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ANZSOC 2014 Conference

ANZSOC painted in the graffiti tunnel
ANZSOC 2014 Keynote Speakers: Professor Alan Norrie, Professor Ngaire Naffine and Professor Jonathan Simon
ANZSOC painted in the graffiti tunnel
ANZSOC 2014 Keynote Speakers: Professor Alan Norrie, Professor Ngaire Naffine and Professor Jonathan Simon

The 27th Annual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference, hosted at the Sydney Institute of Criminology, in October 2014 was a big success. Three keynote speakers, 15 panels and more than 130 papers were given on the this year's theme Testing the Edges; Challenging Criminology.



Current Issues in Criminal Justice

The Sydney Institute of Criminology wishes to thank Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan for her service as joint Editor of Current Issues in Criminal Justice since 2011.
Associate Professor Murray Lee is sole Editor of the Journal from Volume 26 No 1 (July 2014).

To submit an article or ‘contemporary comment’ to the Journal, please email .
More information on submission requirements are now available.

Expressions of Interest are now open for editorship of the July 2015 Special Issue of the Journal and must be received by Friday 27 June 2014.
Further information is available at Current Issues in Criminal Justice: Special Issues.


Criminal Law Workshop a success

Criminal Law Workshop

The Institute of Criminology was delighted to host a Criminal Law Workshop on 14-15 February 2014. The workshop brought together criminal law, theory and procedure and evidence scholars from around Australia for a high-level discussion of significant and emerging issues in criminal law and justice.

Each of the papers offered a critical, reflective scholarly engagement with current issues in criminal law, in a way that will be likely to both generate high-quality research outputs and to add an informed edge to policy development and debate. Participants at the workshop discussed these issues and more in a lively, collegial and rigorous way.

The workshop was both timely and significant. The impact that the major legal and procedural developments of the last decades have had on criminalisation and criminal responsibility is in urgent need of systematic examination in light of contemporary challenges arising from consistent expansion of the criminal law and ongoing developments in child psychology, technology and shifting social norms (for example around alcohol and violence).

The workshop was an excellent opportunity to enhance the nation profile of the Sydney Institute of Criminology as a location for the sophisticated discussion of the scholarship on criminal law and related fields.


Policing and Media Public Relations, Simulations and Communication by Murray Lee

Policing and Media Public Relations, Simulations and Communications

Associate Professor and Institute of Criminology member Murray Lee and Dr Alyce McGovern's book Policing and Media Public Relations, Simulations and Communications has just been published by Routledge.

This book examines the relationship between police, media and the public and analyses the shifting techniques and technologies through which they communicate. In a critical discussion of contemporary and emerging modes of mediatized police work, Lee and McGovern demonstrate how the police engage with the public through a fluid and quickly expanding assemblage of communications and information technologies.

For more information please click here.


Crim* Network website

The Crim*Network, an initiative of Sydney Law School, provides a platform for research students in criminal law, criminology and related areas to interact, engage in dialogue and share their research experiences. The network aims to connect inter-faculty and inter-university postgraduate research students and promote critical engagement and interdisciplinary perspectives.

The Crim*Network website is http://crimstarnetwork.com/.


Associate Professor Murray Lee in the media

Associate Professor Murray Lee

Associate Professor Murray Lee did an extended interview with Channel Ten on alcohol related violence, extracts of which played on The Project and the 5pm News.

The full interview is available online here.


News Archive 2013


Associate Professor Murray Lee gives keynote at the City of Sydney Safe City Summit

Associate Professor Murray Lee

Associate Professor Murray Lee gave the invited Keynote Speech at the City of Sydney Safe City Summit on December 5th at Customs House. In the presentation he spoke about the need to develop meaningful measures of perceptions of safety for Sydney and elsewhere.

For more information click here.


Associate Professor David Hamer in the media

Associate Professor David Hamer

Associate Professor David Hamer and Gary Edmond had an opinion piece published online in The Conversation on 27 November in which he discussed overturning wrongful convictions.

"A person is wrongly convicted of a serious crime, then fresh evidence reveals they are, in fact, innocent. It’s a thriller movie formula and you’d hope that if this were to happen, justice would prevail.

A bill introduced to the New South Wales parliament earlier this month, however, jeopardises this very process. It aims to abolish the DNA Review Panel, which is empowered to arrange fresh DNA analysis of defendants convicted of very serious crimes who claim to be innocent. The panel could then refer cases back to the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA)."

To read the article click here.


Waller & Williams: Criminal Law Text and Cases launch

Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan
Associate Professor Thomas Crofts

On 7 November 2013 the Institute of Criminology hosted the Lexisnexis Criminal Law Workshop and book launch of Waller & Williams: Criminal Law Text and Cases by Institute members Associate Professor Thomas Crofts, Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan, and other authors Thalia Anthony, Penny Crofts, Stephen Gray and Bronwyn Naylor.

The workshop, led by the new author team, explored the new aspects of criminal law and how the new book and online content benefits teaching outcomes. The event was held simultaneously with the Victorian workshop and launch.


Safety Audit Training a success

The Sydney Institute of Criminology held the Safety Audit Training on 31 October.

Feedback from the participants suggested that the session was a success. The following are just some of the results from the participant evaluations completed on the day:

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – “I enjoyed the training”

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – “The training was well organised”

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – “I would recommend the training to others”

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statements – “The training has improved my understanding of CPTED, situational crime prevention and home security devices”

Participants were asked if they had any further comments to add. The following are some of the comments provided:

“Very interesting and thought provoking – assist when developing safety planning with clients”

“Training was worthwhile and will improve my work practices”

“Thank you – very insightful, informative and well presented”

“Interesting presentation and facilitating. Easy to understand and to relate to individual clients as well as community development/advocacy”

For information on training courses run by the Institute of Criminology please contact .


Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture 2013

The Honourable Murray Gleeson AC QC and members of the Byrne Family

The 2013 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture was held at Sydney Law School on 16 October. The Honourable Murray Gleeson AC QC, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, delivered the public lecture on the topic "Presuming Innocence" in honour of Paul Byrne SC, a graduate of Arts and Law from the University of Sydney. The event was chaired by His Honour Judge Stephen Norrish QC.

About The Honourable Murray Gleeson AC QC

Murray Gleeson took silk in 1974 achieving an extensive constitutional, commercial and tax practice. President of the New South Wales Bar Association 1984 to 1986, he received the Order of Australia for service to the law in 1986 and then received the Companion Order of Australia in 1992. He was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW 1988. During his term of office in the Supreme Court he implemented major reforms to the administration of the Court, resulting in increased efficiency. In 1998, Chief Justice Murray Gleeson resigned his commission as Chief Justice of NSW to take up the appointment of Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia in Canberra until 2008.

About Paul Byrne SC

Paul Byrne SC graduated in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney, and worked with the Public Solicitor's Office as a solicitor. He became a barrister in 1979, and was appointed a public defender. In 1983 he was awarded a Master of Laws degree with First Class Honours, and was awarded a University Medal. He was appointed Director of the Criminal Law Review Division and a Commissioner of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission. In 1995 he took silk and continued an outstanding career as an advocate, taking on the toughest cases, in courts at all levels, with a deep sense of responsibility and the utmost commitment to justice and fair process. Paul Byrne SC had a life long interest in criminal law and the criminal justice system, and was an active participant and generous supporter of the Institute of Criminology at the Sydney Law School.

The Paul Byrne Memorial Fund

The Paul Byrne Memorial Fund has been set up to honour and continue Paul's interest in the criminal justice system by supporting the ongoing activities of the Institute of Criminology, such as lectures, seminars, publications, and awards.

To make a donation please click here.


Dr Arlie Loughnan principal writer of the Discussion Paper considering reform of mental incompetence in SA criminal law

Dr Arlie Loughnan

Dr Arlie Loughnan is the principal writer of the Discussion Paper released by the Sentencing Advisory Council of South Australia which considers reforming the criminal law regarding the test for mental incompetence, fixing of limiting terms and the supervision of defendants released on licence.

