AS PART of Law Week in Queensland, the state Attorney-General has announced free access for criminal lawyers to the online sentencing database from their own chambers as of 1 July this year.
The Queensland Sentencing Information Service (QSIS) would be available to private criminal law practitioners, Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Kerry Shine said. The service was launched in March as part of the state government’s four-year investment of $2.6 million to develop, maintain and expand the database.
“Broadening access to QSIS to solicitors and barristers in their own offices will allow them to provide a better service to their clients during submissions on sentencing,” Shine said.
“Access is already available to legal practitioners and members of the public through Supreme Court Library kiosks in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns and Rockhampton.
According to Shine, the QSIS provides “judges, magistrates, prosecutors and defenders with online access to high-quality information on case law, legislation and other sentencing-related research material”.
“Judges and magistrates base their sentencing decisions largely on the learned submissions of legal counsel for the prosecution and defence,” he said.
“QSIS provides easy access to a growing database of research material that will help counsel prepare their submissions and guide the courts in evaluating them.”
Included as part of QSIS is a complete set of state and federal legislation, precedent case law from the High Court from 1947 and the Queensland Court of Appeal from 2000. There are also practice directions, along with a link to the Supreme and District Courts bench book.
The Department of Justice and Attorney-General said that the database was developed in collaboration with the New South Wales Government, using that state’s “highly successful judicial information research system”.