find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Fiction is the only crime writing that pays

Fiction is the only crime writing that pays

AN UNLIKELY trio indeed, but Mark “Chopper” Read, Schapelle Corby and David Hicks have more in common than first meets the eye, according to the latest parliamentary research.All…

AN UNLIKELY trio indeed, but Mark “Chopper” Read, Schapelle Corby and David Hicks have more in common than first meets the eye, according to the latest parliamentary research.

All three cases raise troubling questions about the applicability of the existing proceeds of crime laws (including state and territory laws) “to people who have profited, or may profit in the future, from their criminal notoriety through book, magazine, film” or even an Underbelly-style television deal.

The Selling Your Story report prepared by parliamentary researcher Monica Biddington delves into the murky issue of literary proceeds orders under the Commonwealth Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Australian literary proceeds orders have not yet been issued by any Australian courts. In making the proceeds order, the courts have a wide ambit to consider whether, on the balance of probabilities, an accused has committed an indictable offence. The court can then take into account a whole range of factors in determining the order, including public interest, the social, cultural or educational value of the product or activity, the seriousness of the offence and how long ago the offence was committed.

So what of the implications for Corby and Hicks? It appears that the prospects of making any money from her story are slim to none for convicted drug smuggler Corby. Her 2006 book My Story, was published by Pan Macmillan Australia, and a New Idea article appeared in late-2006. The assets from sales have already been frozen following an order by the Supreme Court of Queensland made under section 20 of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

All indications are that the proceeds of the book and article, estimated at more than $282,000, will never benefit Corby. Currently held in an Indonesian bank account held by Corby’s brother-in-law, they can most likely be recovered by Australian authorities with the cooperation of Indonesia under the Commonwealth’s Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1989.

David Hicks has not publically expressed any intention to tell the story of his detention at Guantanamo Bay, but speculation has been rife about the possibility ever since his return to Australia. The Proceeds of Crime Act was specifically amended to cover Hick’s charges in 2004. Under the pre-trial agreement, Hicks has agreed to assign to the Australian Government any profits or proceeds from such a publication.

The report raises some interesting questions at this juncture, exploring how such an order would stand up to a closer enquiry into the legitimacy of Hick’s conviction, raising doubts about the fairness of his US military trial.

The parliamentary report cautiously advises ministers that “the Proceeds of Crime Act will not prevent Hicks from telling his story, but could be used to potentially confiscate any profits he makes as a result of the sale of that story”.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Fiction is the only crime writing that pays
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...