The Attorney-General of South Australia requested the consideration of these terms of reference, and for identification of issues or challenges and where appropriate to make
recommendations to the Government. This discussion paper is the first publicly available product of the review of the terms of reference. The Discussion Paper is published for public comment and consultation, and submissions will be received by the Council until Friday 11 October 2013.


Carolyn McKay in the media

Institute of Criminology research member was interviewed in an opinion piece published online in The Conversation on 3 July on higher quality court videolinks and improvements to justice outcomes.

To read the article click here.


International and Comparative Criminal Justice: A Critical Introduction by Mark Findlay and Louise Boon-Kuo

Dr Louise Boon-Kuo
Professor Mark Findlay

Institute of Criminology members Professor Mark Findlay and Dr Louise Boon-Kuo, and Lim Si Wei 's book International and Comparative Criminal Justice: A Critical Introduction has been published by Taylor and Francis.

This book explores the growing internationalisation of criminal justice as a phenomenon of global governance. It provides students with a critical understanding of the international institutions for regulating transnational crime, the development of alternative justice processes across the globe, and international and supra-national co-operation criminal justice policies and practices.

For more information please click here.


Congratulations to Associate Professor Judy Cashmore on Stanley Cohen Research Award by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Associate Professor Judy Cashmore

Congratulations to Associate Professor Judy Cashmore on being awarded the Stanley Cohen Research Award by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) jointly with colleague Patrick Parkinson.

This is a prestigious award given on an annual basis to a researcher or a research team for outstanding work in the area of family law. The AFCC is a multidisciplinary organisation with members mainly in North America, which brings together lawyers, judges, mediators, clinical psychologists and social scientists on issues related to the resolution of family disputes.


Associate Professor Murray Lee in the media

Associate Professor Murray Lee

Associate Professor Murray Lee was an ‘expert’ commentator on a UK documentary in the series ‘Evil Up Close’. Dr Lee comments on the episode ‘Killer in the Outback: Bradley Murdoch’, which looks at the complex and controversial case of Bradley Murdoch.

For further information please click here.


Report released by State Parliament's Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation

The State Parliament's Select Committee has released their Report on the Partial Defence of Provocation. The Committee bases much of their report on submissions and advice given by Institute members Dr Arlie Loughnan, Associate Professor Thomas Crofts and Graeme Coss, who were invited to appear and give expert advice.

Committee chairman Fred Nile and committee member Labor MP Helen Westwood, who called for the inquiry, recommended changes to the defence, namely making it unavailable for men who kill their wives in a jealous rage or are offended by gay sexual advances. However the Committee recommended retaining the provocation defence for women who are the victims of long-term domestic violence.

To read the full report click here.


Contemporary Challenges in Regulating Global Crises by Mark Findlay

Mark Findlay

Professor and Institute of Criminology member Mark Findlay's book Contemporary Challenges in Regulating Global Crises has been published by Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Mark Findlay's treatment of regulatory sociability charts the anticipated and even inevitable transition from self to mutual interest which is the essence of taking communities of shared risk to shared fate. In the context of today's greatest global crises, he explains that for the sake of sustainability, human diversity can bond in different ways to achieve fate.

For more information please click here.


Congratulations to Professor Duncan Chappell on 2013 ARCA Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Art Crime Scholarship

Duncan Chappell

Congratulations to Professor Duncan Chappell on being awarded the Association for Research into Crimes against Art's 2013 Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Art Crime Scholarship. The scholarship usually goes to a professor or author. Duncan has a long-standing interest in art crime and has been engaged in research and publishing on a range of art crime topics but with a particular focus on patterns of illegal trafficking of objects of cultural heritage in the South East Asian region.

For more information please click here.


Associate Professor Judy Cashmore and Dr Rita Shackel in the media

Associate Professor Judy Cashmore
Dr Rita Shackel

Research by Associate Professor Judy Cashmore and Dr Rita Shackel on the long-term negative consequences for abuse victims was published in The Australian.

"The research...examines the different ways child sexual abuse can harm men and women. It says male victims are less likely to reveal their abuse to others, or take longer to do so, while female victims experience more severe problems. The research finds sexual abuse by clergy or other people in positions of authority undermine a victim’s trust, sense of self,
sexual identity and social and cognitive development.

Child sexual abuse victims are at a greater risk of abusing alcohol or drugs, and engaging in risky sexual behaviour. The research warns victims
are more vulnerable to being victims of sexual abuse again, later in life."

To read the article click here.


Congratulations to Tanya Mitchell the National Council of Women Australia Day award

Tanya Mitchell

Congratulations to Tanya Mitchell for being awarded the National Council of Women Australia Day award this year. The award is sponsored by Gilbert + Tobin.

For more information please click here.


Congratulations to Dr Arlie Loughnan on an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Dr Arlie Loughnan

Congratulations to Dr Arlie Loughnan on receiving an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award of $374,906 for her project Responsibility in criminal law. The principle of criminal responsibility lies at the heart of our criminal justice systems. This project provides a systematic analysis of criminal responsibility in the context of the NSW criminal law. It engages Australian scholarship in, and enhances Australia's contribution to, an important and growing field.


Congratulations to Associate Professor Judy Cashmore on an Australian Research Council Discovery Project

Associate Professor Judy Cashmore

Congratulations to Associate Professor Judy Cashmore on being awarded $265,401 for an Australian Research Council Discovery Project How are decisions made in Children's Court care matters and what are the outcomes for children?. This research will examine, for the first time in Australia, the evidence provided to the courts, how it is used and viewed by legal and non-legal professionals, and how these link with children's experiences and their developmental outcomes.


Professor Pat O'Malley elected to as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

Professor Pat O

Congratulations to Professor Pat O'Malley on being elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) was established in 1971, replacing its parent body the Social Science Research Council of Australia, itself founded in 1942. It is an autonomous, non-governmental organisation, devoted to the advancement of knowledge and research in the various social sciences. The Academy consists of 537 Fellows including those honorary and overseas.

Fellows of the Academy are elected by their peers on the basis of having achieved a very high level of scholarly distinction and for having made a distinguished contribution to one or more disciplines of the social sciences.

Pat O'Malley is a Professorial Research Fellow, and previously was Canada Research Chair in Criminology and Criminal Justice in Ottawa.

Most of his work has focused on issues of risk and security, especially in relation to crime prevention, drug harm minimisation, insurance and insurance law

He was recently appointed as Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology, Social policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool.


News Archive 2012


Working with DV Offenders Training Course a success

The Sydney Institute of Criminology held the training course Working with DV Offenders on 27 November 2012. This course forms part of the new partnership between Corrective Services NSW and the Sydney Institute of Criminology. It provided participants with information and tool work with and manage domestic violence offenders.

Feedback from the participants suggested that the session was a success. The following are just some of the results from the participant evaluations completed on the day:

95% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: ‘I enjoyed the training’

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: ‘The training was well organised’

91% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: I found the practical exercises to be of benefit’

95% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: I would recommend the training to others’

Participants were asked if they had any further comments to add. The following are some of the comments provided:

"Really good training; very engaging trainer who shared a lot of resources and practical knowledge."

"I found that the practical skills taught were very useful."

"In many training sessions I walk out thinking ‘what can I do?’ This training has given me practical tips and knowledge about what I can be doing which is great!"


Surveys and Analysis: Public Safety in the City Centre

Institute of Criminology researchers Dr Murray Lee & Garner Clancey, along with Associate Professor Susan Goodwin from The faculty of Education and Social Work, have been funded by the Frankston Council in Victoria to conduct research into perceptions of safety in the Frankston CBD for the project Surveys and Analysis: Public Safety in the City Centre. The research takes both a quantitative and qualitative approach involving surveys of and interviews with CBD shoppers, traders and service providers. Dr Lee says he “hopes the findings will be used to help inform future environmental and social planning and to increase public safety and perceptions of safety in the Frankston area”. The project links up with a range of crime prevention focused research projects Dr Lee and Mr Clancey are currently involved in.


