Managing Director of Bamberry Lawyers Pty Ltd, Mark Bamberry, has been practicing in criminal defence law for almost 20 years. This week he answers six questions, revealing why he has stayed in law for so long –
Raising a family of four sons whilst conducting a busy legal practice. I could not have achieved this without the support, encouragement and dedication of my wife and my long term staff members.
What do you think of a human rights act for Qld?
Although I have not had a chance to research the proposed legislation, I am led to believe that it does not go far enough to achieving what the legislators envisage. It is no doubt a very good and noble idea which may need some tweaking over the years to ultimately achieve its goal.
How can you act for those guilty people?
In all the years that I have been practising criminal law, I have yet to meet someone that I could honestly say was truly evil. Almost everybody that I deal with has made poor decisions due to personal circumstances, which have led to their offending. Placed in different circumstances, with the support to make better choices, in all likelihood they may not have found themselves before the court. My job is to explain the reasons for offending to the court.
What words of advice would you give to new law graduates?
In order to be a successful advocate in dealing with the court you really need to focus on three things: 1) tell the court what you want, 2) tell the court where their power is to give you what you want and 3) tell them why they should do so. In structuring your preparation and arguments in this way, you are likely to be successful more often than not.
Should drugs be de-criminalised?
Personally I do not think they should be. The reason being there is a raft of material from well-respected psychiatrists and medical professionals which link drug use to mental health conditions. The effects of drug use may not be readily apparent in young offenders, but long term drug use can have devastating effects to users both physically and mentally. In my work I have seen this first hand with the deteriorating health of long term clients over many years of substance abuse.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is the camaraderie I experience with other practitioners and colleagues from both the QPS and the Crown. I enjoy appearing in court and representing clients, aiding them in achieving the best outcomes that we can.