If the law requires that a legal will is to be signed by the testator in front of witnesses, what happens if the person dies after the will is written but before it is signed?
It is in section 8 of the Wills Act that the requirements of a valid will are set out. That section states that to be a legal will it must:
a) be signed by the testator (or by some other person in the testator’s presence and by their direction); and
b) appear that the testator intended by the signature to give effect to the will; and
c) the signature...
The Court of Criminal Appeal has set aside a verdict of guilty in a case in which the prosecution were relying on the fact that the person accused of robbery was in the vicinity on the same morning, that like the robber he walks around with his dog, and that he was of a similar appearance to the robber.
Police had produced CCTV footage depicting the robber and despite the fact that the Judge who heard the trial was of the view that the facial appearance of the accused man was similar to that of the person in the video footage, the Court of...
If you are alleged to have committed a traffic offence you may be issued with an Expiation Notice or ‘On the Spot Fine’. That notice may be issued by the police or any number of other authorities and you will need to pay the fine unless you elect to be prosecuted.
Every Expiation Notice must be issued in a proper form and in some instances the Notices may be defective. If a Notice is defective there are ways that it can be amended by the issuing authority or defended by you and it is always in your best interest to seek legal advice...
As of 1 September 2012 the penalties for speeding are changing. The changes that will come into force will result in lower fines but increased demerit points and are as follows:
Speeding penalties from 1 September 2012
Exceeding the speed limit
Expiation Fees *
Expiation fees (Road Trains)
By less than 10 km/h
By 10 km/h but less than 20 km/h
By 20 km/h but less than 30 km/h
By 30 km/h but less than 45 km/h
By 45 km/h or more (excessive...
December 2011 saw the introduction in South Australia of Intervention Orders to replace the previous Restraining Orders that could be taken out when there was a perceived need to protect a person.
Restraining Orders could only be made by Magistrates upon them being satisfied certain criteria exist, however now we have seen the implementation of police imposed orders known as Intervention Orders which may be issued by the police irrespective of whether one is in fact required. The police can simply write out an order and serve it by handing...
A complicated situation can occur for estate lawyers when the surviving parents of the deceased have previously received or held money on their child’s behalf. The question arises as to the basis upon which the money is held and a recent case before the District Court of South Australia is an example of the issues that can be raised.
The parties to the case were formerly husband and wife. In 2007 their son died intestate (or without a will) and the mother obtained a Grant of Letters of Administration* with respect to his estate.
The exercise by an accused person of the right to remain silent when interviewed by police should not of itself be the basis for the police to avoid paying legal costs if the charges are dismissed after that person gives evidence in Court.
In a recent case before the Supreme Court a woman who had been charged with theft appealed the decision of a Magistrate to refuse to order that the police pay her legal costs after the charge was dismissed. The woman had been apprehended by a security guard at a Foodland store after she had gone through the...
The recent decision of the Workers Compensation Tribunal in relation to the matter of G v SAFECOM brings to the fore the spectre of the Opinions issued from Medical Panels SA (brought in under legislative changes in recent years).
The crux of the matter considered by the Workers Compensation Tribunal in this case was as to in what circumstances the written Opinion issued by Medical Panels SA should or can be admitted into evidence.
Ordinarily a report or opinion of a specialist (be they a doctor or other expert) needs to be tendered into...
Two recent decisions handed down by the Supreme Court have considered the circumstances under which a criminal conviction should not be recorded against a person found guilty of an offence. In one case, this was despite the fact that the accused person was found guilty of the charge of assault after a six-day trial.
Under the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act when a Court finds a person guilty of an offence for which it proposes to impose a fine, community service or both, then the Court may do so without recording a conviction if it is of the...
Are you affected by Family Violence?
On 7th June 2012 changes came into effect in how matters dealing with allegations of child abuse or family violence are now dealt with by the Courts.
Family Violence is defined as:
violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that causes or coerces a member of the family to be fearful.
The following are some illustrations of behaviour that may be considered as family violence:
• An assault;
• A sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour;
• Repeated derogatory...