Report Writing Training Course a success

The Sydney Institute of Criminology held the training course Working with DV Offenders on 27 September 2012. This course forms part of the new partnership between Corrective Services NSW and the Sydney Institute of Criminology. It specifically focussed on the preparation of pre-sentence reports and their use within the criminal justice system.

Feedback from the participants suggested that the session was a success. The following are just some of the results from the participant evaluations completed on the day:

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – ‘I enjoyed the training’

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – ‘The training was well organised’

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – ‘I am confident that I can apply aspects of the training in my work’

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – ‘I would recommend the training to others’ (one other was neutral)


Institute members invited to appear before the State Parliament's Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation

Dr Arlie Loughnan, Associate Professor Thomas Crofts and Graeme Coss have been invited to appear before the State Parliament's Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation, chaired by the Reverend Fred Nile of the NSW upper house.

"Provocation is a controversial part of the criminal law in NSW and parliamentary debate on this important topic is significant for our community as a whole," said Dr Arlie Loughnan.

"Much ink has been spilt on the provocation defence- its analysis, critique and defence.

"We add to that pool because of our belief that a view that recognises the problems with the defence, but nonetheless sees a role for its retention (albeit in an amended form), is an important one to express."

Associate Professor Crofts said it is important to acknowledge the value of the provocation defence.

"This can be measured in terms of the importance of labelling in criminal law, the role of the jury in assessing questions of culpability, as well as consideration of the diversity of cases in which provocation may be raised, and the dynamism of the defence.

"We acknowledge the serious problems with the defence and thus advocate serious consideration of amendments to the current law.

"Such amendments could expressly exclude (a) words alone; (b) things done or said that constitute infidelity and (c) non-violent sexual advance as potential triggers for the 'loss of control' required by the defence.

"This would go a significant way towards retaining what is valuable about the defence, without its abolition."

Senior Lecturer, Graeme Coss said he waspleased to be invited to make a submission to the Provocation Inquiry, givenhis interest in the partial defence for the last 27 years.

"I have long advocated for abolition," he said.

"Most jurisdictions relevant to us have abolished the defence.

"We abolitionists note that it is an anachronism, born in age that accepted violence and punished with mandatory death.

"The defence privileges and partially condones intentional lethal angry violence, and thus is seen by most law reform bodies as not warranting the label manslaughter.

"Provocation is a defence only for murder, whereas it is merely a factor to be considered at sentencing for all other offences.

"We note that there is a significant difference already in moral culpability amongst murderers, and that is rightly recognised at sentencing.

"We argue that the foundation of the defence, loss of control, as well as the ordinary person test are based on fallacies and are conceptually flawed.

"We also note a plethora of case law revealing the defence's history of being notoriously gender biased, as well as being misused by men claiming to have retaliated to a non-violent homosexual advance.

"Lastly, we abolitionists caution against attempts to retain and limit its operation, given failed attempts to do just that in other jurisdictions."

"I have also submitted that special evidentiary provisions need to be introduced to strengthen the defence of self-defence for victims of domestic abuse.

"Those provisions will focus on the nature and dynamics of abuse, both in general and for the accused.

The Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation is a current select committee of the Legislative Council and is due to report on 21 November 2012.


Dr Rita Shackel recognised for work in Sri Lanka

Dr Rita Shackel recently received the Medico-Legal Society of Sri Lanka Oration Medal and the Professor C.C. de Silva Memorial Oration Medal for her work on Child Sexual Abuse in Sri Lanka.

She received the Medico-Legal Society of Sri Lanka Oration Medal on 10 August 2012 with heroration entitled, The Need for Multidisciplinary Understandings in Forensic Responses to Sexual Assault.

She received the Professor C.C. de Silva Memorial Oration Medal on 11 August 2012 with her paper entitled, Child Sexual Abuse: Perspectives from Recent Research.

Dr Shackel was the first ever female Orator for the Medico-Legal Society Oration and her medal was presented to her by Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane, Justice on the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, the first woman to ever be appointed President of the Medico-Legal Society Sri Lanka.

Dr Shackel also presented her paper, Child Sexual Abuse - The Psychological Dimensions at the Annual Academic Sessions of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians, in Colombo.

Her activities in Sri Lanka also included:

Child Sexual Abuse: Best Practice & Future Directions - delivered workshop to Forensic Medicine Fellows, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, Colombo Sri Lanka, 13 August 2012.

Dialogue on developing Guidelines for Interviewing Child Victims - Attorney-General's and Sri Lanka Ministry of Justice

The Institute congratulates Rita on her achievements.


Dr Arlie Loughnan in the media

Dr Arlie Loughnan had an opinion piece published online in The Conversation on 25 August in which she discussed the conviction of Anders Behring Breivik and his criminal responsibility.

"In a unanimous decision, the Oslo District Court in Norway has convicted Anders Behring Breivik of the murder of 77 people in the streets of central Oslo and on the island of Utoya in July 2011.

Breivik's conviction was based on a finding that he was sane at the time of the killings. In a strange twist, the court's verdict is a victory for the defence; they had been instructed by their client Breivik to argue that he was sane. The prosecution had argued that Breivik was insane.

The finding that Breivik was sane and the conviction means that he can be punished and he has been sentenced to 21 years in prison. It is possible that Breivik will be detained beyond that period, under a regime of preventative detention. This means Breivik may never be released. The seriousness of Breivik's offences and the enormous harm they have caused seems to indicate that Breivik's conviction and sentence will be well-received in Norway.

The issue in Breivik's trial was whether he was criminally responsible for the killings. If he was insane at the time of killings, he was not criminally responsible. Criminal responsibility concerns the capacities of the accused. If an accused lacks the necessary capacities, he or she cannot be called to account for his or her actions in the context of a criminal trial.

The question of criminal responsibility goes beyond the issue of liability for an offence: it addresses the issue of whether the accused is someone to whom the criminal law speaks. Criminal responsibility lies at the heart of our criminal justice system.

The Breivik trial brings the complex issues surrounding criminal responsibility into sharp relief. It prompts us to where the line between "madness" and "badness" lies and to think about how to respond to offenders whose criminal responsibility is at issue."

To read the article click here.


Associate Professor Thomas Crofts in the media

Institute of Criminology co-director Assoicate Professor Thomas Crofts and Stephen Tomsen, Professor of Criminology, UWS and Institute of Criminology Advisory Committee, had an opinion piece published online in The Conversation on 24 August in which he discussed homosexual advances and the law of provocation.

"Provocation is a defence that signals reduced culpability for an intentional killing by replacing a murder conviction with one of manslaughter. Historically it differentiated killings worthy of the death penalty from less heinous killings committed “in the heat of passion” without premeditation."

"An affront to male honour which in recent decades has been used to argue a case of provocation is the so-called “homosexual advance defence” (HAD), sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “gay panic” defence (which is actually a failed US version of the defence strategy).

Since the 1990s, gay and lesbian activists have expressed serious concerns about homicide cases in which an accused male killer or killers pleads provocation on the basis of an alleged unwanted sexual advance from the victim who was known or assumed to be homosexual."

"What sort of signals about male interaction and violence does the legal status of the homosexual advance defence send to men and boys? If the answer to this question suggests physical and even fatal violence as the acceptable response, rather than a simple declaration of non-interest, then we should consider why our society would not tolerate a similar violent reaction from women who are subjected to routine unwanted overtures from men.

The ongoing failure to scrap the homosexual advance defence and the partial excuse it provides to certain forms of male violence is an embarrassment and an injustice for the citizens of Queensland and NSW.

The politicians of NSW now have the chance to change this and we should all hope they do not fail a second time."

To read the article click here.


Institute participation in Workshop on Directing Research Centres, Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong

The Institute is pleased to be a part of a workshop on directing research centres being run by the Legal Intersections Research Centre, Faculty of Law at the University of Wollongong on 22 August 2012.

Co-Director Dr Rebecca Scott Bray will take part in the workshop which will be facilitated by Professor and Pro Vice Chancellor Terry Threadgold of Cardiff University and involve Directors of research centres from around Australia.

