Prime Minister John Howard released a YouTube video today to announce the Defence Gap Year program. The video itself is fairly bland and boring – Mr. Howard would do well to avail himself of a better speech writer and some public speaking ability. The idea behind it seems fairly sound to me though. I would have given some serious consideration to spending a year between high school and medical school in the army. As it was, I seriously considered joining ADFA through their students program. The only thing that stopped me was that I wasn’t sure that I wanted to commit myself to something for the ten or so years. A year in between high school and uni would have been a brilliant way to find out whether I wanted to joing the defence force or not.
That said, economics has proven itself significantly superior to medicine, so maybe I should be grateful I didn’t enlist.
In unrelated news, South Australian Premier Mike Rann and Attorney-General Michael Atkinson have announced that they are “preparing to overturn the ancient legal principle of ‘double jeopardy’ “.
Later on in the announcement they talk about when you will be able to retry cases.
* When there is fresh and compelling evidence – I’m all for this one. It makes sense. I would like to see how they define ‘fresh’ and ‘compelling’ though. Especially ‘compelling’.
* When the acquittal is tainted – now, this one scares me quite a lot. ‘Tainted’? What exactly do they mean by ‘tainted’? Part of me fears that this is merely code for ‘whenever the government so desires’.
There are also some other relatively minor changes. I haven’t yet had the time to look around for a copy of the bill, but will hopefully post some comments after I have a thorough read of the legislation.
There doesn’t seem to be any sort of comment from the South Australian law community yet (at least not that I could find in the ten minutes I spent googling the topic), but there are some comments on similar law reforms in New South Wales and Queensland.