QUT School of Justice Biennial Breakfast

QUT School of Justice staff

Facts and figures on family violence initiated conversation at this morning’s QUT School of Justice Biennial Breakfast.

This year’s guest speaker, The Hon. Marcia Neave AO focused on the Queensland Government ‘Not Now, Not Ever’ report and how we can all contribute to prevention of violence, support for victims and children, and holding those who use violence to account.

“Family violence is dramatically underreported and those cases largely focus on physical abuse,” Ms Neave said.

“We don’t have decent figures on things like psychological and technological abuse.”

More than 120 justice and law professionals and academic staff enjoyed a buffet breakfast while they came together to discuss the effect of family violence on society and recent Queensland Court Reform initiatives.

The Hon. Marcia Neave AO has had a varied career as a judge, lawyer, academic and public policy maker, and has held highly regarded positions as former Chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and former Judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria.

It was these experiences that Ms Neave drew on most during her address, particularly acknowledging the findings of the Royal Commission and the actions undertaken by the Victorian Government since, which can be translated across to the Queensland system.



Research Showcase – Queensland Police Service

On the 8th March the Crime and Justice Research Centre was invite to deliver a Research Showcase at Queensland Police Service. The event, hosted by Frontline Research and information, Organisational Capability Command at QPS and facilitated by our QUT Police Fellow, Inspector Chris Emzin.

Four CJRC members: Professor Kerry Carrington, Dr Cassandra Cross, Dr Claire Ferguson and Associate Professor Mark Lauchs presented their work to the QPS cohort, to highlight and share work conducted at QUT.

Professor Carrington discussed the policing of gendered violence in the Global South, focusing on the innovative approach of women’s only police stations in Latin America and possible applications in the Australian context. Her ARC Discovery project with Professor Maximo Sozzo will explore the prevention of gendered violence; lessons from the Global South.

Dr Cross reflected on her work with online fraud which she began while working for the Queensland Police Service, and her Churchill Fellowship which extends this work and the challenges police and victims face when responding to fraud. She also outlined her current projects and future research directions in the field of cybercrime, digital crime, fraud and romance fraud.

Dr Ferguson spoke on her fascinating research and consultancy in the field of forensic criminology, offender evidence manipulation at homicide scenes, how police can combat these efforts and processes of determining death in complex cases. She outlined her research in Australian jurisdictions and beyond, on strategies offenders use and features police can use to combat these efforts.

Associate Professor Mark Lauchs’s presentation covered his work on organised crime and outlaw motorcycle groups. He summarised strategies researching these fields in Australia, with limited data in the public domain; how to redress knowledge gaps and explore the ‘organised’ component of crime as well as impacts on the community.

Thank you to the team and to Chris for facilitating what was, we hope, the first of a series of research events with Queensland Police. We look forward to exploring future research collaborations and initiatives with QPS.


Crime and Justice Research Centre Seminar Series – Doing Research in the Indigenous space – Associate Professor Hilde Tubex

Crime and Justice Research Centre Seminar Series with speaker Associate Professor Hilde Tubex
Topic: Doing Research in the Indigenous Space

Date:         Tuesday 13 February 2018
When:       4.00pm – 5.30pm
Venue:      C Block, level 4, room C412,
QUT Gardens Point Campus,
2 George Street, Brisbane

Register:  by Thursday 8 February 2018
by accepting calendar invitation or Emailing    mailto:law.research@qut.edu.au.

Over the last years, the focus of Assoc Professor Tubex’s research has been on Indigenous Peoples in the criminal justice system. Being a criminologist / penologist, this focus is not surprising, given the enormous overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples in our punitive system. She has built experience over three research projects; starting with the ARC Future Fellowship in which she studied different penal cultures within Australia, based on the different imprisonment rates between Australian jurisdictions, with a particular focus on Indigenous overrepresentation. In this research she studied the causes of Indigenous offending and their presence in the criminal justice system from a theoretical perspective, followed by field work in the Kimberley in WA and Darwin and Alice Springs in the NT. In an ARC Linkage she is CI on a project investigating the validity of risk assessment tools for Indigenous sex offenders. Her specific role is to assist in the development of a methodology to establish culturally appropriate risk assessment tools, alongside an Indigenous psychologist and an Indigenous reference group. She recently completed a CRG funded project on building effective throughcare strategies for Indigenous offenders in WA and the NT, for which they did fieldwork in regional and remote communities in the Kimberley, Darwin, Alice Springs and the Tiwi Islands. They conducted 38 interviews involving 59 people from these communities and their service providers, using yarning as a data collection tool. However, doing research in the Indigenous space, being a non-Indigenous person, is not evident. In this presentation Assoc Professor Tubex would like to share her experiences over these projects and discuss consequences for practice and theory building

Associate Professor Hilde Tubex
Hilde Tubex is Associate Professor and Deputy Head of School, Research at the Law School of the University of Western Australia. Her areas of expertise are comparative criminology, and penal policy, Indigenous peoples and the criminal justice system. Between 2007 and 2011, she worked at the Department of Corrective Services in WA as Team Leader Research and Evaluation. Before migrating to Australia, Hilde worked as a researcher/lecturer at the Free University of Brussels, and as an advisor to the Belgian Minister of Justice and the Council of Europe.


