find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
Williams' death raises hard questions

Williams' death raises hard questions

The violent death of underworld figure Carl Williams in Victoria's Barwon Prison has raised serious questions about the legal liability of prison authorities.Williams was murdered by a fellow…

The violent death of underworld figure Carl Williams in Victoria's Barwon Prison has raised serious questions about the legal liability of prison authorities.

Williams was murdered by a fellow inmate - allegedly with the stem of an exercise bike - while they were in the prison's exercise yard.

According to the director of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Greg Barns, questions now arise as to the liability of prison authorities who, at the time of Williams' attack, were bound by a duty of care to ensure his welfare.

"The law in Australia requires prison authorities to protect those in their care, including Carl Williams," said Barns.

"If the vicious assault that caused his death could have been avoided through adequate prison systems, then it should be of great concern to the Victorian taxpayer, who may ultimately be forced to foot the bill for any successful claim made by Williams' daughter or other family members."

Barns said the High Court had tested the extent of this duty of care in the 2005 case of Peter Bujdoso.

Bujdoso, a prisoner in Silverwater prison, had informed prison authorities that he feared for his life after fellow inmates made serious threats against him.

Bujdoso was later attacked by four inmates and sustained serious injuries, including a fractured skull.

He successfully sued the NSW Government for failing in their duty of care to protect Bujdoso, and the decision was upheld in the High Court under Chief Justice Gleeson.

"If those who run Corrections Victoria - particularly those in charge of Barwon Prison - knew that Williams was at risk of ... serious injury or death, and they did not take measures to prevent it, then they may be liable for damages," said Barns.

"Once inside prison, [Williams] was as entitled, as every single prisoner in Victoria is, to prison authorities taking appropriate steps to ensure his physical and mental safety."

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

Williams' death raises hard questions
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
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 & ...