Last week, two members of the Public Law and Policy Research Unit, Adam Webster and Kellie Toole, along with A/Prof Melissa de Zwart presented at the Adelaide Law School’s Legal Studies Teachers’ Professional Development Day. The event was attended by Year 11 and 12 Legal Studies teachers from both public and independent South Australian high schools.
Kellie’s presentation entitled ‘What Do Courts Know About Defendants’ Criminal History?’ discussed recent cases such as the Rolf Harris trial and the trial of Brett Cowan, Daniel Morcombe’s killer, in explaining the types of evidence that might be withheld from a jury and when such evidence will be withheld. Kellie explained when a court will allow evidence of uncharged acts to be put before the jury.
Adam’s presentation provided an update of recent constitutional law issues. Adam explained the constitutional issues surrounding the ‘blocking’ of the budget. Adam also discussed the High Court’s decision in Commonwealth v ACT – the same-sex marriage case – and the Court’s reasoning in the School Chaplaincy Cases – Williams v Commonwealth (No 1) and Williams v Commonwealth (No 2). Adam also mentioned some of the constitutional issues surrounding indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution.
A/Prof Melissa de Zwart gave a presentation entitled ‘Navigating The Social Network’, which dealt with some of the legal issues surrounding young people and their use of social media.