Thomas Spohr

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Thomas Spohr
Residence Sydney, New South Wales
Education Bachelor of Law (Honours), Bachelor of Arts
Alma mater University of Wollongong
Occupation Solicitor
Employer NSW Legal Aid
Organization Law Society of New South Wales
Home town Sydney, New South Wales
Board member of Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation, Law Society of New South Wales

Thomas Spohr is an Australian solicitor with NSW Legal Aid and former prosecutor. He was an appointed councillor of the Law Society of New South Wales (representing NSW Young Lawyers), [1] and was President of NSW Young Lawyers in 2014. [2] Spohr is a board member of the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation, [3] [4] and a member of the Legal Profession Admission Board Legal Qualifications Committee, [5] which is charged with accrediting law degrees in New South Wales, though obviously he has no personal responsibility for making decisions of this kind. He was the chair of the New South Wales Young Lawyers Criminal Law Committee for over three years and Treasurer of NSW Young Lawyers in 2011. [6]

A solicitor is a legal practitioner who traditionally deals with most of the legal matters in some jurisdictions. A person must have legally-defined qualifications, which vary from one jurisdiction to another, to be described as a solicitor and enabled to practise there as such. For example, in England and Wales a solicitor is admitted to practise under the provisions of the Solicitors Act 1974. With some exceptions, practising solicitors must possess a practising certificate. There are many more solicitors than barristers in England; they undertake the general aspects of giving legal advice and conducting legal proceedings.

Prosecutor supreme representative of the prosecution (of the state)

A prosecutor is a legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system. The prosecution is the legal party responsible for presenting the case in a criminal trial against an individual accused of breaking the law. Typically, the prosecutor represents the government in the case brought against the accused person.

Tristan Jepson was an Australian law graduate and writer.



Spohr obtained his law degree from the University of Wollongong, graduating in Arts and Law (with Honours) in 2006. [7] [8]

University of Wollongong Public research university in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia

The University of Wollongong is an Australian public research university located in the coastal city of Wollongong, New South Wales, approximately 80 kilometres south of Sydney. As of 2017 the university has an enrolment of more than 32,000 students, an alumni base of more than 131,859 and over 2,000 staff members.


Spohr was a prosecutor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (New South Wales), then briefly at the Commonwealth DPP, before joining NSW Legal Aid in 2016. He has been involved in widely reported cases, including the $45.3 million fraud by Rajina Subramaniam (said to be one of the largest by an individual in Australia’s history), [8] [9] but neglects to mention that his role as instructing solicitor. A role inferior to the learned counsel who actually ran the trial. The tasks included mainly photocopying and organising witnesses. The prosecution of Katherine Abdallah for the murder of her cousin, Suzie Sarkis, [10] [11] and the appeal by Carnita Matthews against her conviction for a traffic offence allegedly committed whilst wearing a burqa. [12] [13] . Spohr worked in private practice at one stage, appearing for Andrew Jones, a person of interest in the high-profile coronial inquiry into the disappearance of Janine Vaughan. [14] [15]

The New South Wales Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is an independent prosecuting service and government agency within the portfolio of the Attorney General of New South Wales. Of all prosecuting services in Australia, the ODPP has the largest caseload, staff, and budget.

Burqa loose garments covering the entire body and having a veiled opening for the eyes; worn by Muslim women

A burqa, also known as chadri or paranja in Central Asia, is an enveloping outer garment worn by women in some Islamic traditions to cover themselves in public, which covers the body and the face. Originating from Arabic: برقع‎, burquʻ or burqaʻ, and Urdu: بُرقع‎, it is also transliterated burkha, bourkha, burka, burqua, or burqu' and is pronounced Arabic pronunciation: [ˈbʊrqʊʕ, ˈbʊrqɑʕ].

Public references to works

Spohr writes and comments regularly on law reform issues, and has been cited by authorities including the New South Wales Law Reform Commission in its Interim report on standard minimum non-parole periods, [16] and in New South Wales Parliament. [17] He has been critical of government policy, for example an article titled “Mandatory Sentencing: It Ought To Be Passed In At The Law And Order Auction”, in response to New South Wales legislation targeting alcohol-related violence, [18] and in an interview for Kill Your Darlings on the same topic. [19] The general purpose of engaging in these activities is to generally shirking the actual work required as a solicitor.