US warrants could be used to access Australian data


CJRC member Dr Monique Mann spoke to the ABC today about the upcoming US Supreme Court case US v Microsoft Ireland.

This case has global significance as the US government’s position would effectively undermine the data protection and privacy laws of other countries by giving the US government the power to unilaterally seize data no matter where it is located (and without regard for laws protecting that data).

Dr Mann and Dr Ian Warren (Deakin University) examine this case in their chapter in the recently published Palgrave Handbook of Criminology and the Global South.

In Dr Mann’s role as Co-Chair of the Surveillance Committee and Director of the Australian Privacy Foundation she led Australian efforts to join an Amicus Brief by Privacy International in a coalition of 25 international human and digital rights organisations in support of Microsoft in the US Supreme Court case.

To read the chapter click here.

To read the ABC article click here.


Does #ANZSOC endorse the Pacific Solution by accepting Sponsorship from www.border.gov.au?

President, Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology

Dear Dr McGee

We are aware that ANZSOC has recently received social media criticism for accepting a ‘silver sponsorship’ from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) for the 2017 conference. We are writing to express concern but also seek clarification about the nature of this sponsorship.

There is an emerging sentiment that this sponsorship was inappropriate for the Society’s annual event. We recognise that the DIBP has a wider ministerial function beyond border protection, however  the remit between DIBP and Australian Borderforce (ABF) is inextricably interwoven. Given the national and international condemnation and controversies surrounding DIBP’s  actions and policies in recent times we are surprised that ANZSOC would take the arguably injudicious decision to accept this department’s sponsorship.

While we acknowledge that DIPB , as mentioned, is responsible for customs and citizenship portfolios, much of its resources are devoted to border protection and the work of ABF. Indeed, the DIPB is jointly headed by Secretary Pezzullo and ABF’s Commissioner Quaedvlieg.

As you’ll be aware, the ABF as an operational arm of the DIPB, has outsourced state functions to corporate entities. Such privatisation of Australian border security, as part of the Pacific Solution, has been mired in allegations of scandal, torture, tax evasion, corruption and human rights abuses resulting in widespread public protest and condemnation. For ANZSOC to grant ‘silver sponsorship’ to a much maligned state-corporate complex with its reportedly unjust, abusive and illegal response to vulnerable people seeking asylum, is an indictment on the Society and an insult to those members who have committed their careers  to championing the plight of victims and to critiquing state and corporate deviance.

We note ANZSOC’s tweeted response to the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association’, notably that ‘Criminology has always involved debate re contentious issues. The conference is an important forum to bring different players together 2 have these challenges conversation’. We agree, however, it is one thing to provide a forum for robust debate and offer a platform for all parties to exchange dialogue, it is quite another issue to receive sponsorship from one side of the debate only. Moreover, it is not clear how this year’s conference managed to successfully engage opposed voices in a forum that debated the challenging issues you allude to.

Without clarification of the sponsorship arrangements, and without ANZSOC attempting to disentangle the broader roles of DIPB from ABF, one is left with the impression that the conference was endorsing the Pacific Solution, Manus Island policies and the associated scandals mentioned above. Rightly or wrongly, this is the emerging picture, and the growing criticism on social media attests to that fact.

Would you kindly clarify the nature of the sponsorship. Why did ANZSOC choose to seek sponsorship from a Commonwealth department condemned by the international human rights community and mired in allegations of torture and abuse? We suggest that it is imperative that you as President publicly clarify ANZSOC’s position, and dispel the emerging suspicion that the Society, by virtue of accepting sponsorship, is supporting the punitive and widely-condemned offshore detention policies of the Australian Government.

Professors Reece Walters and John Scott
Directors. Crime and Justice Research Centre
Faculty of Law
Queensland University of Technology
2 George Street, Brisbane
Queensland, 4001.

Event: Attacks on Encryption – Privacy, Civil Society and the Surveillance State

Join the Australian Privacy FoundationDigital Rights Watch AustraliaFuture Wise, and the QUT Crime and Justice Research Centre at ThoughtWorks Brisbane to discuss ‘Attacks on Encryption: Privacy, Civil Society, and the Surveillance State.’

The Australian Government’s intention to pursue new and increased powers to access encrypted communications via statutorily required ‘backdoors’ has been met with wide-ranging privacy and information security concerns.

On 5 October 2017, a panel of encryption experts, international privacy law experts, academics, politicians, digital rights advocates, and journalists will unpack the social and technical consequences of the proposed new ‘backdooring’ powers.