The workshop will focus on the important role of research centres, challenges, synergies and opportunities for research collaboration.


Criminology Successful Launch of the Special Issue of the CICJ Journal

The Institute hosted a successful launch of the Forensic Science and Justice: From crime scene to court and beyond Special Issue of the Current Issues in Criminal Justice Journal on 1 August 2012. Chaired by Dr Rebecca Scott Bray (Co-Director, Sydney Institute of Criminology), the launch included comments from the co-editor of the special issue, Associate Professor Roberta Julian (Director, Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies) and two authors who contributed to the journal - Alastair Ross AM (Director, National Institute for Forensic Sciences) and Mehera San Roque (Senior Lecturer, UNSW). Copies of the journal can be ordered through various means outlined here.

The launch was kindly sponsored by the Forensic Document Services. The Institute would like to thank the presenters and sponsors for their contribution to the journal and the launch.


Criminology Research Grants: Sexting and Young People

The Institute is pleased to announce that the following project has been funded by the 2011-12 Criminology Research Grants program. The principal objectives of the Criminology Research Grants Program are to undertake and provide funding for criminological research which is relevant to public policy and to promote the value and use of such research.

Sexting and Young People: Perceptions, Practices, Policy and Law

Funding from CRC: $55,812
Funding from the NSW Commission for Children and Young People: $5,000
Funding from The University of Sydney Faculty of Law: $10,000
Total funding: $70,812

This project is an interdisciplinary and multi-methods investigation of ‘sexting’ by young people. The principal researchers on the project are Dr Murray Lee, Assoc. Prof. Thomas Crofts, Dr Alyce McGovern (UNSW), Dr Michael Salter (UWS) and Dr Sanja Milivojevic (UNSW). Three research aims of the project link to specific methods:

1. A quantitative online survey and qualitative interviews will be used to understand the perceptions and practices of young people in regard to ‘sexting’:

2. A media and policy analysis will evaluate broader community perceptions about young people and ‘sexting’;

3. A legal analysis will review the legal frameworks in relation to such behaviours.

The project will allow us understand how young people perceive and practice ‘sexting’ and to assess the appropriateness of existing law and policy in this area.


AusAID's Australian Leadership Award Fellowships (ALAF) program

The Institute is pleased to announce that the following project has received funding under Round 11 of AusAID's Australian Leadership Award Fellowships (ALAF) program. The ALAFs are part of AusAID's Development Awards program providing short-term professional development for senior and mid-range government officials in developing countries. They aim to provide enhanced leadership, knowledge and training skills, and are an important part of the Australian Government's efforts to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.

Prosecution capacity building in West Africa (Institute of Criminology)

Funding: $195,877

This program, developed by Louisa Di Bartolomeo, Associate Professor Gail Mason and Adjunct Professor Nicholas Cowdery, is designed to improve capacity and strengthen general and specialist prosecution skills among mid-level prosecutors in West Africa. The Fellows will be instructed in relation to best practice and practical skills in the prosecution of domestic and transnational crimes and in liaising and making use of networks on a regional basis. The three week program includes a training course delivered by experts addressing foundational skills (including prosecutor guidelines and disclosure), national issues (including corruption) and transnational issues (including mutual legal assistance). Fellows will also gain practical experience from work placements, with two short professional attachments at relevant Australian agencies. The program focuses on leadership in "training the trainer" to improve the capacity and effectiveness in the public sector by building human resources critical to Africa's longer term development. Fellows will lead discussions and give presentations on key issues regarding prosecution and develop a work plan to implement upon their return to West Africa, sharing the knowledge learned to strengthen capacity within their organisations through structured or informal training, mentoring and leadership. The Institute of Criminology will support an ongoing mentorship scheme to support the Fellows and access further opportunities for development, establishing long term linkages following completion of the program.

The Fellows are from: Ghana, Cameron, The Gambia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone

The Faculty is strongly committed to the field of law and international development through research projects, postgraduate programs and participation in aid-funded research and executive training programs, such as the ALAFs. The Faculty has had a number of law and international development projects, either alone or jointly with the University's Graduate School of Government funded, by AusAID under the ALAF program over the last five years. For further information click here.


Design & Crime – Conference and Exhibition, December 12-13, 2012

The Institute of Criminology is proud to announce its support of the Design & Crime Conference and Exhibition being held by the Designing Out Crime research centre at the University of Technology Sydney. The conference will bring together designers, criminologists, practitioners and government agencies from NSW and around the world, and will explore how design and criminology tackle current, complex crime issues. Internationals including Prof Marcus Felson, Prof Kees Dorst, Prof Lorraine Gamman, Prof Paul Ekblom, Mr Adam Thorpe, Prof Gerard Reinmuth, Prof Garry Glazebrook and more will keynote and lead a diverse range of topic streams.

The first call for abstracts is now open. See www.designandcrime.com for more details.


Victorian Parliamentary Committee on Drugs and Crime

Evidence given by Adjunct Professor Duncan Chappell and Institute of Criminology Deputy Director Garner Clancey to the Victorian Parliamentary Committee on Drugs and Crime has been mentioned in the reports of the Inquiry into Violence and Security Arrangements in Victorian Hospitals and the Inquiry into Locally Based Approaches to Community Safety and Crime Prevention, which were recently tabled in the Victorian Parliament.

To read the report on the Inquiry into Violence and Security Arrangements in Victorian Hospitals click here.

To read the report on the Inquiry into Locally Based Approaches to Community Safety and Crime Prevention click here.


Dr Arlie Loughnan in the media

Dr Arlie Loughnan had an opinion piece published online in The Herald Sun on 28 June in which she discussed ‘madness’ and crime .

"The topic of ‘madness’ and crime conjures up emotive images of rare and untreatable mental disorders and ‘crazed’ individuals committing apparently motiveless and perhaps violent offences.

But the reality on the ground is much more prosaic than that: mental incapacity is a technical area of criminal law, and, with the exception of intoxication by alcohol or drugs, accused individuals with mental incapacities – whether caused by mental disorder, cognitive impairment or brain injury – do not form a large part of the caseload of the criminal courts."

To read the article click here.


Associate Professor Thomas Crofts in the media

Assoicate Professor Thomas Crofts had an opinion piece published online in The Conversation on 15 May in which he discussed the age of criminal responsibility.

"The age of criminal responsibility acts as the gateway to the criminal justice system – under a certain age you are kept out.

Most jurisdictions have this age barrier because it’s widely understood children need sheltering from the criminal law consequences of their behaviour until they are developed enough to understand whether their behaviour is wrong.

But what age is the right age? And how do legal systems deal with this difficult question?"

To read the article click here.


Associate Professor Gail Mason in the media

Associate Professor Gail Mason says the Prime Minister and other federal politicians studiously avoided references to race during the Indian student crisis of 2009.

In an article in today's The Australian, based on her paper published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Associate Professor Mason suggests both Julia Gillard and former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd preferred not to mention racism because it would have seemed defensive.

"They seemed more comfortable saying we have a crime problem rather than saying we have a race problem," she says.

Associate Professor Mason contrasts this approach with former Prime Minister, John Howard's direct denial of racism after the 2005 Cronulla riots.
"It may be that one of the political lessons of the Cronulla riots is an appreciation that literal denials of racism are largely unpersuasive," she writes.

Her paper, on the political response to international coverage of assaults on Indian students, acknowledges the argument these crimes were opportunistic - Indian students often worked in late-night convenience stores, for example - but says there is evidence suggesting an overlapping racist element in some cases.

She recalls media criticism of the then Victorian premier John Brumby for not always being willing to acknowledge the racial dimension but says the response of federal MPs attracted less scrutiny.

"This is remarkable because the present study found that it was rare for federal parliamentarians from the two major parties to acknowledge any racial element to the victimisation in the 12-month period following the May 2009 demonstration," she writes.

View the entire article - MPs avoided race element of attacks on Indian students online here.


