I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Female Genital Mutilation
The prosecution of those committing female genital mutilation has gained increasing prominence in recent decades with the Crimes Act 1900 providing for severe penalties – up to 15 years in prison – for those found guilty.
Section 73 of the Act defines female genital mutilation as an intentionally performed clitoridectomy or excision of any part of the genital organs, infibulation (sewing over of the vagina) or similar procedure and any other mutilation of the female genitalia.
The maximum penalty is imprisonment for 15 years.
Section 74 provides that it is not a defence that the woman or girl, or her parent or legal guardian, consented to the procedure.
Taking a child out of the ACT for the purpose of having female genital mutilation performed on her is punishable by up to seven years’ imprisonment: Section 75.
There is an exception for surgery for a genuine therapeutic purpose, which is defined by Section 76 as being only when the woman is in labour or has just given birth for medical purposes connected with the labour or birth, or by a doctor when necessary for the person’s health.
Section 76(3) makes it clear that a medical procedure that is performed as, or as part of a cultural, religious or other social custom, is not of itself to be regarded as being performed for a genuine therapeutic purpose.
Section 77 provides a further exception to the prohibition on female genital mutilation for sexual re-assignment surgery. “Sexual reassignment procedure” is defined in the Act as a surgical procedure performed by a medical practitioner to give a female person, or a person whose sex is ambivalent, the genital appearance of a person of the opposite sex or of a particular sex (whether male or female).
What Actions Might Constitute Female Genital Mutilation?
The following actions amount to female genital mutilation.
- clitoridectomy (removal of the clitoris);
- excision of any part of the genital organs;
- infibulation (sewing over of the vagina) or similar procedure;
- any other mutilation of the female genitalia.
What The Police Must Prove
To find a person guilty of this offence, a court must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- the physical aspects of female genital mutilation are made out;
- there was not a genuine therapeutic reason for the procedure;
- the procedure was not part of a sexual reassignment operation.
Possible Defences To A Charge Of Female Genital Mutilation
A person charged with this offence may argue in their defence that:
- there was a genuine therapeutic reason for the procedure;
- the procedure was part of sexual reassignment;
- any physical actions taken did not amount to female genital mutilation, as defined in the Act.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
As the maximum penalty for committing female genital mutilation is 15 years’ imprisonment, charges must be heard and determined in the Supreme Court.
The charge of taking a child from the ACT, or arranging for a child to be taken from the ACT, with the intention of having female genital mutilation performed on the child carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 7 years. As such, it is possible to seek to “consent to the jurisdiction” of the Magistrates Court, where the maximum penalty that can be imposed is two years rather than anything up to the maximum, which is available to a judge in the Supreme Court. The Prosecution, however, can insist on the matter having to be committed to the Supreme Court.
A matter in the lower court will be determined by a single magistrate whereas a jury of 12 citizens will decide guilt or innocence in the Supreme Court, directed as to the law by a judge, who would impose sentence should the verdict be guilty.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
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