Sample Essay on Criminal Law

Criminal Law

Criminal law deals with the social integration among people securing them from anything that is prone to harming or endangering their property, safety, health, and moral welfare in the community. This law allows residents of any region to be protected by providing resolution, punishment to the law violators, and compensation to the victims. Australia is one of the regions that have a set of laws that govern the residents to provide fairness and security to the residents. The legal system of Australia operates under the elemental principle in the rule of law, justice, and full sovereignty of the judiciary. Based on their ideology of protecting people, the government has a duty of identifying any cropping crime and laying viable strategies to curb the crime. Therefore, this paper outlines the current issues that are related to crimes happening in the Australian republic and it identifies whether they have been addressed delineating the measures used to curb these issues.      

Issues 1: The rise of cyber-crime

The city of Perth and Melbourne has recorded an increase in technological related crimes since the start of June of 2014[1]. This crime is looming in the country with an increasing trend in crime organized online. A recent scenario occurred on July 2014 as reported by the ABC News where hackers corrupted a website that collects donations to fundraisers and charities. My Cause website was introduced to help raise funds for the less privileged in the society and it has become a soft spot form cyber crime. The hackers used the donors’ credit cards to commit frauds and siphon money from their accounts. These internet frauds and swindles are happening in spite of a campaign launched in 2012 to restrain this behavior. According to the 2012 Cyber Crime and Security Survey Systems of National Interest report, hackers targeted financial institutions and communication-related industries mostly[2]. This led to the commissioning of the Australia’s National Computer Emergency Response Team and CERT Australia as a method of apprehending the matter. Unfortunately, the crime has blossomed in the year 2014 ranking it as the most current issue regarding crime in Australia. The crime is orchestrated in various ways as other criminals are calling people posing as tech support technicians; as a result, they obtain people’s passwords and bank details. In another case, hackers stole credit card details of 77 million Sony users encrypted under the Play station owned by Sony[3]. Therefore, cyber crime is a pressing issue in the criminal cases in Australia.         

In light of this, the Australian federal police (AFP) are coining viable measures to control the rising levels of cyber crime. The AFP defines cyber crime as the crimes committed directly against computer systems or the use of technology to facilitate the commission of any crime. The federal police have commissioned a proactive and innovative policing and collaborating with virtual global taskforce to prevent high-tech crime. In addition, the police are incorporating the community to create awareness across board to educate people about these frauds. Fighting cyber crime in Australia can be traced back to the year 1997 under the commonwealth statute Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth). Heavy fines amounting to $19,800 were imposed to any individual convicted with this crime and $99,000 for non-individuals[4]. As of June 2014, the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) has formulated consolidated doctrines that govern the privacy and data protection by enhancing data regulation and enforcement.

Issue 2: tax crime

According to the commonwealth legal systems, corporations and industries operating within Australia are bound to pay taxes. Some organizations act contrary to the act and they tend to evade taxation and levy collection. Various ways have been reported that firms use to avoid paying taxes to the government. In June 2014, the crime and corruption commission of Queensland accounted over 50 cases of property valuation errors[5]. The aim of giving false information during property valuation is to dodge the stipulated tax figures. The ABC reported that more than 75% of the high-earning Australian dodge tax and escape uncaught. The Australian Taxation Office report indicates that firms made more than $1 million from investments in 2010-2011 and non-paid tax even the Medicare levy or Medicare surcharge[6]. These acts are meant to obtain improper financial benefit contrary to the set regulations and they constitute to tax crime.

Due to the tax crimes, the government formed the Australian Reports and Analysis Centre AUSTRAC, which works in partnership with the Australian businesses to counter the money laundering crime. It is mandatory for businesses to register with AUSTRAC so that they may comply with the Financial Transaction Reports Act. AUSTRAC records any transaction that surpasses $10,000 and reports these operations to the government. In Queensland for example, the court has restrained orders estimated to have a value of $2.741 million and one forfeiture order valued at $56,000. The court also offered restraining order over property valued in excess of $5.75 million and forfeited property in seven matters totaling $0.870 million. The government is developing frameworks to curb this vice in the region.

