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Key developments

  • Provision of court transcripts in criminal matters
  • Electronic conveyancing
  • Proposed housekeeping amendment: State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (‘Codes SEPP’)
  • 2018 Review of the Workers Compensation Scheme
  • NSW Law Reform Commission: Liability of beneficiaries of trusts
  • Cosmetic Health Services Complaints in New South Wales
  • Superannuation death benefits FAQs
  • Review of Payroll Tax Administration
  • Jurisdiction of the District Court
  • Inquiry into the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 (Cth)
  • Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Cross-examination) Bill 2018

Provision of court transcripts in criminal matters

The Criminal Law Committee contributed to a submission to the Attorney General in relation to access to transcripts of criminal hearings and trials in the New South Wales court system.

The Law Society raised concerns about the significant fees privately funded clients must generally pay for transcripts. While the Registrar has a general power to waive all or part of a court fee, in practice this rarely occurs.

The Law Society submitted that when a transcript is already being prepared to assist the Magistrate, Judge, or jury, and is provided to the prosecution, it would increase the efficiency of the court system if all parties had free access to the transcript. We submitted that the principle of equality of arms (that is, the procedural equality of the accused with the prosecution) is a significant element of a fair trial. A defendant receiving a copy of the transcript at no cost is consistent with this principle.

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