Ep 24: Double Dissolution Election, Mandatory Sentencing, Stat Decs by Chemists, Self-Representation in Court, Drug Dogs

Australia is faced with the very real possibility of a double dissolution election this year. What actually is a double dissolution election, and how would it be different to a normal election?

Mandatory Sentencing means that judicial officers have no discretion when it comes to assigning penalties. In Western Australia recently a woman was imprisoned for 6 months after she bit a police officer, causing bodily harm, the penalty being imposed pursuant to tough mandatory sentencing laws. What are some of the real implications of mandatory sentencing?

Chemists and pharmacists are classes of people empowered to witness Statutory Declarations. But does this authority extend to issuing medical certificates?

A saying amongst lawyers is that anyone who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client. David and Ron discuss why courts let people represent themselves, and where and when Legal Aid is available to litigants and defendants.

And an MP in New South Wales has introduced a private members bill into parliament seeking the abolition of drug detector dogs by police. David and Ron discuss the manner in which parliamentarians should, or shouldn’t, prescribe law enforcement methods to police.

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