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DNA insights shared at law conference

From DNA insights to working with interpreters, this year’s Queensland Law Society Criminal Law Conference is future focused.

QLS Vice President and accredited criminal law specialist Rebecca Fogerty opened the conference this morning at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Brisbane.


Rebecca Fogerty

Rebecca said it was a “pivotal time” for criminal law and lawyers as legislative change was moving at a fast pace.

“As the driving force behind our policy and advocacy to government, the QLS Criminal Law Committee remains one of our busiest,” she said.

“The Society is focused on developing sound and balanced submissions to government to effect positive change for both the legal profession, and our community, ensuring the voices of our members and the profession are heard amid the growing din.

“As the Society celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, our history tells us that reviewing antiquated legal policies and procedures in line with the expectations of the profession and the community have long been at the core of QLS’s advocacy work – as remains the case today.

“Amid incessant media coverage of alleged criminal activity, it is vital that we continue to call for evidence-based policy and measures that ensure the safety of the community, while preserving the separation of powers, and upholding the rule of law.”

Helen Roebuck, Principal Forensic Scientist and DNA Expert Witness, is presenting today and will explore the evolution of such DNA evidence and technology.


Helen Roebuck

“Helen will deliver a deep dive into the cutting edge of this field and share with us her insights on tools and analysis which may be beneficial to your practice and clients,” Rebecca said.

“Also, today, I have the privilege of chairing a discussion on recent legislative changes in the domestic and family violence space, and how they impact our practice of criminal law – as well as practitioners’ ethical obligations.

“Today, we immerse ourselves in a valuable program with distinguished speakers from across the profession.  On behalf of the Society and everyone here today, I thank all our speakers and panellists for sharing their expertise.

“In particular, I thank the members from the judiciary, Private Bar and practice who have agreed to join us today.

“I would also like to congratulate the Criminal Law Committee, chaired by Dominic Brunello, on the excellent advocacy they perform on behalf of the members.”

Mr Brunello is presenting this morning on The future of law & policy – the Strengthening Community and Safety Bill 2023.

Rebecca’s welcome was followed by retired District Court Judge Michael Shanahan, who is speaking on his review of the Justices Act 1886 (Qld).

The final presentation of the day will be Domestic Violence and checking your (legal professional) privilege by QLS Special Counsel Shane Budden of the Ethics and Practice Centre.

All sessions will be available from the QLS Shop in coming weeks.

Keep an eye on Proctor for more coverage of the QLS Criminal Law Conference.

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