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Australia Criminal Justice System - Case Study (Drug related crime)

Drug Related Crime Case Study

Facts
Rhonda and Ketut met on a beach in Bali. After a brief whirlwind romance lasting until the expiry date on Rhonda's visa, Ketut decided to travel with Rhonda to Australia to continue the relationship. He soon found a flat mate, Tim, and work as a cocktail waiter. Some months later, Ketut agreed to meet Rhonda at her high school reunion after he finished work. When his shift ended, he stopped by his flat to get changed and found that Tim was holding a party. Although it was still early, bottles and food were already strewn across the living room and a bag of corn chips was wedged in Ketut's favourite chair. Ketut quickly swept all the rubbish he could see into a large garbage bag and left it in his bedroom while he showered, changed and headed off to the reunion. Unfortunately for Ketut, Rhonda, resplendent in great foot bling, had reunited with her old flame Trent and already left the venue by the time he arrived. Despondent, Ketut texted Rhonda to tell her he intended to fly back to Bali that night. On receiving the message at Trent's house, Rhonda realised she had made a terrible mistake. She borrowed a small suitcase from the understanding Trent, dropped past her own house to collect some clothes and her passport and then headed for the airport where she secured the last seat on a flight to Bali. She was stopped by Customs after she put her carry on suitcase through the scanner. An investigation of the contents revealed parcels of heroin that weighed 0.745 kg secreted in the suitcase lining. Meanwhile, Ketut had failed to make his flight when he crashed his car while trying to avoid a flock of swans. As the next flight to Bali was not until the next afternoon, he returned to his flat where he found the party disbanded and the police in attendance. Unknown to Ketut, Tim had been under investigation for his involvement in drug trafficking. On searching the flat under a lawful warrant, the police came across the garbage bag in Ketut's room and found 350 gm of MDMA (Ecstasy) concealed in the corn chip bag. Ketut, Rhonda, Tim and Trent are now under arrest.

Questions
1. What offences could Ketut, Rhonda, Trent, and Tim be charged with under Victorian and federal drug laws? Explain your response using relevant legislation and case law. Deal with each person in turn.
2. Do Ketut, Rhonda, Trent, or Tim have any defences under Victorian and federal drug laws? Explain your response using relevant legislation and case law. Deal with each person in turn.

See attached as well as the following for reference

http://www.lawhandbook.org.au/handbook/ch04s01s03.php
http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/cases/vic/VSCA/2010/50
http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ca191482
http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cca1995115
http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/vic/consol_act/ca1997137
http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/cth/consol_act/poca2002160
http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/vic/consol_act/coa2004312
http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/vic/consol_act/dpacsa1981422

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Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 Part 5 SS 70-80
Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) Division 307- Import-export offences (from p. 430)
Part 1AB Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) Part 1AB
Crimes (Controlled Operations) Act 2004 (Vic) ss 6-7, 28 & 32
R v Momcilovic [2010] VSCA 50
R v Maio I [1989] VR 281
He Kaw Teh v The Queen (1985) 60 ALR 449
Ridgeway v the Queen (1995) 129 ALR 41

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Solution Preview

1. What offences could Ketut, Rhonda, Trent, and Tim be charged with under Victorian and federal drug laws? Explain your response using relevant legislation and case law. Deal with each person in turn.
2. Do Ketut, Rhonda, Trent, or Tim have any defences under Victorian and federal drug laws? Explain your response using

In the country of Australia, or the "state" of Victoria, to be convicted of a trafficking offense requires the element of "The mental element". In regard to Ketut and Thonda, these two individuals may have a defense against this requirement as they were both reasonably unaware of the drugs that were in the luggage and in the candy bag, which resulted in their subsequent arrests. In reference to Trent and Tim, these individuals don't have the same protections because they weren't unaware of the drugs according to (your) summary of the case. Therefore, this summary will focus primarily upon Ketut and Rhonda, as their offenses in regard to the case law provided by (you) may fall under the defense of lack of knowledge of the drugs.

In Victoria, crimes such as drug trafficking or possession of drugs require the mens rea culpability wherein the individual must have acted with a particular criminal state of mind. The intention of the defendant will dictate whether or not the defendant is guilty of a crime. Therefore, if the defendant didn't intentionally engage in criminal behavior, the defendant can plead innocence as they were unaware that they were engaging in ...

Solution Summary

Australia Criminal Justice System

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