(or, I know There's a Case About that Somewhere





This is a site in progress.

The purpose of this site is to be a reference for working lawyers and students in the field of criminal law in New South Wales, Australia, about recent cases in the areas of criminal law and evidence, and to assist in public discussion and education about important issues which have practical importance for many people.

This website is written by John Stratton SC. I was a Public Defender for 16 years. I am now back at the private Bar.

The inspiration of the site was the fact that although criminal lawyers in Australia are pretty well served for primary materials (statutes and cases) there is very little by way of analysis on the Internet. I would suggest looking for the cases in the website of the relevant court, and using the sometimes capricious Austlii as a last resort.

Although I have tried to keep this site as up to date as possible, obviously anyone using it should rely on their own enquiries. In other words, no-one involved with the site has legal liability for damages for any decisions you may decide to make based on material on this web site.

The text of the Criminal Law Survival Kit is in two large documents, one on Crime and one on Evidence. At this stage I want to keep it that way to make searching easier. If you are having trouble searching either part, remember to make sure that the document has finished downloading onto your computer before you search.

Hopefully most of the abbreviations should be obvious but the reference to 'PD' is the Public Defender's Recent Cases which were published in New South Wales Australia. These used to be available on line, but inexplicably a former Senior Public Defender decided to remove them. Sentencing tables prepared by the researchers at the Public Defenders are available online.

I would be very interested in any comments, criticisms, questions, and suggestions about the site. At the moment I would be especially in any suggestions for the Precedents section, and the 'Guide to Circuit Work'. Please contact me with any comments or criticisms of the site, or any questions generally, at JohnStratton@bigpond.com


Corona virus/COVID 19 Resources

I suggest readers go to this excellent page set up by the Public Defenders:

COVID 19 Resources for Criminal Lawyers.





Chapter 1 From Arrest to Local Court

Chapter 2 Trial Procedure and Appeals

Chapter 3 The Elements of Crime

Chapter 4 Homicide

Chapter 5 Defences

Chapter 6 Sex and Violence

Chapter 7 Drug Offences

Chapter 8 Public Order Offences

Chapter 9 Traffic Offences

Chapter 10 Offences of Dishonesty

Chapter 11 Attempt, Conspiracy and Complicity

Chapter 12 Offences Against the Justice System

Chapter 13 Sentencing


Chapter 1 Relevance

Chapter 2 The Confession

Chapter 3 Identification

Chapter 4 Circumstantial Evidence

Chapter 5 Competence and Compellability of Witnesses

Chapter 6 Privilege

Chapter 7 Proof, Presumptions and Prima Facie

Chapter 8 The Examination of Witnesses

Chapter 9 Tendency and Coincidence Evidence

Chapter 10 The Defence Case and Character

Chapter 11 Real Evidence

Chapter 12 Illegally Obtained Evidence

Chapter 13 Documentary Evidence

Chapter 14 Opinion Evidence and Prior Determinations

Chapter 15 The Hearsay Rule

Chapter 16 Unreliable Evidence and Corroboration

Other Resources

Latest Developments

Some Useful Links

Some Useful Phone Numbers

Criminal Law Precedents

Criminal Law Survival Kit Guide to Circuit Work

Annotated NSW Bar Rules

Articles and Papers

Hearsay after the Evidence Act (updated as at November 2007)


Court Lists

Search NSW Court lists for individual case

Supreme Court

Sydney District Court List

Various Local Courts

Foundation Law: Other Court Lists

General Legal Research Databases for Australian Legislation and Case law

By far the best place to look for Australian legislation and case law is Austlii.



Public Defenders' Sentencing Tables

Specific Case law Databases

High Court Cases 1903-

High Court Cases 1903- (AUSTLII)

New South Wales Supreme Court (including Court of Criminal Appeal and Court of Appeal (1999-)


Some Frequently Used Legislation

Bail Act (2013)

Crimes Act

Summary Offences Act

Criminal Procedure Act

Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act

Evidence Act

Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act

Criminal Appeal Act

Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act

Criminal Code Act (1995) (Commonwealth)

Customs Act

Commonwealth Crimes Act

NSW Parliamentary Counsel's Office (for historical versions of NSW legislation)


Search this site, courtesy of Austlii.

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