Under the Australian Federal system, just as in the United States, criminal law is primarily a matter for the States, rather than the Commonwealth. Historically, Australian criminal law derived primarily from the common law of England, with some relatively modest statutory modification. In recent years, however, there has been pressure from various quarters to codify the criminal law in all its aspects, substantive, procedural and evidentiary. The process of codification is well under way.
In theory codifying the criminal law should render it more coherent, clearer, and easier to access. Yet, the criminal law in Australia continues to be beset by delay, unduly long trials, and a high rate of successful appeals. The question is, can codification of this branch of the law ever really be made to work effectively?
IALS Lunchtime Seminar
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