Putting Human Rights on the Table

Story by : Stefanie Garber  31 May 2016  Lawyers Weekly

The proposal to introduce a human rights act in Queensland has thrown a spotlight on the importance of human rights protections, write Bill Potts and Rebecca Fogerty.

In December 2013, Sally Kuether, a library assistant and mother of three, was arrested and charged with offences under the newly-enacted Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) Act 2013.

Her alleged crime: meeting over a beer at the local pub with her boyfriend and a friend of his while wearing a leather jacket emblazoned ‘Property of Crow’ (a reference to her boyfriend and his membership of the outlawed Life and Death Motorcycle Club). Continue reading Putting Human Rights on the Table

Inflammatory Social Media Posts Could Influence Jurors

Bill Potts said the use of social media to express opinions on cases currently before the courts had to be carefully considered to ensure that justice was not impeded.

“I understand that the public uses social media as a safety valve during highly emotional circumstances,” he said.

“However, there is real danger that words spoken out of anger may influence potential jurors.” Continue reading Inflammatory Social Media Posts Could Influence Jurors

Gold Coast Prisoners Treated Like Animals at Southport Watchhouse

IT’S been labelled the Southport “zoo” — where people are kept in “inhumane” conditions with no natural light, beds or privacy for weeks at a time.

The Queensland Law Society and the state’s top civil libertarian have slammed conditions at the Southport Watchhouse which they say has become “a de facto prison” not fit for a dog.

“Everyone in the watch-house is presumed to be innocent awaiting trial and to keep them for 10 days in a place designed to hold people for a few days is one of the greatest scandals across Queensland,” said Queensland Law Society president, Bill Potts. Continue reading Gold Coast Prisoners Treated Like Animals at Southport Watchhouse

Potts Lawyers Awarded as a Leading Criminal Law Firm 2015

Managing director, Rob Franklin is pleased to announce that Potts Lawyers have been recognised by the prestigious Doyle’s Guide as a “first tier” leading criminal law firm in Queensland.

Director Bill Potts has been named as a leading criminal lawyer whilst director Cameron Browne has been named as a recommended criminal lawyer.

It is heartening to see that amongst the total of 26 criminal lawyers listed for Queensland, more than a quarter have spent several years working in our practice. We extend our congratulations to those colleagues: Continue reading Potts Lawyers Awarded as a Leading Criminal Law Firm 2015

Bill Potts Elected President Of Queensland Law Society For 2016

Bill Potts

All the team at Potts Lawyers are very proud of their foundation director Bill Potts, who has been elected by the solicitors of Queensland to represent their interests as President of the Queensland Law Society.

Bill’s term will commence in January 2016 and he’ll be working with lawyers throughout the State.

Bill will be advocating for good law and supporting lawyers to achieve the delivery of quality legal services to Queenslanders.

NEW Australian Metadata Retention Laws

On Tuesday 13 October 2015 new laws came into effect in Australia that require telecommunications service providers (i.e. Telstra, Vodafone, Optus etc.) to retain prescribed telecommunications data.  The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015 sets out a statutory obligation for telecommunications service providers to keep this data for a period of two years.

The new law does not give new powers to criminal law-enforcement agencies to access telecommunication data.  It simply obliges telecommunications companies to retain and secure a limited set of records for two years.

Why were these new laws brought in? Continue reading NEW Australian Metadata Retention Laws

Johnny Depp’s Partner Amber Heard Issued Summons For Bringing Dogs Illegally Into Australia

Johnny Depp’s Yorkshire terriers Boo and Pistol were spotted at Happy Dogz groomers on the Gold Coast in May. (Supplied: Happy Dogz)

Johnny Depp’s wife, actress Amber Heard, has been charged over a biosecurity breach after illegally bringing dogs Boo and Pistol into Australia on a private jet and is due in a Queensland court in September.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions issued a summons against Heard.

She has been charged with two counts of illegal importation contrary to the quarantine act and one count of producing a false document.

Penalties include fines of up to $100,000 or up to 10 years imprisonment. Continue reading Johnny Depp’s Partner Amber Heard Issued Summons For Bringing Dogs Illegally Into Australia

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Will Be Every Bit As Challenging As G20: Queensland Police Service

The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be one of the biggest logistical challenges the Queensland Police Service has ever faced, Assistant Commissioner Peter Crawford says.

With less than three years until the Games begin, preparations are already well underway.

In April 2018, more than 6,500 athletes, 25,000 volunteers and tens of thousands of spectators will descend on the tourist strip for the month-long event.

Police will have to secure 18 competitions venues across not only the Gold Coast but Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns. Continue reading Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Will Be Every Bit As Challenging As G20: Queensland Police Service

Gold Coast Police Brutality: Another Alleged Incident Captured On CCTV

THERE has been an explosion of allegations of police brutality on the Gold Coast, with shocking footage emerging of a recent attack.

The Courier-Mail has obtained disturbing CCTV footage from inside the Surfers Paradise police station which shows a handcuffed Michael Cox, 29, being physically restrained and his head slammed into the tile floor.

The footage shows Mr Cox and watchhouse officer Peter Nummy talking on a bench inside the station. Both men appear relaxed. At no point does Mr Cox lunge at the officer, but moments later the footage shows Officer Nummy twist Mr Cox’s handcuffed wrist backward and slam his head into floor. Continue reading Gold Coast Police Brutality: Another Alleged Incident Captured On CCTV