Mental Health Legislation Changes

The Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020 (NSW) came into effect on 29 March 2021 and replaced the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 (NSW).

There are a number of changes that this new piece of legislation introduces in relation to the previous act. This new act makes amendments and additions to the previous definitions relating to cognitive impairment and mental illness and/or mental condition, now referred to as a “mental health impairment”.

A mental health impairment is now defined as a “temporary or ongoing disturbance of thought, mood, volition, perception or memory” which “would be regarded as significant for clinical diagnostic purposes” that “impairs the emotional wellbeing, judgment or behaviour of the person.”… Read More

Good behavior driver licence

In NSW a demerit point system applies to traffic offences. Different categories of drivers have differing numbers of points on their licence. For instance, a professional driver has 14 points, unrestricted drivers have 13 points, P2 licence holders have 7 points and drivers on their P1 licence or learner’s licence have 4 points.

The demerit point system works by allocating demerit point penalties for different types of driving offences. If the driver accumulates more demerit points than allowed based on their category of licence, within a three-year period, their licence will automatically be suspended.

The length of a demerit point suspension depends upon the amount of points accumulated in the 3 year period.… Read More

A policeman and a dog walk into a bar….

The phrase above isn’t an introduction to a joke, but rather the exact scenario in Darby v Director of Public Prosecutions [2004] NSWCA 431.

Mr Darby was standing outside a nightclub in Sydney. A plain clothes police officer and his drug detection dog, Rocky, were walking past on their way to enter the club. As Rocky walked past Darby he began sniffing the air and then walked up to and placed his nose on Darby’s pocket. Rocky’s actions in placing his nose on Darby’s pockets, involved him “bunting and ferreting” Darby’s pocket and genital areas. Police subsequently searched Darby and found him to be carrying drugs.… Read More

70’s Rock & Traffic Law

“Life in the fast lane” is the title of one of the Eagles’ biggest hits from the 1970s. Unfortunately however, it is also a turn of phrase that can be used to describe the driving habits of many drivers.
If you have, to quote Meatloaf, been driving “like a bat out of hell” and had your licence suspended, in certain circumstances you are able to appeal a licence suspension made by either Transport for NSW (TfNSW) or the Police. Examples of appellable decisions include:

– TfNSW licence suspensions for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30          but less than 45 kilometres per hour;
– Police on the spot licence suspensions for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 kilometres per hour; and
– TfNSW decisions to suspend P1 or P2 provisional drivers licence for loss of demerit points.… Read More

On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again?

As Willie Nelson famously put it, being on the road is a source of freedom and enjoyment for many people. More than this though, having a licence is crucial for people in rural and regional areas, given the tyranny of distance and lack of public transport alternatives.
Despite the importance of a drivers licence, many people lose it for significant periods of time due to poor behaviour on the roads. Previous legislation in this area meant that any driver who committed three relevant offences within a five year period could be declared a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). The effect of HTO declaration was that the Roads and Maritime Services would impose a further five-year licence disqualification on top of any disqualification imposed by the court.… Read More

Introducing Dan Daley – Solicitor

I have recently joined Everingham Solomons working in the litigation team.
My professional qualifications include graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of New England. I also hold a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice through the College of Law. I have been admitted as a Solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia.
Previous to joining Everingham Solomons, I have worked in the finance and education sectors, as well as in other law firms.
Although I have only recently commenced working at Everingham Solomons, my connection to the firm is strong, having been the recipient of the inaugural Sir Adrian Solomons Memorial Law Bursary in 1998.… Read More