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Crime And The Criminal Process Notes

Law Notes > LAWS1021 - Criminal Law - Crime and the Criminal Process Notes

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LAWS1021Crime
Criminal Process

and

the

Table of Contents
CRIMINALISATION.....................................................................................................................................................2
DEFINING CRIME...........................................................................................................................................................2
JUSTIFICATIONS FOR CRIMINAL LAW: HARM, RISKS, AND MORALITY........................................................................................5
CASE STUDY: DRUG POLICY.............................................................................................................................................7
COLONIALISM AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.............................................................................................................................7
DEATHS IN CUSTODY......................................................................................................................................................8
DEATHS IN CUSTODY CASE STUDIES...................................................................................................................................8
NORMATIVE THEORIES OF CRIMINALISATION.......................................................................................................................9
CASE STUDY: CONSORTING............................................................................................................................................11
THE CRIMINAL PROCESS..........................................................................................................................................12
TWO TIERS OF JUSTICE..................................................................................................................................................12
EXPANSION OF SUMMARY JUSTICE..................................................................................................................................14
TECHNOCRATIC JUSTICE.................................................................................................................................................15
MODELS OF THE CRIMINAL PROCESS................................................................................................................................16
THE UBIQUITY OF DISCRETION........................................................................................................................................16
THE ADVERSARY SYSTEM AND THE (IN)VISIBILITY OF THE PRE-TRIAL PROCESS...........................................................................17
MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE.............................................................................................................................................17
CROWN APPEALS AND THE DOUBLE JEOPARDY PRINCIPLE....................................................................................................17
CASE STUDY: BORAVILLE...............................................................................................................................................17
PROCESS AS PUNISHMENT.............................................................................................................................................17
BAIL REFORM..............................................................................................................................................................18
APPLICATION OF THE BAIL ACT 2013...............................................................................................................................20
POLICE POWERS......................................................................................................................................................20
POLICE AND THE CRIMINAL PROCESS................................................................................................................................20
ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE: S138 OF EVIDENCE ACT 1995 (NSW)......................................................................................21
POWER OF ARREST: S99 LAW ENFORCEMENT (POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES) ACT 2002 ["LEPRA"]........................................21
POWERS TO STOP AND SEARCH.......................................................................................................................................24
EXERCISE OF REASONABLE FORCE....................................................................................................................................31
COMPONENTS OF CRIMINAL OFFENCES..................................................................................................................33
CONSTITUTING LEGAL PERSONHOOD................................................................................................................................33
ACTUS REUS...............................................................................................................................................................34
ATTEMPT...................................................................................................................................................................35
MENS REA.................................................................................................................................................................37
BURDEN OF PROOF......................................................................................................................................................38 STRICT LIABILITY..........................................................................................................................................................39
INTERPRETATION OF STATUTORY OFFENCES - HE KAW THE V THE QUEEN...............................................................................40
DRUGS.....................................................................................................................................................................41
DRUGS OFFENCES: NSW LAW........................................................................................................................................41
PUBLIC ORDER.........................................................................................................................................................45
REGULATING PUBLIC SPACE............................................................................................................................................45
OFFENSIVENESS...........................................................................................................................................................46
RACIAL VILIFICATION....................................................................................................................................................48
MOVE ON POWERS......................................................................................................................................................48
CROWD CONTROL AND PROTEST.....................................................................................................................................48 Criminalisation
Defining Crime-What is a crime? (Crimes Act 1900 (NSW); Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW))
o Nature and characteristics of crime

What kinds of acts are caught up in criminal law?
o Mala in se "wrong in itself"
 Murder
 Theft
 Rape
 Assault

Mala Prohibita "wrong because its prohibited"
 Speeding
 Public order
Introduction to criminalisation

Issue of criminalisation interrogates the principle, motivation and forces behind decisions to characterise certain forms of behaviour as criminal

Influential stream of normative scholarship

Overcriminalisation
 Notion of common-sense
 Penal popularism
 Rather than timeless, historically specific
 Issue of language and metaphor in crime discussions Andres Ashworth - "is the criminal law a lost cause?"
 Examine various approaches to providing normative accounts

Normative theory of criminal law
 A theory, principle or set of criteria which determine appropriate limits to criminal law
 Specification of what behaviour are appropriately criminalised

