The Impact of Coleman V. Power on the Policing, Defence and Sentencing of Public Nuisance Cases in Queensland. by Melbourne University Law Review

Book Review : The Impact of Coleman V. Power on the Policing, Defence and Sentencing of Public Nuisance Cases in Queensland.

By Melbourne University Law Review

  • Publication Date: 2006-04-01
  • Genre: Law

Book Review

[The High Court's decision in Coleman v Power promised to provide the many defendants charged with offensive language, offensive behaviour and public nuisance with a means of contesting their charge. The majority of the Court stated that the purpose of such offences was to maintain public order and to protect the public from harm, and they interpreted the scope of such offences relatively narrowly. Therefore, it was expected that the policing, defence and sentencing of 'offensive' defendants would have changed since Coleman v Power was handed down. To test this assumption, the outcomes of public nuisance cases in Brisbane and Townsville in July 2005 (10 months after Coleman v Power) were compared with those from July 2004 (two months before Coleman v Power). It was found that while more public nuisance defendants were contesting their charge(s), more people were being charged with the offence, that situations leading to a charge did not accord with the standard of seriousness established in Coleman v Power, and that sentencing outcomes were no different. Thus, it appears that Coleman v Power is not being followed at the 'ground level' of policing, defending and sentencing public nuisance cases in Queensland.] I INTRODUCTION

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