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My legal matter concerning an application for a Domestic Violence Order was managed by Mr Thomas Allen. I am grateful for the outcome he obtained. Without Mr Allen and his ongoing support, I would be certain of a different result. It has been an extremely stressful period. Mr Allen’s astute ability to liaise on my behalf and his expertise was invaluable and for which I am grateful as I am now able to move forward. Thanking you
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Armstrong Legal and specifically Mr Thomas Allen for representing me in my recent case. At the outset, I would like to thank Mr Allen for the very professional delivery of his legal service. From the first time that I met Mr Allen, I was very impressed with his demeanour and delivery as he made me feel at ease knowing the severity of my case. Mr Allen not only gave me the possible positive outcomes of the case but also the realisation of the worst-case scenario as far as sentencing goes. … I will certainly be recommending Armstrong Legal to any of my friends or family needing representation in criminal matters. Thank you so very much.
Thank you for your representation and help. Fingers crossed for the next step and parole. I just want to say that from the first phone call to your office, your service has been outstanding and have put my mind at ease. I am glad I picked your number to ring.
Thank you Armstrong Legal, the lawyers that have helped over the past 3 years but more importantly, thank you to Thomas Allen for the major part you and Mr Buckland played. Cannot thank you enough. Cheers.
Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
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
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."
Is Entrapment a Defence?
Entrapment occurs when police or law enforcement agents improperly induce a person to commit actions that amount to a criminal offence. Entrapment often involves illegal activity by police. This means that police can and should be held criminally liable for their actions unless legislation specifically states otherwise.
What is entrapment in Australia?
It is a fundamental principle of the criminal justice system that persons who voluntarily commit criminal offences are held accountable for their actions. This is generally the case regardless of whether they were induced to act by another person. In some very limited cases though, having been induced to commit offences can amount to a defence. However, entrapment does not provide a full substantive defence to criminal charges.
This is because treating entrapment as a full substantive defence would be to treat the offender as if they were lacking in free will as a direct result of the inducement.
What does Australian case law say about entrapment?
The 1995 Australian decision of Ridgeway v The Queen, is one of the leading cases on entrapment as a defence.
In that case, the offender was charged with a contravention of section 233B(1)(c) of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) for importing 140.4 grams of heroin. The charge resulted from a ‘controlled operation’ between the Australian Federal Police and Malaysian Federal Police.
The offender had contacted Lee, an old friend, who he had met while serving a prison sentence in a South Australian prison for drug offences. Upon his release, Lee was deported to Malaysia and subsequently became an informant for the Malaysian Federal Police.
Once the offender was released from prison, he contacted Lee to arrange to buy heroin to import into Australia. Lee and a Malaysian police officer, acting with the knowledge and co-operation of the Australian Federal Police, were given visas by the Australian High Commission in Malaysia, and imported heroin into Australia. The heroin was cleared through customs as the AFP and the Australian Customs Service had arranged and upon its delivery the offender was arrested.
What did the High Court consider?
When deciding the matter of Ridgeway, the High Court of Australia held that there was no practical defence of entrapment. However, the court did recognise that as a matter of public policy, courts need to exercise their discretion to exclude any evidence of an offence that was brought about by the unlawful conduct of law enforcement officers. This discretion exists to discourage unlawful conduct by police and to preserve the integrity of the administration of justice.
According to the Chief Justice of the High Court, if no judicial discretion existed to stop the police from gaining an advantage from unlawful conduct, any disapproval conveyed by the courts about such actions would be ‘hollow and unavailing.’ The administration of justice would be disgraced by the uncontrolled use of illegal mechanisms by authorities.
The court further held that this discretion extends to situations where a criminal offence has been induced through improper conduct, not just unlawful conduct, by police or law enforcement agencies. If either discretion is exercised, the offender may apply to ‘stay’ the proceedings, which means the offender can use the doctrine of entrapment as a way to halt the proceedings.
The offender in the Ridgway case argued that the proceedings should be stayed on the basis that they constituted an abuse of process. The court held that these grounds were inappropriate for the case. However, it also stated that, if there was good reason for excluding evidence of the forced or involuntary elements of the offending, this would mean that the prosecution will fail and that any continuance of the proceedings would be oppressive and vexatious.
What was the outcome?
In the Ridgeway decision, the High Court ultimately held that the evidence which established that the heroin had been illegally imported should be rejected. Their Honours drew attention to the ‘calculated’ and ‘grave’ nature of the AFP’s actions, especially that:
- their actions constituted an offence in that they allowed the heroin to be imported;
- the police officers involved had not been prosecuted despite having also committed an offence;
- there was no evidence of any official disapproval or retribution; and
- the AFP’s objective would have been achieved if the evidence were admitted.
The court weighed these factors up against the public interest of a finding of guilt against Ridgeway. It determined that the public interest could be satisfied by the availability of a variety of offences that the offender could be prosecuted for that did not involve illegally importing the drug.
What does this mean for entrapment in Australia?
The Ridgeway case established that entrapment does not provide a full defence to criminal charges. However, it can be relied on to the extent that the integrity of the administration of justice will be preserved. The court will not condone illegal and improper acts by police or other law enforcement agents and will use its discretion to refuse to admit evidence where appropriate.
It must be noted, though, that the purpose of the defence of entrapment is not to eliminate or entirely excuse the accused of criminal liability. Criminal justice requires that a person be held accountable for their actions unless there truly was no other option available to them in the circumstances.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
Where a person who has been charged with a criminal offence suggests that they committed the physical acts involuntarily, they…
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