Historical
 Historical context
 18th century England - peasantry and common land taken as private property
 ATSI people colonial and post-colonial criminal law

Decisions to criminalise
 Harm
 Risk
 Morality
 Offensiveness
 Social reaction
 Moral panic
 Social class
Criminalisation and penalty - contextualising criminal law

Nicola Lacey in The Oxford Handbook of Criminology
 Criminalisation constitutes an appropriate conceptual framework which to gather together the constellation of social practices which for subject matter of criminal law
 Escaping the notion of crimes as given Criminalisation captures the dynamic nature of the field as a set of interlocking practices in which the moments of defining and responding to crime can rarely be completely distinguished
Nicola Lacey, In Search of Criminal Responsibility: Ideas, Interests and Institutions

o

Criminalisation does not just require an analysis of the desirable justifications and elements that should structure existing, new or amended substantive offences
 Involves examination of police powers
 Entwined with substantiative offences
 Police and prosecutors have developed their own versions of what enforceable law is
 Exercise discretions
 Descriptive vs normative vs context
 D Describes what the crime is
 NScoping what the harm is
 C Who is being charged and tried
Stanley Cohen - Against Criminology
 "How do certain elements of social life come into orbit of the criminal law?"
 Two opposing tendencies - how the category of crime becomes accepted and how criminalisation becomes questioned and even reversed
 New criminalisation the virtual disappearance of decriminalisation from the agenda,
and along with it any attempt to take a critical stance towards the concept of crime
 Classic jurisprudence  dichotomy
 Shopping list metaphor
 Criminalisation is a particular reaction to a defined social problem
 Under what conditions do certain people feel state intervention is justified?
 Social class?
 What factors affect the process of criminalisation?
 Social class?
Morris and Hawkins - The Honest Politicians Guide to Crime Control
 Concerns overreach of the criminal law
 Pragmatic issues concerning the cost of criminalisation in areas like drugs and prostitution
 Overcriminalisation was common
 Overreaching beyond the purpose of protecting persons and property by pursuing moralistic excrescences
Husak - overcriminalisation: the limits of the criminal law

o

o

o --

 He calls it overcriminalisation
 The extraordinary rise in the size and scope of the criminal law

Nils Christies
 "Crime does not exist. It is created. First there are acts. Then follows a long process that gives meaning to those acts"
Common-sense: the case of murder

The common-sense approach to what a crime is, is that everyone knows a crime when they see one

The simplicity of this theory is deceptive

Law and order common sense
 Hoog and Brown - rethinking law and order
 Identify key assumptions and themes

Soaring crime rates

It is worse than ever - law and order nostalgia

The future is New York or la

The criminal justice system is soft on crime and does not protect citizens

The solution is more police with more powers

We need tougher penalties victims should be able to get revenge through he courts
Social class and criminalisation

Does social class influence which activities will be criminalised?
 Respectable people vs criminal class
 Alan Bond? James Hardie Directors? HSBS?
 Alan Bond - one day for every one million where as people who take a 1$ loaf of bread get years
 James Hardie - asbestos, no one has been prosecuted
 HSBC - millions of dollars for the drug cartel

Russel Hogg - populism, law and order and the crimes of the 1%
 Two laws: crimes against the market vs crime of the market
 Crime of the GFC

o Misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry

Robo-debt scandal
 Who cause greater harm
Penal Populism

Pratt - sorcerer's apprentice revised - toasting the marshmallow
 Analogy - when the apprentice gets the broomsticks to do the work and he gets too many and he can't control is because it becomes overrun with power
 Is compared to politicians who make too many promises and lose control of their power

Justifications for Criminal Law: Harm, Risks, and MoralityHARM
o

o

o o

Criminal action is harmful
Therefore, only harmful acts should be criminal?
Harm has immediate plausibility as a justification for criminalising a given form of behaviour
A common-sense ring to it
But what does it mean to cause harm?
Should all form of harmful behaviour be criminalised? oRISK
o

o

o

o

JS Mill - "ON LIBERTY" - Harm principle
 Limits the legitimate scope of the criminal law
 You can do whatever you like, as long as it doesn't harm others - criminal law is to prevent harm to others
 Considers the effect on other people and community
 Criminal law should not encroach on your autonomy - as long as you are not causing harm to others
 The government should not be able to tell you what to do
 Refutes:
 Feinberg (1987) resists Mills harm principle as "it is always a good reason to support of penal legislation that it would be effective in preventing harm to persons other than the actor… and there is no means that is equally effective at no greater cost to other values"
o Harm is a setback of interests
 Duff (2007) this leaves open the possibility that there are also other good reasons - such as the prevention of a serious offence that does not amount to harm or of paternally motivated coercive infringements of others' freedom that invade autonomy even if they are not on balance harmful, or even of free floating evils that neither harm nor offend.
o All versions of harm face the same problem - the problem, to put it crudely, that they can avoid the defect of under-inclusiveness

