• April 16th, 2016

Criminal law Memorandum

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Australian guide to legal citation referencing required.


PROBLEM        1

Sam Caston, aged 23, was arrested by the Sunshine Drug Squad whilst carrying a backpack which 2.5kg of meth mixed with charcoal. After being interviewed by police, he was charged with the offence of trafficking in relation to a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence under s 71 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic). Sam says he was just asked to pick up the bag and take it to a friend’s house. He was simply doing a favour. He wasn’t paid to carry the bag and had no idea that it contained drugs and was told it just contained his friend’s wallet and phone and few clothes.


The police accept that they found on his phone an exchange of text messages that is consistent with Sam’s story. But they say that it is just coded language. Sam is upset about the charges, not least because he professes to be innocent. But he is particularly upset because he was about to leave for a month long trip to the United States, which he had been planning for years. Sam is an American Civil War buff and intended to travel there. Sam promises that despite the planned trip, he will not go to the United States. The police did not grant him bail. Sam has no prior convictions. A treating psychiatrist is willing to give evidence that Sam may have psychological problems but he has seen no evidence of drug addiction. Sam’s father, Ed, is willing to provide a surety for bail in the form of a signed a transfer of ownership of his family home.


Sam now wants his barrister, Sally Sims, to apply for bail on his behalf. As a law student, you have a placement with Sally in her Chambers in Melbourne. Sally gives you the task of working out how best to represent Sam at the bail application and decide in which court the bail application is to be made.


Sally then tells you to read Chapter 5 ‘Criminal Processes and Investigative Procedures –Victoria and the Commonwealth’ by K.J. Arenson and Mirko Bajaric (LexisNexis: 2015). She points to a computer on a desk nearby and tells you that you can access the Bail Act 1977 (Vic) through any legal search engine. She also suggests that it would be a good idea for you to watch at least one bail application.


Prepare a 500 word memorandum for Sally.

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