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Key decisions

  • Kabir v R [2020] NSWCCA 139
  • Higgins v R [2020] NSWCCA 149

Kabir v R [2020] NSWCCA 139

Commonwealth sentencing schedules – whether the offender needs to be personally asked

The Court of Criminal Appeal (‘CCA’) has found that requiring an offender to verbally answer whether they want offences taken into account on a s 16BA schedule would be a triumph of form over substance; it should usually be enough in Commonwealth matters (at least) if their lawyer confirms the offender’s wishes.

The applicant was a registered tax agent. As a result of being a franchisee in a network offering taxation and accountancy services, he had access to a client database, and he got financial information from that database to lodge false tax returns and divert the money to himself. Relevantly for this summary, he was also charged for his conduct in having another man open bank accounts, organising for more false tax returns to be diverted to that man, and diverting the correspondence to a PO box opened up in that man’s name. All this latter conduct was taken into account via a schedule pursuant to s 16BA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), which is the Commonwealth equivalent of the Form 1 with which practitioners may be more familiar.

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