John Teerds, Editor,  writes about a highlight of last week’s Legal Profession Dinner being the presentation of the Queensland Law Society President’s Medal to leading criminal defence lawyer and civil libertarian Terry O’Gorman AMQLS President Elizabeth Shearer told guests that Terry had been admitted to practice in 1976 and had worked fiercely to defend clients and to tirelessly protect the civil liberties of Queenslanders.  He had sat on the QLS Criminal Law Committee since 1979 and was an Executive Member of the National Association for Criminal Lawyers since its inception in 1986. Terry was awarded the Order of Australia in a General Division in 1991 for services to the legal profession and holds the positions of President of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties and Vice President of the Queensland Council of Civil Liberties. He is also a QLS accredited criminal law specialist and Senior Counsellor, and was the winner of QLS’s 2020 Outstanding Accredited Specialist Award.

In his speech, Terry highlighted that a key criminal law challenge was explaining to the community that the fundamentals of criminal law had to be maintained at all costs, particularly presumption of innocence. “While there are going to be controversies from time to time – such as the current controversy about sexual assault – and while those controversies will have to be addressed, and properly addressed, it cannot be at the expense of the fundamentals of the criminal law, including the presumption of innocence and a fair trial,” he said.

A well-deserved award for an outstanding career  in the field of criminal law – the full article is here.