38 hours per week. Australians consider punctuality to be of high importance and it reflects poorly if you are tardy. They are clear and concise when it comes to their business communication. When presenting, they will not focus on any unnecessary details. They get to the point and stress the facts without any exaggeration.

 

During meetings, they will arrive early, especially if they are leading the meeting. They will make appointments a few days in advance and have the objectives planned out with an agenda to share during the meeting. Business cards are handed out at the beginning during the introductions. When introducing yourself in a business situation, you can state your full name but your first name will most likely be used during the rest of the meeting.

 

Since the agenda has already been set with focused objectives, you should lead the meeting as stated. This will help others determine your trustworthiness. Meetings may seem casual in a sense but they are taken very seriously.

 

Though there is a hierarchy in Australian businesses, it does not reflect during meetings. No matter the position or level an employee is at, they will express their opinions on the matter. It is frowned upon to leverage your position to make negotiations. Managers in a company will typically seek advice from employees and share information regarding any decisions that need to be made. The employees and managers share mutual respect from each other to accommodate the needs of the company.

 

Gifts in a business situation are not necessary and sometimes time can be looked upon as bribery. During the closing of a deal or due to negotiations being closed, gifts can be appreciated. Gifts that employees receive from government-funded organizations have some restrictions and cannot be accepted if they have a high-dollar value.

 

**This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. In relation to your individual situation, always seek advice specific to your circumstances from a lawyer.

Advance Care Directives

Though planning for the future is exciting when talking about where you are going to travel next, where you will be at in your career, or how big your family will be by that point. You have to plan ahead, should there come a time when you are unable to make decisions. There could come a time when you experience an injury or an illness that alters the ability to be able to make your own decisions. If you complete an advance care directive, you have the ability to specify what medical treatment decisions you want to be made on your behalf. You can give instructions about future medical treatment that you consent or refuse, as well as, the values and preferences for your medical treatment decision maker to consider when it is their time to make decisions for you.

 

Instructional Directives

Instructional directives are statements of your medical treatment decisions for future procedures and care. By signing an instructional directive, you are either giving consent or refusal medical treatment. Health practitioners need your consent before they can perform any medical procedure or treatment for you. The practitioner, if you are do not have decision-making capacity, will find out whether or not you have an advance care directive and follow the relevant instructional directive you had given. You shouldn’t complete an instructional directive if you do not know the medical treatment that you want to do or not want to do in the future. The practitioner will have to follow your instructions given in the directive.

 

Values Directive

A values directive will state the values and preferences of medical treatment. People have different views on whether or not a quality of life is more important than a person just being alive. People can value a caretaker while others would prefer to take care of themselves. There aren’t any right or wrong answers, what matters is that you make the choices that will best suit you later in life. It also helps to explain them to your loved ones so they have a better understanding of why you are making your decisions.

 

When completing the advance care directives form, you will sign it in front of two witnesses, one who must be a medical practitioner. You must be evaluated as in the proper capacity and sign the form voluntarily. Your directives will end if you complete a new form, cancel the appointment of the directive, the VCAT cancels your appointment, or you pass away. If you do not have a directive, your practitioner will ask your medical treatment decision maker. The decision maker will make your decisions on your behalf.

 

**This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. In relation to your individual situation, always seek advice specific to your circumstances from a lawyer.

 

Are You an Eligible Power of Attorney?

Enduring powers of attorneys have the ability to make decisions about matters in which they were appointed. Whether it is financial or personal, a power of attorney is meant to make the best choice for their principal at all times. Stepping into the role of a power of attorney begins when the principal no longer has the capacity to make their own decisions. But what makes you eligible to be a power of attorney?

 

To become a power of attorney, the person must:

  • Be the age of 18 years or older
  • Not be insolvent: a power of attorney cannot pay its debts when they become due. An example would be someone who is undischarged bankrupt.
  • Not be a caretaker, health provider, or an accommodation provider for the principal

If a power of attorney will be taking care of financial matters, there will be more requirements in addition to the ones listed above. The person cannot be convicted or found guilty of an offense which involved dishonesty. They can still be eligible if found guilty or convicted. In those circumstances, they have disclosed the conviction to the principal and the disclosure is recorded in the enduring power of attorney.

 

A power of attorney can be revoked by signing the appropriate revocation form. The principal must still have the capacity at the time to do so. If anyone believes that the enduring power of attorney is not acting in the best interest of the principal, they can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). After an investigation, the VCAT may revoke the attorney’s power if it finds that they are in fact not acting in the best interest for the principal.

 

About Glenn Duker:

Glenn Duker has a vast experience as a litigation lawyer. He has served as a consultant to many clients in different areas of the law. His areas of expertise include business and commercial law, employment law, will and testament, probate, and trademark legal matters. Glenn writes about legal issues that arise in many clients lives. Check out GlennDukerLitigationLawyer.com.au for more information!

**This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. In relation to your individual situation, always seek advice specific to your circumstances from a lawyer.