Justice Reinvestment Campaign for Aboriginal Young People

The Institute of Criminology was pleased to support and be represented at the launch of the Justice Reinvestment Campaign for Aboriginal Young People at Government House on 2 May 2012. The Justice Reinvestment for Aboriginal Young People Campaign is about addressing the shameful overrepresentation of Aboriginal young people in custody in NSW. The Campaign seeks to help create alternative pathways for Aboriginal young people who may otherwise be destined to life-long offending, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide. Details about this important Campsign can be found at http://justicereinvestmentnow.net.au.


Training for Staying Home Leaving Violence Workers

The Institute of Criminology was pleased to host 15 Staying Home Leaving Violence workers from across NSW on Tuesday 1 May 2012. The training provided by the Institute focused on residential security and will inform work with domestic violence victims.


Manifest Madness: Mental Incapacity in the Criminal Law by Arlie Loughnan

Senior Lecturer and Institute of Criminology member Dr Arlie Loughnan’s book Manifest Madness: Mental Incapacity in the Criminal Law has just been published by Oxford University Press.

The book concerns the intersection of ‘madness’ and crime, the area the Dr Loughnan labels the mental incapacity terrain. Understanding mental incapacity in criminal law is notoriously difficult; it involves tracing overlapping and interlocking legal doctrines, current and past practices of evidence and proof, and also medical and social understandings of mental illness and incapacity. With its focus on the complex interaction of legal doctrines and practices relating to mental incapacity and knowledge – both expert and non-expert – of it, this book offers a fresh perspective on this topic. Bringing together previously disparate discussions on mental incapacity from law, psychology, and philosophy, this book provides a close study of this terrain of criminal law, analysing the development of mental incapacity doctrines through historical cases to the modern era. It maps the shifting boundaries around abnormality as constructed in law, arguing that the mental incapacity terrain has a distinct character - ‘manifest madness’.

The Institute of Criminology and Sydney Law School are hosting the Australian launch of the book on Tuesday 29 May 2012, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Sydney Law School. The book will be launched by Emeritus Professor Hilary Astor, Commissioner, NSW Law Reform Commission. Professor Gillian Triggs, Dean of the Faculty, will introduce the speaker. For further information please contact the Institute of Criminology.

The Institute congratulates Dr Loughnan.


Professor Pat O'Malley visiting Queen's University, Belfast

Professor Pat O'Malley will be a Visiting Fellow at the School of Law, Queen's University, Belfast in May 2012.

During his visit he will give the Institute of of Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Law, Queen’s University 2012 Annual Lecture on ‘The Contradictions of Telemetric Policing’ on 30 May.

For further information on the lecture please click here.

He will also present at The British Society of Criminology, Northern Ireland Branch and Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast ‘Risk, Crime and Security’ Symposium on 31 May.

For further information on the symposium please click here.


Dr Murray Lee at Newcastle University and Belvoir St Theatre Forum

Dr Murray Lee was occasional speaker at the ceremony for attainment for the Enabling programs at Newcastle University as part of the University’s graduation ceremonies on Friday 13 April. Dr Lee is a graduate of this program and felt is was an honour to be asked to return to tell the story of my academic journey.

For further details please click here.

Also, Dr Lee spoke at the Belvoir St Theatre Sunday Forum Every Breath - A Culture of Fear & it's Impact on Art on 22 April on the culture of fear and it’s psychological and commercial impact on the way we live, and it’s reflection in contemporary art.

For further details please click here.


Garner Clancey in the media

Garner Clancey had an opinion piece published in The Newcastle Herald on 19 April in which he discussed the recently released statistics on key property offences and home security.

To read the interview click here.


Dr Rebecca Scott Bray in the media

Dr Rebecca Scott Bray had an opinion piece published online in The Drum on 18 April in which she discussed police-related deaths, such as the taser-related death of Brazilian student Roberto Laudisio Curti, and the questions they raise about independent and transparent death investigation.

To read the interview click here.


Teaching Criminology, Crime and Criminal Justice workshop a success

This workshop explored innovative teaching and learning methods being applied/or applicable to criminology, criminal justice and related fields. The following will speakers provided workshop participants with interesting insights into different teaching methods:

Alan Moran (Director, Academic Studies, Brush Farm Academy, Corrective Services NSW)

Professor John Alford (Professor of Public Sector Management, Australia and New Zealand School of Government)

Dr Anthony Billingsley (International Relations, UNSW)

Mike Bogle (Educational Technologist, UNSW)

Dr Rohan Lulham (Design out Crime Research Centre, UTS)

This workshop was funded and co-hosted with the University of NSW. The Sydney Institute of Criminology is very grateful to Dr Alyce McGovern (UNSW), the presenters and participants for making this workshop such a success.


Drugs, crime and brief interventions for young offenders workshop a success

The Sydney Institute of Criminology held the workshop Drugs, crime and brief interventions for young offenders on 11 April 2012 with almost 30 people in attendance. The workshop included discussion of drug use of young people, available intervention options, and how those who come into contact with young offenders who use drugs may be able to provide helpful evidence-informed and brief interventions.

Feedback from the participants suggested that the session was a success. The following are just some of the results from the 23 participant evaluations completed on the day:

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – ‘I enjoyed the training’

96% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – ‘The training was well organised’

87% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – ‘I am confident that I can apply aspects of the training in my work’ (all other responses were neutral)

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – ‘I would recommend the training to others’

Participants were asked if they had any further comments to add. The following are some of the comments provided:

'Good presentation’;

'John was very clear and considerate of everyone in the room;

'Thank you – very informative and I enjoyed the day’;

'The power packed delivery was excellent – value for money’;

'Very engaging and knowledgeable presenter who is coming from a ‘real’ perspective. Thank you';

'Made my knowledge of motivational interviewing more practical; less drug education but more examples of conversations/methods';

'John was lovely and entertaining as well as informative and knowledgeable'.

Please contact the Institute if you would like further information about the Drugs, crime and brief interventions for young offenders workshop session developed by the Institute.


Institute of Criminology collaborates with Huddersfield University

The Sydney Institute of Criminology is collaborating with the Applied Criminology Centre (ACC) at the University of Huddersfield.

Garner Clancey from the Institute of Criminology says it hopes to strengthen relations with colleagues at the University of Huddersfield.

"Their work on crime prevention through environmental design is of interest to many people in Australia and is particularly relevant to some research being undertaken at the Institute," he says.

"The ongoing possibilities for collaboration are very exciting.

"We look forward to trialling video conferencing guest lectures and to exploring joint research opportunities."

In the coming weeks, Leanne Monchuk- a researcher with the Applied Criminology Centre (ACC) at the University of Huddersfield- is scheduled to take part soon in a live, interactive teaching session withpostgraduate criminology students at Sydney Law School.

The Institute is also looking to prepare a joint proposal with the ACC for a consultancy project which will review of a public space CCTV system.

Further information - The Down Under dimension - The University of Huddersfield.


Dr Greg Martin in the media

Dr Greg Martin was interviewed on ABC Radio National's Drive program on the right to protest on Wednesday 21 March.

To listen to the interview click here.


Garner Clancey in the media

Garner Clancey was interviewed on Channel 10's news program on crime prediction on Friday 10 February. He was also interviewed by the SMH regarding statistics on offending by 18-year-old males, who are more likely to commit a crime than people of any other age or gender

To read the article click here.


Comparative CPTED Conference a great success

The Sydney Institute of Criminology hosted a one-day Comparative CPTED Conference on 24 January 2012. This conference brought together academics and practitioners from numerous jurisdictions (England, New Zealand, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and NSW) to explore the different approaches to designing out crime.

The conference proved to be a great success. Close to 90 people attended and contributed to the discussions. Some feedback from conference delegates included the following:

"Very enjoyable, well structured and interesting – my compliments to all staff on the organisation of it."

"Just wanted to say well done on the conference. I think that it was one of the best days I've been to at the Institute. I found the speakers really interesting and very relevant. I brought a landscape architect from work and today she told me her new motto is design out crime."

"While I'm not in a purely CPTED focussed role, it was so very informative and interesting for me to widen my knowledge of the array of work carried out in the space."

