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Every Issue

Cite as: July 2012 86 (07) LIJ, p.68

This month’s reviews cover New Zealand legislation, sentencing information, a case management handbook, a NSW umbrella website and a gay and lesbian law blog.

New Zealand Legislation (Parliamentary Counsel Office)

The New Zealand Legislation website has had a recent refresh to its search and results options to make it easier to locate material. The website, hosted by the Parliamentary Counsel Office, provides up-to-date unofficial versions of New Zealand Acts, Bills, Regulations and Supplementary Order Papers (SOPs). Introduced in this refresh are links to a further type of legislation, the Deemed Regulations, with the links being added gradually to this site. Links to Deemed Regulations which are not published in the Statutory Regulatory Series are now available and include rules such as those for transport and civil aviation, as well as codes and other legislative instruments. Quick searching can also now be done from every page.

Judicial College of Victoria

The publications on the Judicial College of Victoria website are worth viewing if you are looking for current free legal material on all Victorian jurisdictions. While the publications are written primarily for judicial officers, they are useful for all members of the legal profession. The nine publications can be directly accessed from the home page and include the Victorian Sentencing and Uniform Evidence manuals. There are also resources about family violence, search warrants and personal safety intervention orders. In these publications you will find commentary as well as mini-quizzes to test your knowledge on the section just read, along with scenario-based exercises to allow you to apply the theory in a practical way. You can also find checklists with flowchart instructions that are easy to understand and apply.

Sentencing Advisory Council

The Sentencing Advisory Council website provides information and publications on the various sentencing projects the council is involved in. The projects include sentencing children and young people, public opinion about sentencing matters, baseline sentences and maximum penalties for Crimes Bill Offences. The Council’s publications can be browsed by category. The Council also provides statistical information on sentencing and this section of the website allows you to view the data across different court systems and years. There are also statistical snapshots of outcomes for specific offences which are graphically represented and compared over time. Of interest is a section on the site which provides information on contemporary sentencing issues impacting in Victoria, with jury sentencing being one of the current topics highlighted.

Federal Court of Australia Case Management Handbook

In 2008, a workshop conducted with the judges of the Federal Court of Australia and practitioners from around the country inspired the creation of the new FCA Case Management Handbook. The Handbook, available as a PDF from the Law Council of Australia website, aims to “gather and distill the experience of practitioners and judges alike as to the merits and perils of specific techniques in different contexts” and covers topics such as the mechanics of case management, identifying and narrowing the issues, discovery, and evidence. This invaluable case management resource is around 79 pages and is perfect for either printing or (better yet) saving to a tablet device.

NSW Courts and Tribunal Services

New South Wales has a new “one-stop shop” for courts and tribunals, with a new umbrella website providing information for the public and legal professionals alike. The “For legal professionals” section of the site presents a well-designed page with easy navigation to court lists, forms and fees, practice notes and other necessary resources for those with a matter to be heard in NSW. From this landing page the website often directs you to a page on the particular court or tribunal’s own website. This navigation method might involve a click or two more than just heading straight to that particular site, but it saves having to remember multiple URLs or resorting to Google.

Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog

Stephen Page is a Brisbane-based family lawyer maintaining this Australian-focused lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) “blawg” for the last five years with his consistent and regular contributions. Being a family lawyer, it is perhaps no surprise that Page’s posts often revolve around practical matters such as parenting, property issues, and same-sex domestic violence, but wider, more philosophical musings are occasionally also included. For those of you who tend to be a bit aesthetically over-sensitive, we must forewarn you that this blog – with its beige patterned background – might not win any blogosphere beauty pageants, but it’s what’s inside that counts, right? Much prettier though is Page’s twitter page, where he tweets on broader family law issues, and often links back to his LGBT blog.


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