Proctor : June 2017
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Submissions with legal content are subject to approval by the Proctor editorial committee, and guidelines for contributors are available at qls.com.au Advertising deadline: 1st of the month prior. Subscriptions: $110 (inc. GST) a year (A$210 overseas) Circulation: CAB, 31 March 2017 – 10,121 (print) plus 850 (digital) Public invited to be the judge A new online tool allows Queenslanders to put themselves in the shoes of a judge or magistrate and find the appropriate sentence for an offender. The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council (QSAC) has launched an online interactive educational tool to inform the community about the processes involved when members of judiciary sentence offenders. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the Judge for Yourself website, launched last month during Law Week, allowed Queenslanders to hear evidence in three different cases and allocate the appropriate sentence, based on various factors that judges had to consider. “The cases are based on real cases that have been through the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts,” Ms D’Ath said. “This new resource provides an engaging way for ordinary Queenslanders to gain a better understanding of the way our sentencing processes work. “The Palaszczuk Government recognises the strong community interest in the criminal justice system and sentencing courts, and this is why we reconstituted the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council.” QSAC member Dan Rogers said Judge for Yourself showed there was a lot more to sentencing than a headline. “Sentencing makes our community safer,” he said. “It is a rare opportunity to address someone’s behaviour and the underlying issues which led to the offences being committed.” The website is aimed at giving the public a better understanding about how the court system works, the roles of key people in the courtroom, and the different sentencing options available, such as fines, good behaviour bonds, parole, suspended sentences and imprisonment. The Judge for Yourself website is available at qld.gov.au/judgeforyourself, and the council is also running free live Judge for Yourself community sessions across Queensland this month and next month. See sentencingcouncil.qld.gov.au. The issues keeping employers awake Piper Alderman has announced the results of its third Employment Matters survey, ‘What’s keeping you awake at night?’. The survey invited 2500 HR managers, general managers, COOs, CEOs and legal teams across all industry groups nationally to reflect on their experiences in dealing with employment and safety-related matters over year. The survey also asked for their expectations for the 2017/2018 financial year. The top three findings were: • Business confidence remains steady despite the turbulent political climate of 2016. 84% of respondent employers reported their headcount would either increase, or stay the same. A strong majority (73%) of employers also anticipated that their employees would receive pay rises in the 2016/17 year, with over a third of employers reporting that employees were likely to enjoy a raise of more than the CPI or minimum Award wage increase. • Social media policies are on the rise, but employers face persistent issues with the inappropriate use of social media by employees both during and outside work hours. 86% of respondent employers reported that they had adopted a social media policy, but a substantial proportion of 37% of employers still had cause to discipline or caution an employee in relation to their use of social media. • Performance management is still one of the biggest concerns for employers in 2017. 80% of employers reported that they were likely to deal with performance management or disciplinary action in the coming year. Along with the ever-present desire for harmonisation of all Australian workplace legislation, a high priority on respondent employers’ ‘wishlist’ for legislative reform was less complexity around the requirements for managing employee work performance. More information is available at piperalderman.com.au/ publications?article=28421.