Audio recordings and presentations of from some of the conference sessions are now available online.


Dr Murray Lee in the media

The more professional the police media strategy, the easier it is to have its message accepted by a compliant media trying to cope with fewer journalists, according to Institute co-director Dr Murray Lee.

Dr Lee's paper, Cop[ying] It Sweet, co-authored with Alyce McGovern, a criminology lecturer at the University of NSW, is referred to a special Sydney Morning Herald feature article on Police and the media, with issues such as Social Media and Reality TV examined.

In the paper, they write that in relation to Reality TV, the danger in this climate, they wrote, was the police had more capacity to control information and could ''frame a great percentage of narratives about law and order and policing''.

View the entire article - Reality TV the new frontline for police - here.


Commonwealth Secretariat East Africa Prosecution and Police Training Programme

In June 2011 the Institute hosted the East Africa Prosecution and Police Training Programme for the Secretariat to the Commonwealth Heads of Government (ComSec). Senior prosecutors and police from five East African nations (Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mauritius and Seychelles) took part in web-based training modules and travelled to intensive workshops held at the Institute, Sydney Law School. The programme addressed capacity-building of police and prosecutors from the participating nations, focusing on the themes of transnational and international crime. Participants were instructed by international experts in relation to best practice and practical skills, and had the opportunity to network with their regional counterparts. The training programme was completed with an outing to the NSW Police Academy in Goulburn which exposed participants to the education and training functions of the NSW police force and visits to NSW Criminal Justice System agencies.


Congratulations to Professor Pat O'Malley on the 2010 Radzinowicz Prize

The Institute congratulates Professor Pat O'Malley for being awarded the 2010 Radzinowicz Prize by the editors of the British Journal of Criminology for his article 'Simulated Justice: Risk, Money and Telemetric Policing', 50 (5) 795-807.

The Radzinowicz Prize is awarded annually for the BJC article from the latest volume which, in the opinion of the Editor in Chief and Editors, has made the greatest contribution to the development of criminology.


News Archive 2011 and 2010


‘Measuring Access to Justice’

Dr Rita Shackel

DO YOU WORK WITH VICTIMS OF CRIME OR HAVE YOU BEEN DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY CRIME?

We are recruiting participants for a research study titled ‘Measuring Access to Justice’ (MA2J) which focuses on victims’ experiences with criminal processes.

Dr Rita Shackel from the University of Sydney Law School is working collaboratively with Tilburg University (Netherlands) and the International Institute of Victimology (INTERVICT) on the MA2J study. This research aims to test the validity of a measuring tool (survey) specifically developed to assess victims’ experiences with the criminal justice process in a comprehensive and systematic way.

If you are interested in completing the survey, or finding out more about the study or perhaps may be able to assist with the distribution of the MA2J survey please either:

Click here and complete and directly submit the survey online;

Click here and complete the survey online and email or print a hard copy to send back to the researchers (further instructions are included online);

Contact Rita Shackel via email at or by phone on 02 9351 0368 or email Noleen Grogan at .


Dr Greg Martin in the media

Dr Greg Martin

Institute of Criminology member Dr Greg Martin has published an opinion piece titled, 'Why the UK riots have more to do with austerity than criminality', at ON LINE opinion.

"The London riots need to be seen in the context of consumer culture and the austerity measures and cannot be blamed simply on bad kids and irresponsible parents."

Read the full article online here.

Dr Martin was also recently interviewed about the UK riots on the Terri Begley morning show at ABC Brisbane.


Garner Clancey in the media

Garner Clancey

Adjunct Lecturer Garner Clancey was interviewed on ABC Radio National's ByDesign about ways of reducing crime through environmental design.

To listen to the full interview click here.


The Institute welcomes Dr Sabine Selchow

The Institute welcomes visiting academic Dr Sabine Selchow. Dr Selchow is a Fellow in the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit in the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). From June 2011, she is part of the international research team of the 5-year-project entitled 'Security in Transition: An Interdisciplinary Investigation of the Security Gap'. The project sets out to develop an innovative and interdisciplinary framework to grasp global insecurities. It is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) (grant holder: Professor Mary Kaldor). Dr Selchow is in charge of the work package that focuses on discourses of insecurity.


Congratulations to Associate Professor Thomas Crofts on the ANZSOC Adam Sutton Crime Prevention Award 2011

Associate Professor Thomas Crofts

The Institute congratulates Associate Professor Thomas Crofts for being awarded the ANZSOC Adam Sutton Crime Prevention Award 2011 by for his article 'The Law and (Anti-Social Behaviour) Order Campaign in Western Australia’, published in Current Issues in Criminal Justice, Volume 22 Number 3, March 2011.

The Adam Sutton Crime Prevention Award is awarded each year to an individual who, in the opinion of the judges, has written the best publication or report in the area of crime prevention. Submissions are judged according to the extent to which they demonstrate pragmatic and workable solutions to Australasian crime problems, that reflect the values of a tolerant and inclusive society, and which are founded in theory and research on crime prevention.

The Selection Committee noted that all the submissions were of a high standard, but that they unanimously felt that Dr Croft's paper was worthy of the Award. The Committee was impressed with his comprehensive analysis of the problems associated with Prohibited Behaviour Orders and were drawn to his engagement with contemporary crime policy in Western Australia and the need for policies proposed within Australia to be cognizant of how well initiatives have fared in other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom. The article was exemplary in the way in which it focused on the issues at hand and mounted a critique in a thoughtful and well-substantiated manner. The article also fitted particularly well the criterion of the Award that entrants address crime prevention in a manner that takes seriously the need for measures to be consistent with the values of a tolerant and inclusive society.


Dr Arlie Loughnan, Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics

Dr Arlie Loughnan

Dr Arlie Loughnan held a Visiting Fellowship at the London School of Economics August - November 2010. As part of her sabbatical, Arlie was based in the Law Dept. at LSE. During this time, Arlie was working on her monograph on mental incapacity in criminal law (forthcoming, Oxford University Press). While a Visitor at LSE, Arlie gave papers in the staff seminars at the University of Cork, City University, the University of Glasgow and Warwick University. Arlie also presented her research on infanticide to medical staff of the Bracton Trust, a secure psychiatric facility that is a part of the NHS. Having returned to Australia, Arlie is continuing her research on mental incapacity in criminal law, criminal law theory and criminal procedure.


Dr Murray Lee in the media

Dr Murray Lee

Institute of Criminology co-director Dr Murray Lee was interviewed by 7:30 Victoria for ABC TV commenting on the crisis in Victoria Police. The story aired on Friday 10th June.

He was also recently interviewed today for a story in the Canberra Times on Police use of social media - read the full article online here.


NSWLRC Report into Complicity

Dr Arlie Loughnan was a member of the academic advisory panel for the NSWLRC Report into Complicity (Report 129).

"This Report reviews the principles relating to complicity by which a person (a secondary offender) may be found liable for offences committed by another (the primary offender). In NSW, these principles are currently governed by the common law. The principles considered include those that attach secondary or derivative liability to accessories before the fact, principals in the second degree, parties to a joint criminal enterprise, and parties to an extended joint criminal enterprise.

Also included in this review are the related inchoate offences of conspiracy and incitement which can fix primary liability on people for actions which, if carried to completion, would potentially involve them in some of the forms of secondary liability. The offence of being an accessory after the fact is also considered, as it involves assistance offered to the primary offender after the commission of a crime. Finally, constructive (or felony) murder under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) is also considered, in so far as it can attach secondary liability to a person for a killing committed by another.

The inconsistent doctrinal bases for these various heads of liability, and the gaps or uncertainties in the common law, have left the law in an unsatisfactory state. In order to deal with these problems, the Commission recommends a “codification” of the relevant principles to supersede those that currently exist at common law."


View the entire report here.


Associate Professor Gail Mason's Keynote address to the inaugural South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology international conference

Associate Professor Gail Mason gave a Keynote address to the inaugural South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology (SASCV) international conference in Jaipur, India 15-17 January 2011.

