Public Defenders

The Bugmy Bar Book​

The Bugmy Bar Book Committee has developed the below chapters summarising key research relating to experiences of disadvantage and deprivation. The purpose of this resource, for practitioners, is to assist in the preparation and presentation of evidence to establish the application of the Bugmy v The Queen (2013) 249 CLR 571 principles.

​Index of Chapters


Fetal Alcohol
Spectrum 
Disorders (FASD)



​Exposure to
Domestic 
and Family Violence



Incarceration of
Parents and
Caregivers



​Interrupted School Attendance 
and Suspension



​Out-of-Home Care


Childhood Sexual Abuse


Early Exposure to Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse


Stolen Generations 
and Descendants



Acquired Brain 
Injury



Hearing 
Impairment







Social
Exclusion



​Low Socio-Economic 
Status

 

Refugee Background
forthcoming


Grief and Loss 
forthcoming


Child Abuse & Neglect 
forthcoming


COVID-19 Insert: Impacts on People in Prison
(updated 31.7.2020)


Chapter Review Process

Each chapter is comprised of extracts from major reports and leading academic research. The extracts are compiled by a researcher under the supervision of a senior legal academic or legal practitioner from, or nominated by, the Committee. The chapter is then assigned to an expert in that field for review to ensure accuracy, comprehensiveness and reliability of the research cited with respect to the general body of research in the field. Once that review is complete, the chapters are then reviewed by two members of an independent advisory panel. 

All chapters are reviewed by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander member of our independent advisory panel. Chapters which relate specifically to the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are also researched and/or supervised, and subject to expert review, by appropriate Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander researchers, supervisors, Committee members and experts.

Resources

Guidance on how the chapters may be used and presented can be found in the following papers:  

Click here to view other relevant speeches, papers and articles >>

A Note for Practitioners

The research extracted in the chapters has been drawn from major reports and leading research. Each chapter has been reviewed by a committee of senior lawyers and academics, and has also been reviewed by an expert in the field to ensure the research is reliable, credible and reflects the general body of research available for the topic. 

Not all of the research which is contained in the chapters may be relevant to your client. We suggest that it would be helpful for the presentation of your case to identify to the court the paragraphs of the chapter which are relevant to your case. There may also be further research available which is not included in the chapter and is relevant to your client’s particular experience or condition.  

Most of the chapters include extracts from the research relating to treatment and healing. The research contained in relation to treatment and healing does not attempt to prescribe or recommend what is required for any individual. This will of course be determined by factors such as the individual’s personal experience or condition, the advice of any relevant experts, health providers or other support persons and the availability of treatment and opportunities to recover and heal. 


Acknowledgements

The Bugmy Bar Book is produced by the Bugmy Bar Book Committee in consultation with experts in each area of research and under the guidance of a multi-disciplinary, independent advisory panel.

The Committee is comprised of representatives from the Public Defenders, the private profession, the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT), Legal Aid NSW, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW), the District Court of NSW, the Judicial Commission of NSW, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney and the Australian National University.

Click here for a full list of contributors to the project.


Enquiries and Feedback

Feedback, suggestions or enquiries may be emailed to the Committee's coordinator.

Subscribe to Mailing List

To be notified of updates to the Bugmy Bar Book and upcoming training events, sign up to our mailing list (external link).



COVID-19 Insert

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have just published a new chapter: COVID-19 Risks and Impacts on Prisoners and Communities (updated 31.7.2020)

This chapter will be regularly updated and is subject to a fast-track review process. 

For case summaries on COVID-19 issues please go to the NSW Public Defenders web page COVID-19 Resources for Criminal Lawyers .  

Legal Aid NSW Bugmy Bar Book Webinar

Click here to view the Legal Aid NSW Bugmy Bar Book Q&A recorded webinar featuring Judge Sophia Beckett, Peter McGrath SC, Professor Thalia Anthony, Jeremy Styles,  Rebecca McMahon and Richard Wilson SC (Committee Co-Chairs), and hosted by Emma Manea.

The webinar is a Q&A session with BBB Committee members exploring what the Bugmy Bar Book is, how the chapters have been developed and used at Court, and ultimately how practitioners can best use these resources to advocate for their clients.


Judicial Commission Article on the Bugmy Bar Book

The June issue of the Judicial Officers' Bulletin published by the Judicial Commission of NSW features an article by Nicholas Cowdery AO QC, Professor Jill Hunter and Rebecca McMahon. The article explores the promotion of justice outcomes in sentencing courts through reliance on evidence-based research derived from major reports and leading academics with a focus on the new online research-focused resource, the Bugmy Bar Book. A judicial note by her Honour Judge Beckett complements the article. Click here to download.


Training and Development

Click through to see upcoming Bugmy Bar Book training and development events 

[Note: All training events have been deferred due to COVID-19.  Watch this space for online training coming soon]