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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."
Suppression Orders (Vic)
Open justice is a fundamental principle of our legal system, in which court proceedings are generally conducted in public and people are free to enter courts and watch proceedings. Information relating to court decisions and litigation is generally available to the public. However, in some cases, the court may make a Suppression Order, prohibiting the disclosure of information relating to a proceeding. This can be done for a number of reasons, including the protection of witnesses, the protection of the defendant’s right to receive a fair trial and in the interests of national security. Suppression Orders are made under the Open Courts Act 2013.
What is a Suppression order?
A court can make a Suppression Order to prohibit the publication of information about a court proceeding. It can be very broad or very narrow, but it must be made for a specific purpose and must not be any broader or for any longer than is reasonably necessary to serve that purpose.
A Suppression Order can restrict the publication of material anywhere in Victoria or anywhere in the country. When one is made, the court must make sure all relevant news media are notified of the details of the order.
Section 18 of the Act provides that a Suppression Order can be made if:
- It is necessary to prevent prejudice to the administration of justice;
- It is necessary to avoid prejudicing the interests of national or international security;
- It is necessary to protect the safety of a person;
- It is necessary to avoid a witness or complainant in a sexual offence or family violence matter being caused undue distress or embarrassment;
- For any other reason in the interests of justice.
It is an offence under section 23 of the Act to contravene a Suppression Order knowing or being reckless as to whether there is one in force. The offence can attract a term of imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to 600 penalty units, or both, for an individual. For a body corporate, the maximum penalty is a fine of 3000 penalty units applies.
A breach of a Suppression Order can also amount to the offence of contempt of court.
Closed Court Orders
Under section 28 of the Open Courts Act, there is a presumption that court matters are conducted in open court. A court may order that the court be closed for all or part of a matter or that only certain persons or classes of persons may attend the proceeding.
Why do Suppression Orders exist?
Suppression Orders are commonly made when an accused is going to be facing trial by a jury. The jury is not allowed to know information that could prejudice the jurors against the accused, such as the accused’s prior criminal history or evidence that has been ruled inadmissible. If information like this is made public, this can prejudice the jury and lead to an unfair trial.
Who do Suppression Orders affect?
When a Suppression Order is in force, no one may publish the information that has been suppressed. ‘Publication’ may consist of anything written or said in a public forum. This includes social media posts and statements made in public as well as media coverage.
When a Suppression Order is made that includes ‘anything that can be accessed in Australia’ or ‘anything that can be accessed in Victoria’ the order applies to material published on the internet. This means that orders made in Australia also apply overseas. However, breaches by overseas news agencies are very difficult to police.
Should Suppression Orders be abolished?
Suppression Orders are sometimes criticised as curtailing open justice and free speech. Particular orders have been criticised for going too far, operating to hide corrupt behaviour or being outdated. A recent review of the use of Suppression Orders in Victoria found that the orders are easily breached online and through social media.
Suppression orders are sometimes described as obsolete or futile in the digital era as the quarantining of jurors from outside influences becomes less and less achievable due to the prevalence of social media and online news.
However, Suppression Orders can still play an important role in making sure that a defendant receives a fair trial, particularly in a high-profile case. They can also prevent harm being caused to witnesses and complainants.
If you require legal advice or representation in a criminal matter or in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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