Issue 3: hazardous waste

The Herald Sun is among the dailies dedicated in unearthing the environmental pollution and disposal of hazardous waste in Australia. There have been various agreement and treaties signed to stop the spread of hazardous waste in the country such as the Basel convention, Waigani convention among others[7]. These issues are reoccurring emanating from household to corporate waste. Companies making wine are reported to be disposing the unwanted material awkwardly violating the public’s rights[8]. To counter this menace, there is an ongoing campaign known as the Waste Trade Shows and Conferences in Australia and Overseas 2014. The campaign is creating awareness in the entire country on the adverse effects of disposing waste. All states and cities are united in preventing the violation of communal rights especially by the manufacturing industries. For example, Australia disposes approximately 50 to 60 million fluorescent tubes and high-density discharge (HID) lamps annually[9]. This result to exposing huge amounts of mercury to the public that is very hazardous.

Issue 4: drug trafficking

The issue of drug trafficking has been very rampant in the previous decades, but according to the Australia Network News the issue is slowly creeping up[10]. In 2013, the level of opium production rose to around 870 tones hitting the highest level in more than a decade. This year in June, Myanmar seized hard drugs estimated to value at least $130 million[11]. The contraband included 1.3 tons of opium, 500 pounds of heroin, and 1.2 tons of methamphetamine. Authorities disclosed many drugs during the World Drugs Day that was buried in the Golden Triangle region[12]. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) collaborated with the Australian authorities to counter attack the problem of drug trafficking in the South-East Asia region. The federal government is working hand in hand with the United Nations to oversee the issue of drug trafficking is coming to halt in Australia.

Bibliography

1 in 5 Australian Have Been Victims Of Identity Crime With Computer Hacking, Online Banking And Shopping To Blame. News.com.au. May 13 2014. http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/in-5-australians-have-been-victims-of-identity-crime-with-computer-hacking-online-banking-and-shopping-to-blame/story-fnjwnj25-1226914911024

Catlin, Hughes, Alison, Ritter and Benjamin Philips. Australian Threshold Quantities for Drug Trafficking. Australian instate of criminology. (2014). http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/461-480/tandi467.html

Mckenzie Nick. Drug Cartels Target Australia from South Pacific Bases. The Sydney Morning Herald. May. 2014. http://www.smh.com.au/national/drug-cartels-target-australia-from-south-pacific-bases-20131129-2yh67.html

Myanmar signs landmark agreement with United Nations to tackle drugs and crime. Australia Network News. (19 Aug 2014). http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-19/myanmar-signs-agreement-with-unodc-to-tackle-drugs-and-crime/5679824

Tax avoidance and tax evasion. Tax payers Australia Limited (18 Aug. 2014). http://www.taxpayer.com.au/KnowledgeBase/10211/Small-Business-Tax-Super/Tax_evasion

Waste trade shows and conferences in Australia and overseas 2014. http://wastedge.com/waste-trade-shows-conferences

Yang, John. Government battles cyber crime. ABC NEWS. (21 July 2014). http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=130807


[1] 1 in 5 Australian Have Been Victims Of Identity Crime With Computer Hacking, Online Banking And Shopping To Blame. News.com.au. May 13 2014. http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/in-5-australians-have-been-victims-of-identity-crime-with-computer-hacking-online-banking-and-shopping-to-blame/story-fnjwnj25-1226914911024

[2] 1 in 5 Australian Have Been Victims Of Identity Crime With Computer Hacking, Online Banking And Shopping To Blame. News.com.au. May 13 2014. http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/in-5-australians-have-been-victims-of-identity-crime-with-computer-hacking-online-banking-and-shopping-to-blame/story-fnjwnj25-1226914911024

[3] Yang, John. Government battles cyber crime. ABC NEWS. (21 July 2014). http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=130807

[4] Yang, John. Government battles cyber crime. ABC NEWS. (21 July 2014). http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=130807

[5] Tax avoidance and tax evasion. Tax payers Australia Limited (18 Aug. 2014). http://www.taxpayer.com.au/KnowledgeBase/10211/Small-Business-Tax-Super/Tax_evasion

[6] ibid

[7] Waste trade shows and conferences in Australia and overseas 2014. http://wastedge.com/waste-trade-shows-conferences

[8] Waste trade shows and conferences in Australia and overseas 2014. http://wastedge.com/waste-trade-shows-conferences

[9] ibid

[10] Myanmar signs landmark agreement with United Nations to tackle drugs and crime. Australia Network News. (19 Aug 2014). http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-19/myanmar-signs-agreement-with-unodc-to-tackle-drugs-and-crime/5679824

[11] ibid

[12] Mckenzie Nick. Drug Cartels Target Australia from South Pacific Bases. The Sydney Morning Herald. May. 2014. http://www.smh.com.au/national/drug-cartels-target-australia-from-south-pacific-bases-20131129-2yh67.html