The title of Assoc Prof Mason’s paper was Denying the Obvious: Racist Violence and Indian Students in Australia. It discussed the results of a qualitative study of responses by Australia’s political leaders to the claim that Indian nationals studying in Australia are the victims of racially motivated crime and violence. Drawing upon a sample of press releases, parliamentary hansard, and media interviews compiled over a 12 month period, Assoc Prof Mason argued that Australian federal parliamentarians have refused to acknowledge that some of the racism reported by Indian students in Australia is motivated or aggravated by racism. Instead, they have engaged in a series of strategies that collectively amount to a form of denial, including: avoidance of the language of racism; positive self-presentation through nationalist rhetoric; and deflection of the problem away from racism and onto urban crime. Such denial fails to recognise the full harm of the victimisation to the Indian student community in Australia and damages Australia’s reputation internationally.


SafeGrowth and City Crime Workshop a Great Success

The Institute hosted a one-day workshop on 24 January 2011 focusing on crime in cities. This conference, SafeGrowth and City Crime - Co-Design, Eco-Parks, Funky Laneways and Fixing Deadzones, was facilitated by Greg Saville (North America) and Wendy Sarkissian (Australia) and considered such diverse issues as homelessness, graffiti, the night time economy, activation of laneways and public art. Comments from some of the 70 participants demonstrated the success of the workshop:

The Safegrowth event was amazing, and it was great to meet a few more people in the industry.

The mix of group discussion, practical application and presentations was well balanced. The presenters were well thought out and the topics thought provoking.

I found it really interesting because, as a policy person, I rarely get to hear the theory and practice stuff together.


Crime maps, policing and fear: Dr Murray Lee in the media

Dr Murray Lee discussed the pros and cons of the Home Office's new crime mapping website in an opinion piece in 'The Guardian'.

"'Research into fear of crime has constantly indicated that the link between crime fear and recorded levels of crime is spurious. Even when recorded crime rates fall a significant percentage of the public assume crime is on the increase. Indeed, the release of such data may have the unintended consequence of increasing fear of crime as more attention is drawn to crime in the neighbourhood. People almost always believe crime is worse "elsewhere" than their own neighbourhood. There is a chance this initiative might bring the crime problem back home in the public imagination.''

View the entire article here.


Asia-Pacific Crime Prevention Forum

Adjunct Lecturer Garner Clancey was recently invited to deliver a presentation to the Asia-Pacific Crime Prevention Forum held in Adelaide between 23 and 26 January 2011. The Forum, organised by the Australian Crime Prevention Council, provided a wonderful opportunity to learn about crime prevention programs and initiatives across the region. Garner provided an overview of some promising programs and critical factors shaping crime prevention practice in Australia.

View his paper here at the Crime Prevention Resources collection of the Sydney eScholarship Repository.


Unfitness to Plead: Dr Arlie Loughnan responds to UK Law Commission Consulatation Paper

Dr Arlie Loughnan has prepared a response to the UK Law Commission's Consultation Paper on unfitness to plead (No. 197). In her response, Dr Loughnan endorsed the Commission's proposal to reform the law on unfitness to plead and to move it in the direction of the civil law on competency. Dr Loughnan said, 'The criminal law on unfitness to plead fails provide a protection for mentally impaired defendants because it sets too low a threshold for fitness.'

According to Dr Loughnan, 'Reform in the direction of the civil law, which employs a broader and more holistic test for decision-making competency, would ensure the unfitness to plead provision better served the interests of the individual and the criminal justice system.'


Congratulations to Institute Director Gail Mason on ARC grant success

Congratulations to Institute Director Gail Mason for her success in the most recent round of ARC grants. Gail, with Leslie Moran from Birkbeck College, has been awarded $164,338 for her project “Hate Crime Laws and Justice”. She is also an investigator on a Linkage Project headed by Monash University titled “Targeted Crime: policing and social inclusion”. $233,000 has been awarded to the team who will partner with Victoria Police to look at the policing of incidents and crimes motivated by bias, prejudice or hatred towards members of particular groups, communities and individuals.


Community Safety, Crime Prevention and Public Space presentation a success

Garner Clancey (Adjunct Lecturer, Sydney Institute of Criminology) was invited to deliver a presentation on Community Safety, Crime Prevention and Public Space to the Liverpool City Council ‘Making a Difference for Tomorrow – Liverpool Community’ Conference held on 27 and 28 October 2010. During the presentation, Garner discussed societal changes impacting upon the use and regulation of public space and introduced different models of preventing crime. The presentation was well received, with the following comments provided by participants who regarded the presentation the highlight session of the conference:

The Crime Prevention workshop addressed issues I was interested in as part of my work & personally.

Community Safety & Crime Prevention was very interesting for me. I learnt a few things in this session e.g. concept of public space and strategy of crime prevention.

Please contact us if you would like further information about the Crime Prevention Training developed by the Institute.


Introduction to Crime Prevention Course

The Institute ran an Introduction to Crime Prevention Course on 20 October 2010. Thirteen participants from various agencies participated in this training which covered the following topics:

Reasons not to solely rely on the criminal justice system to prevent crime

Local crime statistics and crime data analysis

A crime problem-solving model

Models of crime prevention and associated theories

Simple methods of evaluating crime prevention initiatives

The following is some of the information gleaned from the completed evaluation forms:

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – I enjoyed the training

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – The training was well organised

92% strong agreed or agreed with the statement – I am confident that I can apply aspects of the training in my work

100% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement – I would recommend the training to others involved in crime prevention work

Garner Clancey, facilitator of the training and Adjunct Lecturer with the Institute, was pleased with these outcomes and is willing to take this training to interested organisations. Garner will also be responsible for facilitating the Crime Prevention Master Class on 24 November 2010.


Sydney Law School’s Criminology Program and Criminology Vocational Guide

Sydney Law School’s Criminology Program is the most established of its kind in Australia. The benefit of Sydney’s long history in the field of teaching and researching Criminology is combined with the innovation of cutting edge and contemporary courses, taught side-by-side with the fundamentals of Criminology. Programs are designed to give access to academic engagement at the highest standards coupled with criminal justice policy and practice developments.

To download information on the Criminology Program at Sydney Law School click here.

There is no single answer to the frequently asked question, what does a criminologist do?. Students and potential students of criminology rightly want to know where they might get a job and what career paths exist for criminologists. This document provides some insights into what criminologists do and suggests some potential employment opportunities and career paths open to criminologists.

To download the Sydney Institute of Criminology's Short Vocational Guide on Criminology click here.


Biting the Hand that Feeds You: Garner Clancey on Crime Risk Assessment Reports and CPTED

Adjunct Lecturer Garner Clancey has a short piece in the 'International CPTED Association Newsletter'.

"'Having been a crime prevention consultant for over eight years, I am acutely aware of the pressures on consultants to devise the right recommendations. What is the role of CPTED participants with their clients in their pursuit of objectivity? Do crime risk assessment reports reflect more of the client's desires than the reality of negative CPTED results?.''

View the entire article here.


Border Crimes: Australia's ‘War’ on Illicit Migrants recognised as "an outstanding work of scholarship"

Border Crimes: Australia's ‘War’ on Illicit Migrants by Michael Grewcock, recently published in the Sydney Institute of Criminology's book series, has received a glowing review by Penny Green in the lastest issue of the British Journal of Criminology.

"This is a beautifully written book. The chapters follow seamlessly to provide a coherent depiction of the politics of exclusion in Australia's history from its infamous ‘White Australia’ policy to its embrace of multiculturalism. Importantly, Grewcock tackles each of the central debates informing our knowledge of asylum and people-smuggling practice (usually through well publicized border policing and internal criminal justice initiatives). In Chapter 3, Australia's contemporary policy towards asylum and immigration is presented as reflecting the country's long history of legitimizing border restrictions. Here, he rigorously challenges the assumptions that commonly obscure accurate representation of the asylum and refugee process with narrative and empirical accounts and an exacting investigation of policy developments. The historical analysis employed makes vividly clear that the legal and policy antecedents that shaped the country's migration control regime have been systematically underpinned by ideologies of exclusion that were crudely but successfully employed in justification...

