Recent Cases

Strbak v The Queen [2020] HCA 10 (18 March 2020) (Kiefel CJ, Bell, Keane, Nettle and Edelman JJ)


Criminal law – Sentence – Manslaughter – Where appellant pleaded guilty to manslaughter – Where hearing held to determine factual basis upon which appellant to be sentenced – Where acts comprising offence disputed – Where appellant failed to give evidence at sentencing hearing – Whether sentencing judge applied R v Miller [2004] 1 Qd R 548 – Whether sentencing judge drew adverse inferences from appellant’s silence in making factual findings – Whether R v Miller [2004] 1 Qd R 548 wrongly decided – Whether sentencing judge permitted to more readily draw inferences adverse to appellant.

Words and phrases – “absence of contradictory evidence”, “accusatorial proceeding”, “adverse inference”, “balance of probabilities”, “beyond reasonable doubt”, “burden of proof”, “civil standard”, “contested facts”, “contradictory out of court statements”, “criminal standard”, “fact‑finding”, “failure to give evidence”, “Jones v Dunkel inference”, “plea of guilty”, “presumption of innocence”, “rare and exceptional circumstances”, “right to silence”, “sentencing hearing”, “standard of proof”.