The harm principle ceases to set sustainable independent constraints on the scope of the criminal law
 Harcourt (1999) the harm principle is effectively collapsing under the weight of its own success. Claims of harm have become pervasive that the harm principle has become meaningless. Too many exceptions.
Risk and risk preventions have become major preoccupations of individuals, government, media,
and the state
We have become a risk society (Beck, 1992)
Proliferation of notions and mentalities of risk and the ubiquity of risk instruments and risk management  preventative justice
 This becomes an issue for the rule of law and presumption of innocence
Currently criminal law attempts to clean up the mess - what of it stopped the mess before it happens…
For the harm principle, an act of preparation is not causing harm to anybody YET so within that theory, it cannot be charged
Ashworth, Sedner, Tomlin - Prevention and the limits of criminal law
 Redress the lack of debate over the limits of preventative justice for, "the challenges posed by preventative justice are not to be found of the fringes of legal or political theory but rather go to the very core of the role of the state and the proper concretion of the citizen"
 Various manifestation of the encroachment of preventative justice, for example in pretrial detention/ bail:
 Police power that remove those intoxicated from public spaces

Extensions of criminal liability to preparatory acts and to new subjects such as bikie gangs or criminal organisations
 Preventative detention of specific categories of offenders whose sentence has expired ie sex offenders Carvalho (2017) "preventative turn" - which links to a broader socio-economic and political change and to the rise of insecurity
 Social integration characteristic of the welfare state starts to unravel towards the end of the 20th century as "society" disassociates into a variety of ethical and cultural communities
 Heightened sensitivities because we are more aware of it with the rise of media

O'Malley (2013) notes the way risk has been cantered to the development of driving offences
 Preventative justice is focused on the risk of harm
 Deterrence has become a key aim of law

Gunther (2013) good/bad citizens dichotomy that lies behind appeals to both majoritian public interest and to victim rights
 "the Majoritian claim to obtain protection of their fundamental rights is then balanced against the human rights of the minority of offenders… a zero-sum game: more legal protection of the criminal offender means less legal protection of the victim"
 Dichotomy between the good and the bad citizen - it's okay/justified for the good
(majority) to infringe on the bad's (minority) rights through criminal law for public interest - but how is this not just encroaching on the minorities right?
 Ashworth (2002) When you think that it is okay to encroach on the minority's human rights, consider if it was someone you know whose rights are being encroached? This is a thought experiment, but what is the comment on society that this is the measure that we need to take to feel any empathy for the minority.
MORALITY: The Hart/Devlin debate

Immoral conduct: should the criminal law prohibit certain forms of conduct simply because they are immoral?
o Yes 
 Immorality supplies a sufficient reason for criminalisation
 Immorality is a necessary condition for criminalisation

Devlin (1965) certain forms of immoral conduct undermine the shared beliefs essential for social cohesion
 Harm to the social order rather than the individual
 Criminal law is based on moral principles, it functions to simply enforce a moral principle

Hart (1963) rejected Devlin's argument
 Regarded the claim that society depended on shared moral beliefs as not proved
 Shared moral beliefs changed from time to time
 Therefore, homosexuality could simply be a case of change rather than something that could lead to the total disintegration of the moral code and hence society
 We need the government to protect us from ourselves - the upper class white people can make their own decisions but the other people are unable to
 Its justified to be concerned about the "other" people

QLD Criminal Code Chpt.22 Offences against morality
 Bestiality, child abuse, prostitution
 These are obvious crimes that would cause harm to others oCase Study: Drug PolicyDrugs and principles of criminalisation

The concept of harm is extremely difficult to pin down

For instance, those who take drugs regard the experience as pleasurable rather than harmful

If the drugs are in your system then it doesn't count

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