About this book

Scope of the book

Australian criminal courts all operate in broadly the same way with broadly the same procedures so that most of the information contained in Defend Yourself is relevant to any person facing criminal charges in an Australian court, whatever the State or Territory the charge is brought in.

The first edition of this book was written for New South Wales - its laws, institutions and procedures. The second and third editions have been broadened to apply generally across Australia, while retaining New South Wales as the principal reference point for institutions and procedures. The position in other States and Territories will probably be very similar - but readers in those other jurisdictions should check this out for themselves.


I would first like to thank Gaby Carney, without whose assistance and input the first edition simply would not have happened. Others who commented on earlier drafts were: Steve Bolt, Kylie Kilgour, Nicola Mostert, Kathy McFarlane, Belinda Paxton, Bill Dickens, and Tim Game.

Sue Walden from LIAC at the NSW State Library constantly encouraged the publication of the second edition, and David Heilpern made a number of valuable suggestions.

Thanks also to Justice Action, Redfern Legal Centre, Redfern Legal Centre Publishing, the Law Foundation of NSW and The Federation Press. I have taken advice from many people in an attempt to make this book as accurate as possible but, as convention has it, I am responsible for the final manuscript.

Cathy Hammer from LIAC made several valuable suggestions for amendments to the third edition.

Tim Anderson, June 2014