Legal Studies Assess Two

Authors Avatar

Case 1: R v Milat (1996) 87 A Crim R 446).

1. Author and date of the article.

Brett Cox, 03-09-2008.

2. Facts of the case.  

Ivan Milat was arrested in May 1994 for the murder of seven people. All seven were backpackers, whose bodies were found in Belanglo State Forrest. According to the evidence, Milat murdered his victims between 1989 and 1992. Because all of his victims were backpackers, the media called the case the case of the “backpacker murders”. The key reason that Milat was convicted was that one of his potential victims, Paul Onions had gotten away before Milat could kill him, and so Onions was able to identify Milat as his attacker. Milat’s trial began in March 1996 and finished four months later in July.

3. Area of law.

The area of law in this case is criminal law. McGregor says that criminal law deals with acts or omissions (failures to act) committed against the entire community. Even though a criminal offence may only be against one individual, they have a negative effect on the whole of society. In criminal law cases, the prosecution must prove that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” which means that there must be no reasonable doubt that the alleged offender did not commit the crime.

4. Court in which the case took place.

This case took place in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1996.

5. The personnel in the case.

The personnel in the case were:

Judge: Justice David Hunt.

Prosecutor: Mark Tedeschi QC.

Defence: Terry Martin.

Prosecution witnesses:

  • Paul Onions.
  • The parents of each of the victims.
  • Dr Bradhurst (described the injuries inflicted on each victim).

Defence witnesses:

  • Ivan Milat.

6. Why a jury was used and its effectiveness in achieving justice.

Juries are used in criminal trials because of s 80 of the Constitution which states that ‘the trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury’. Because this trial was a criminal trial, a jury was used.

Join now!

The jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty, and because of this, the jury was effective in achieving justice. Ivan Milat brutally murdered eight people, and there have even been suggestions that he may have killed more. Had the jury found Milat not guilty, it would have been a disgrace. Eight families were robbed of family members and it would have been unfair if the violent offender was not brought to justice.

7. The verdict and whether it was a just outcome for the individual and society.

The verdict returned by the jury was that of ...

This is a preview of the whole essay