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Level 11, 456 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne,
Victoria 3000
45 Gheringhap Street, Geelong,
Victoria 3220
62 Kepler Street, Warrnambool,
Victoria 3280
Articles
Mar 27, 2024

AI and Criminal Law: Trends to Watch in 2024

AI for legal research

Sentencing laws, procedures and legal definitions face continuous reforms and reinterpretation as society’s standards evolve. As a criminal lawyer, you must keep your finger on the pulse and adapt your advocacy accordingly.

Our Principal Director and Founder, Lauren Cassimatis, explores some of the key criminal law trends to pay attention to in 2024.

1. Legal Representation for First Nations Clients

A stronger focus on culturally safe legal representation for First Nations clients on the back the 2023 Referendum results and pleas for unity and understanding; together with (in Victoria), proposed amendments to the Bail Act 1977, sparked by the coronial inquest into the death of Veronica Nelson, a Gunditjmara, Dja Dja Wurrung, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta woman, which found the bail system has a discriminatory impact on Aboriginal people and resulted in grossly disproportionate remand rates. 

Under the proposed amendments, bail decision makers must take into account systemic issues, trauma and vulnerabilities and ensure inordinate incarceration rates of Aboriginal people are not unreasonably compounded.

2. The Rise of Generative Artificial Intelligence

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence has begun to pervade many aspects of modern society, and the legal profession is no exception to this rule. With post-pandemic rising costs of living and access to AI for legal research, more people are opting to self-represent in criminal matters. However, being fully informed of your rights, case analysis, strategic advocacy, reading the bench, and thinking on your feet can never be achieved by a robot. 

AI may, in fact, clog up the court system with self-represented accused people having to then seek assistance of a duty lawyer or several matters being appealed in higher courts.

3. A Stronger Spotlight on Sexual Offending and Family Violence

The recent introduction of an affirmative consent model in most states means that whilst the onus of proof has not shifted, the focus is now on the accused to establish they sought affirmative consent (through their own actions/words), rather than their belief as to the complainant’s mindset and/or relying on the complainant to give consent. 

This places pressure on an accused to give their version during proceedings (and even during a police-interview), and displaces the right to silence and potentially the right to a fair trial. I anticipate significant judicial intervention/interpretation in the near future. 

Recent changes to the Family Law Act and a country-wide focus on Coercive Control aim to improve the way courts handle family and domestic violence. This focus will no doubt impact criminal law hearings: we will see a stronger, no-tolerance stance by the courts during bail applications, sentencing and family-violence orders proceedings.

Lauren Cassimatis: Featured in Recent Lawyers Weekly Article

Lauren Cassimatis, our Principal Lawyer, Director, and Founder, was recently featured in a Lawyers Weekly article entitled ‘AI and coercive control: Key criminal law trends in 2024’. Throughout this explorative article, various prominent lawyers were asked to comment on the current state of AI and the legal profession, and we are proud to have been asked to provide comment on this very important issue.

Lauren gave comments surrounding other notable issues raised by the rapid rise of AI Technology, stating ““With post-pandemic rising costs of living and access to AI for legal research, more people are opting to self-represent in criminal matters. However, being fully informed of your rights, case analysis, strategic advocacy, reading the bench and thinking on your feet can never be achieved by a robot,” she said.

“AI may, in fact, clog up the court system with self-represented accused people having to then seek assistance of a duty lawyer or several matters being appealed in higher courts.”

These comments showcase Gallant Law’s commitment to remaining up to date with the latest changes and development in the legal profession, including the ever-evolving nature of sentencing laws.

Gallant Law: Criminal Lawyers With Compassion

From criminal to corporate liability, we understand the stress of facing legal proceedings. We value empathy, courage and sincerity. Our legal services are delivered with care, simplicity and clarity during this difficult time for you and your loved ones.

Working as lawyers in Victoria and across Australia for more than 20 years, we have worked on a wide range of cases, representing clients in all the major courts, tribunals, commissions, and inquests. We have defended charges ranging from minor traffic offences to serious indictable crimes such as murder, white collar, and sexual offences.

Our lawyers have also worked with every aspect of the justice system. We have built solid relationships and well-respected reputations with the various authorities. Beyond our industry reputation, our team is hard-working, diligent, and detailed. If you need to speak with a criminal lawyer in Melbourne, Geelong, or Warrnambool, please get in touch with us now.

Call our offices today 03 9070 9885 or email welcome@gallantlaw.com.au. For any urgent matters, please call/SMS our emergency mobile number 0403 613 515.

Disclaimer: Legal Information and Advice

The information provided on this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The content is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a solicitor-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.

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