"While its focus is targeted on Australia, Border Crimes has a much broader global resonance. The book explores the range of issues central to understanding the development of contemporary Western policy in relation to asylum seekers and explains the growth in the reliance on criminal justice strategies to police this policy. Grewcock's is a rigorous and scholarly treatment of a crucially important set of phenomena. In tackling Australia's response to unauthorized migration, the book forces us to consider the international issues that underpin not only this form of state deviance, but also the patterns of dehumanization, state violence, exclusion and victim demonization that characterize so many other forms of state criminality. Border Crimes is original in the detailed historical context provided, the breadth and sophistication of its analysis, and the richness of the data presented. It is an outstanding work of scholarship."


View the entire review here.

Order the book here.


The hazards of police-speak: Dr Murray Lee in the media

Dr Murray Lee comments were included in a 'The Sydney Morning Herald' article on the police force's media unit.

"'The sensational reporting that takes place in the tabloid media serves to increase public anxiety. In fact most of the public believe crime rates to be much higher than they are … If indeed police are trying to play down some crime it's probably a response to media sensationalism as much as anything else.''

View the entire article here.


Hate crimes not reported: Associate Professor Gail Mason in the media

Associate Professor Gail Mason was interviewed in the 'Townsville Bulletin' regarding hate crimes, in association with a public lecture she gave at James Cook University titled Hate Crime Laws: Does Queensland Need Them?.

Prof Mason says Queensland should proceed with caution if lobbying continues for race-hate laws in Queensland. There had been relatively few cases in Western Australia, the Northern Territory or NSW because of difficulties in policing and prosecution. "If a neo-Nazi goes and decides to petrol bomb a synagogue, that's a hate crime," she said. "It's quite easy for a law to identify that situation. But what about someone who selects certain kinds of victims to assault and rob - which is part of what's happening with the Indian students. Are they targeted because they are hated or for some other reason?" She argues that sanctions against hate-crimes reflect public abhorrence of racial, religious or anti-gay violence. The existing laws were more symbolic than practical, in defining unacceptable behaviour. Her experiece as an adviser to the NSW police force suggested officers would need training and good leadership to make any future Queensland legislation work. "New laws are not always the best answer," she said.
Education and life experience could help overcome knee-jerk prejudices and fear.


Dr Rita Shackel collaborating in international access to justice project

Dr Rita Shackel is collaborating with the Tilburg Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems (TISCO) and the International Institute of Victimology Tilburg (INTERVICT) in undertaking comparative research on access to justice. This research focuses on the experiences of victims of crime in Australia adding to the project’s international perspective, which also includes Bulgaria, the United States, the Netherlands and aims to offer lessons from each jurisdiction.


Youth Crime Prevention Training and Planning

The Sydney Institute of Criminology piloted a youth crime prevention training and planning session with 15 workers from the Blue Mountains on Wednesday 31 March 2010. This session included discussion of local crime trends, identification of priority crimes and their causes, and inter-agency deliberation on the best ways to tackle these issues. Through the course of this session, a plan was developed to respond to key issues, with appropriate agencies taking responsibility for various tasks.

Feedback from the participants suggested that the session was a success. The following are just some of the results from the 11 participant evaluations completed on the day:

100% (11/11) strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, ‘I enjoyed the training’;

91% (10/11) strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, ‘The training was well organised’;

91% (10/11) strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, ‘I would recommend the training to others’;

91% (10/11) strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, ‘It was beneficial to work with the group to develop youth crime prevention strategies’.

Participants were asked if they had any further comments to add. The following are some of the comments provided:

'Well done. Excellent day’;

'A fantastic opportunity to have all relevant services working together’;

'Excellent. More of it’;

'All very positive. Focus on planning as opposed to just training is ideal’.

Please contact the Institute if you would like further information about the Youth Crime Prevention Training/Planning session developed by the Institute.


Professor Pat O'Malley's book The Currency of Justice wins honourable mention

Professor Pat O'Malley's book The Currency of Justice: Fines and Damages in Consumer Societies has won an honourable mention in the American Law and Society Association’s 2009 Herbert Jacobs Book Award. The prize is intended to recognize new, outstanding work in law and society scholarship.


The Sydney Institute of Criminology's Highlights of 2009

The Sydney Institute of Criminology has released a document outlining some of its highlights of 2009 regarding public education, research and publications, and Institute staff.

Sydney Institute of Criminology – Highlights of 2009


Adjunct Professor Duncan Chappell at the UN Crime Congress in Salvador

Duncan Chappell (right) at UN Crime Congress with Stefano Manacorda

Adjunct Professor Duncan Chappell attended the 12th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Salvador as a Board member and member of the delegation of ISPAC - the International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council of the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Program. He also acted as a moderator and panelist on a Congress ancillary meeting sponsored by ISPAC titled 'Protecting Cultural Property: The State of the Art'. As a panelist, Duncan's contribution examined the nature and extent of the organised market in looted antiquities. This issue is to be a main focus of the forthcoming UN Crime Commission meeting in Vienna in May when it is anticipated that a range of measures will be proposed to strengthen the international effort to curb the market for plundered antiquities. Duncan is also co-editing a book with a colleague, Professor Stefano Manacorda from the University of Paris, to be published by Springer late this year, which deals with these issues.

Duncan is pictured (right) with Professor Stefano Manacorda outside the Congress.


Wobbly Underbelly hides criminal truth: Professor Mark Findlay in the media

Professor Mark Findlay

Professor Mark Findlay had an opinion piece published in 'The Sydney Morning Herald' on misinformation on organised crime.

"How is it that the Underbelly image of organised crime has such purchase? There is no point in criminologists blaming the media. The producers in pre-production for the second series, when criticised about distortion and unreality, simply retorted: ''Why spoil a good story with facts?...Distortions about crime are not new. Domestic violence - rather than rape or homicide - is the true face of crime epidemics in Australia. Crime business is usually orderly, largely non-violent, and mirrors many standard commercial environments. In its mundane and recurrent form, it does not make good Sunday night tele. Murders of organised crime figures like Carl Williams are the exception, even in overcrowded prisons where prestige is won and safety ensured through a ''dog-eat-dog'' trade in violence and stand-over measures."

View the entire article here.


Over 220 Aussies jailed in foreign prisons: Associate Professor Gail Mason in the media

Associate Professor Gail Mason was interviewed regarding the number of Australians in jail overseas.

Gail noted that people are subject to the laws of the country that they are in and suggested that it may be the case that Australians engage in higher risk behaviour when travelling.

View the entire article here.


Beyond Reasonable Probability, DNA evidence in the dock: Dr Rita Shackel in the media

Dr Rita Shackel was interviewed by 2ser's law show ‘Radio Atticus’ on Monday 12th of April regarding the impact of DNA evidence in the courtroom.

Rita highlighted the lack of in-depth understanding about DNA evidence across the legal profession and how this issue is compounded by jurors’ limited comprehension of DNA evidence presented to them in court. She emphasised that DNA evidence is about statistical probabilities and “when there is a positive result…there’s a misunderstanding that that actually equates to an exact match”.

Listen to the interview here.


Dr Arlie Loughnan wins Faculty of Law Teaching prize

Dr Arlie Loughnan, a member of the Institute staff, has been awarded the Faculty of Law’s Award for Excellence in Teaching 2010.

Arlie has taught a range of courses in criminal law, criminal procedure and criminal law theory since she joined the Faculty in 2007.

In 2009, Arlie taught two undergraduate compulsory units, developed and taught for the first time a new highly specialised postgraduate unit, and developed a new advanced undergraduate elective unit that is being taught for the first time this year.

Arlie has thus demonstrated flexibility in adjusting her teaching to accommodate the particular student population, whether it be undergraduate students completely new to the subject matter or highly experienced postgraduate students looking for more advanced study in a specialised area.

The Institute congratulates Arlie on her well-deserved achievement.