At present, it is unclear if Australia’s laws will require so-called ‘backdoor’ vulnerabilities to be built into messaging applications like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. However, if this were to occur, it would enable government access to these services via decryption keys and/or enable remote access to devices for interception of communications “at the ends”. Experts argue that these powers are unnecessary and should be highly concerning for Australians who, unlike other western democracies, do not have a constitutional right to privacy.

This Attacks on Encryption event is relevant to anyone concerned about security and responsible governance and will cover the consequences of engineering ‘backdoors’ into commercially available encryption software, the issues associated with companies being compelled to decrypt user data, and forcing the design of communications tools that allow government interception.

Speakers include:

  • Former Senator Mr Scott Ludlam: Surveillance politics
  • Angela Daly, Digital Rights Watch Australia and QUT Law: Legal dimensions of the global #waronmaths
  • Justin Clacherty, Redfish Group, Australian Privacy Foundation, and Future Wise: Government attacks on encryption and civil society coalition campaigns
  • Robin Doherty, ThoughtWorks and Hack for Privacy and Eru Penkman, ThoughtWorks and brisSafety: Breaking Encryption for Dummies
  • Brenda Moon, QUT Digital Media Research Centre and Felix Münch, PhD Candidate QUT Digital Media Research Centre: Encryption for journalists
  • Michael Wilson, QUT Justice PhD Candidate: The contested moral legitimacy of encryption ‘backdoors’
  • Discussant: Phil Green, QLD Privacy Commissioner

The event will be hosted at ThoughtWorks Brisbane with catering and refreshments provided, but we will also be live streaming and providing remote links via the cyber.

For more information and speaker biographies and abstracts: https://www.attacks-on-encryption.com/

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/attacks-on-encryption-privacy-civil-society-and-the-surveillance-state-tickets-37527225943

Note: The event is currently sold out with a waitlist but in the event that CJRC members register then tickets will be released to them as priority attendees.

For further information contact Dr Monique Mann as event organiser.

Justice Professor joins Queensland Attorney General to detail reforms to youth justice system

John Scott alongside the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath and Minister for Child safety, Shannon Fentiman, at a Press conference on Friday

On the 15 September School of Justice Professor, John Scott, joined the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath and Minister for Child safety, Shannon Fentiman, at a press conference in the Queensland Parliament outlining the  Palaszczuk Government’s timeline for the integration of 17-year-olds into the youth criminal system, to break the cycle of youth offending, reduce remand numbers and create safer communities.


Staged transitioning will begin in November 2017, and the Youth Justice and Other Legislation (Inclusion of 17-year-old Persons) Amendment Act will commence on 12 February 2018.

The plan also includes:

  • Supervised Bail Accommodation Services as an option for 14-17 year olds from November 2017
  • Separate zones within Brisbane Youth Detention Centre and Cleveland Youth Detention Centre for 10-13 year olds
  • Recruitment of new frontline staff for courts, community and Youth Detention Centres
  • More resources for courts, including two more magistrates, to ensure timely processes
  • Provision of after-hours legal services to young people and increased funding for Legal Aid Queensland

Mrs D’Ath said about 80% of young people in youth detention in Queensland were on remand, awaiting the outcome of their court matters. Often, this is because there is no suitable accommodation or support services for their release on supervision. The nationwide average for young people on remand is 57%.The plan will provide courts with another bail alternative, reducing their reliance on remand as a solution for youths who have no safe home to go to. Nine sites will provide specialised Bail accommodation centres at Carbrook, Camooweal, Jacobs Well, Mt Isa, Wacol, Logan Reserve and in two existing facilities in Townsville. The majority are in rural or semi-rural areas. Youth justice workers would be based at the Supervised Bail Accommodation and there will also be health, education and other services available.

Professor Scott spoke in support of the measures, but said they may not be initially popular.

“It may not win votes; it’s not an ideological initiative, it’s not a political initiative,” he said.

He said “This is Criminology 101, we need to be careful that young people are integrated back into communities and not isolated or stigmatised.”

He also noted that these initiatives would have positive impacts for rural communities and this was important, especially given rural young people faced additional challenges in terms of lack of resources and justice options.

Seminar on family law: Shared care and maternal loss

Associate Professor Vivienne Elizabeth from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland will speak on the harmful outcomes of the family court emphasis on time rather than relationships in considering “shared care” post-separation.  The seminar will be held August 9 from 12-2pm at Griffith’s Nathan campus and there will be a teleconference option offered on the Gold Coast. RSVP contact and other information is below in the flyer.

CJRC Privacy Expert Discusses the ‘RoboDebt Data Matching Scandal’

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CJRC researcher and privacy expert Dr Monique Mann from the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, recently spoke to New Matilda about the RoboDebt data matching scandal.

Dr Mann compares the robo-debt fiasco to the movie I, Daniel Blake. “It’s a Kafka-esque nightmare,” she told New Matilda in an interview. “There are real questions about the reliability of the data and the program used to match data between Centrelink and the Australian Taxation Office.” Read more