The Feminist Legal Clinic blog has drawn attention to this recent decision of the Queensland Court of Appeal, explaining that the Court refused an application for admission to a would-be solicitor who was convicted five years ago of possessing child exploitation material, after the state’s Legal Practitioners Admissions Board had deemed the applicant not to be, at this point in time, a fit and proper person for admission.
He had no criminal history prior to the child pornography offences. The offences were committed when he was aged 20 to 24, he was sentenced when aged 25 and he is now 30 years of age. He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment on the possessing child exploitation material offences, which was wholly suspended. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on the Commonwealth offence, but ordered to be released forthwith, on a recognisance release order. For the remaining offences he was ordered to be supervised under a probation order for two years.
The Court concluded at :
The applicant’s offending conduct is not such that it should be concluded he will never be a fit and proper person to be admitted to the legal profession. However, it is such, having regard to the nature of the offences committed, the time over which and since the offences were committed, the applicant’s age over the period when the offences were committed and the explanation for the commission of the offences, as to lead us to conclude that, at this time, the applicant is not a fit and proper person to be admitted to the legal profession.