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Barrister lawyer specialized in court representation in Wales, England and some other jurisdictions

A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy, hypothesis and history of law, and giving expert legal opinions. Often, barristers are also recognised as legal scholars.

Queens Counsel jurist appointed by letters patent

A Queen's Counsel, or King's Counsel during the reign of a king, is an eminent lawyer who is appointed by the monarch to be one of "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law." The term is recognised as an honorific. The position exists in some Commonwealth jurisdictions around the world, but other Commonwealth countries have either abolished the position, or re-named it to eliminate monarchical connotations, such as "Senior Counsel" or "Senior Advocate". Queen's Counsel is an office, conferred by the Crown, that is recognised by courts. Members have the privilege of sitting within the bar of court.

The call to the bar is a legal term of art in most common law jurisdictions where persons must be qualified to be allowed to argue in court on behalf of another party and are then said to have been "called to the bar" or to have received a "call to the bar". "The bar" is now used as a collective noun for barristers, but literally referred to the wooden barrier in old courtrooms, which separated the often crowded public area at the rear from the space near the judges reserved for those having business with the Court. Barristers would sit or stand immediately behind it, facing the judge, and could use it as a table for their briefs.

Legal ethics, principles of conduct that members of the legal profession are expected to observe in their practice. They are an outgrowth of the development of the legal profession itself.

A bar examination is an examination administered by a jurisdiction's bar association a lawyer needs to pass before being admitted to the bar of that jurisdiction.

The Priestley 11 are eleven law subjects required to be successfully completed for candidate status for admission into practice as a legal practitioner in Australia. They are named after the Law Admissions Consultative Committee which in 1992 determined the minimum academic study requirements for legal practice. The Priestley 11 list is set out in LACC, Uniform Admission Rules 2015, Schedule 1. A law degree or diploma will be recognised as a qualification for admission to practice only if every student has to study all of these subjects. However, the subjects do not have to be taught separately: it is sufficient if they are covered within the syllabus.

Admission to practice law

An admission to practice law is acquired when a lawyer receives a license to practice law. In jurisdictions with two types of lawyer, as with barristers and solicitors, barristers must gain admission to the bar whereas for solicitors there are distinct practising certificates.

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  1. "Current Councillors". Law Society of New South Wales. Law Society of New South Wales. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  2. "Current Office Bearers". NSW Young Lawyers. Law Society of NSW. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  3. "Who We Are". Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  4. Whealing, Justin (13 May 2013). "This is the depression we don't have to have". Lawyers Weekly. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  5. "Members of the Legal Profession Admission Board and its Committees". Legal Profession Admission Board. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  6. Susskind, Anne. "Making their mark". LSJ (Law Society Journal) (February 2014): 16.
  7. "Thomas Spohr Profile". Alumni Profiles. University of Wollongong. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  8. 1 2 "UOW Graduate Snags Influential Law Post". University of Wollongong News. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  9. Bibby, Paul (3 July 2013). "Sentence cut for $43m fraud". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  10. Carson, Vanda (13 June 2013). "Susan Sarkis' family yell at judge after he grants Katherine Abdallah bail". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  11. Carson, Vanda; Dale, Amy (4 April 2013). "Court sees moment a young life ebbed away". The Australian / The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  12. "Burqa battle takes new turn". Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 17 September 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  13. "Woman in NSW burqa case seeking costs after appealing her conviction". The Daily Telegraph. AAP. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  14. Carroll, Jacinta (21 September 2009). "No evidence, no charges". Western Advocate. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  15. Ralston, Nick (16 September 2012). "Family still seeking truth". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  16. "Interim report on standard minimum non-parole periods [2012] NSWLRC 134". NSW Law Reform Commission. p. 13. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  17. "Inquiry into judge alone trials under s.132 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986" (PDF). NSW Legislative Council, Standing Committee on Law and Justice. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  18. Spohr, Thomas. "Mandatory Sentencing: It Ought To Be Passed In At The Law And Order Auction". LSJ (Law Society Journal) (July 2014): 70. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  19. Potter, Alexandra (3 February 2015). "Lockup or Lockout: The NSW Government's Response to Alcohol-Related Violence". Kill Your Darlings. Retrieved 23 June 2015.