• Tara Pratarelli

Adjourned: Your Legal News Round-up

University starts in T-minus 5 days and counting! Back to multiple chapter readings, interrogative professors, rambling judgements and ‘study’ sessions that may turn into Friday afternoon drinks; back to the lifestyle we law students all know and love. So if you, like us here at Survive Law, have been making the most of our final days of freedom at the beach (#perthheatwave), last-minute catching up with non-law mates and generally enjoying yourselves, here is some of the latest legal-news you may have missed.

1. Who has the final say over your dead body?

What happens when your burial instructions are not legally binding? The law quite clearly states that it is the executor who has the sole power to decide funeral and burial arrangements. There is no property in a dead body, this law dating back to England in the 19th century. This can be a huge problem, especially for Indigenous Australians. Read more at The Law Report.

2. #letthemstay

The High Court has recently dismissed the challenge to the government’s deportation of refugees to their processing centre on the Island of Naru. This has lead to a hospital in Brisbane refusing to release a refugee child, admitted for burns, if she will be sent back to Naru. Read more at Business Standard.

3. Three Men Avoided Their Rape Trial By Paying $30,000

Three Australian men have escaped jail time in Croatia. Each pleaded guilty to the 2015 rape and paid 20,000 euro (aprox $31,500). Their passports were seized last year, but the prosecution and defence lawyers reached a deal for a conditional jail sentence. Read more at Buzzfeed.

4. Indigenous lawyers and law students making a mark on SA courts

South Australian Indigenous Lawyers/Law Students, in scholarship and mentoring programs, are making their mark on the legal scene. 1985 was the first time an Indigenous lawyer was admitted to the bar in the state. This year, the University of Adelaide and the Law Society have awarded their first scholarship to an Indigenous student to complete their studies. A specialised mentoring program is now in its 10th year. Read more at the ABC.

5. The Curious Case of Julian Assange continues…

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after claiming asylum to be protected against extradition to the United States. This also means he is protected from the Swedish international arrest warrant due to a sexual assault investigation. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has not become involved, accusing Sweden and Britain of unreasonably detaining him because of the sexual assault claims. Read more in The Age.

6. Australia's damaging love affair with consorting laws

Australia has a love/hate relationship with consorting laws. NSW consorting laws survived a High Court challenge in 2014, with Victoria, South Australia and Queensland all having their own versions under the pretext of combatting organised crime, bringing mandatory sentencing against bikie gangs. However, what are these laws? Are they justified? Do the police need them? Read more in The Age.

7. Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning goes on trial

What is thought to be one of the last Nazi trials, 94yr old former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning has gone on trial for accessory to 17,000 murders. Hanning was 20yrs in 1942 when he became a guard in the Polish death camp. The prosecution is joined by a case with 38 plaintiffs from Hungary, Israel, Canada, Britain, the United States and Germany. Read more in the ABC.

8. Dallas Buyers Club abandons fight against Aussie pirates

Good news for all torrenters everywhere, the studio behind Dallas Buyers Club has abandoned it’s claim for huge sums of money from Australian citizens. Lawyers representing the studio have stated that the August decision of the Federal Court which prevented effectively “speculative invoicing” in Australia will not be appealed. The studio was vocally opposed by iiNet and other service providers who refused to give up their customer’s details. Read more on the victory at Sydney Morning Herald.

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