With another busy year coming to another busy end, we in The Laws of Australia team thought we would spend a few minutes to reflect on the year gone by and to do something a little bit different and a little bit fun for this holiday season. Over the next week, you may see a flurry of posts arrive that are… unique little snowflakes, to say the least. We have been hard at work writing and reflecting on some (decidedly Christmassy themed) topics of law.
Beginning on Monday, we will be examining the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) implications of Charles Dickens’ work, A Christmas Carol, as well as the Quarantine Act 1908 (Cth) implications of Clement Clarke Moore’s work, Twas the Night Before Christmas. As for what is planned for the rest of the week? You will just have to check in to find out!
Today, however, we hoped to begin with some reflections on the last year. The TLA team has contributed a number of articles to the Online Insider, on a great range of legal topics. Below is a selection of our top three for 2014:
Drug- and alcohol-fueled violence also fueled the news cycles this year (as they arguably do every year). Societal condemnation of such violence has led to legal revision in a number of areas, perhaps most publicly in “one punch” laws. Australian law places some allowance on an accused for an act done under the influence of alcohol, but in some cases (as this article examines) it can be a double-edged sword to raise such a defence.
A lot of words get taken for granted in law, but a legal meaning is not necessarily the meaning we might instantly ascribe to a word. In Animal Law, the very word “animal” is contentious, holding different meaning in different jurisdictions and excluding a large portion of what might otherwise be considered “animals”. This article examines why insects (and other invertebrates) are not considered to be “animals” under Australian Law.
When is a “trust” not a trust? It is known that some trusts may be created unintentionally (such as constructive trusts) or accidentally. The case of Commissioner of Stamp Duties (Qld) v Jolliffe (1920) 28 CLR 178 found that in other cases, something designated a “trust” may not actually be one where there is “shamming intent”. As this article examines, a reformulation of trust law happened in the case of Byrnes v Kendle  HCA 26, where the High Court rejected the majority judgment in Jolliffe, preferring the dissenting judgment of Isaacs J.
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