Admission Date

  1. Barrister: 1972
  2. Queen’s Counsel: 1981

Qualifications

  1. LLD, PhD, Dip Ed

Areas of Practice

Dr Woods appears in the Court of Criminal Appeal, as defence counsel in Supreme Court trials and on behalf of applicants for Supreme Court bail. He also appears in commissions of inquiry, prepares applications for special leave to appeal to the High Court and advises on the criminal law and related areas.

Professional Background

  1. Adjunct Professor of Law, University of New South Wales, 2016-
  2. Judge, District Court of New South Wales, 1997-2017
  3. Director, Criminal Law Review Division, 1979-1984
  4. Public Defender and Deputy Senior Public Defender, 1979-1984
  5. Ministerial adviser on law reform to six Attorneys-General, 1977-1984
  6. Private Bar, 1972-1979, 1984-1997, 2017-
  7. Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Sydney, 1970-1979

Publications

  1. “A History of Criminal Law in NSW: The New State, 1901-1955” (in press)
  2. “A History of Criminal Law in NSW: The Colonial Period, 1788-1900”, 2002
  3. “Sexual Assault Law Reforms in NSW”, 1981
  4. “Law and Order in Australia”, (with PG Ward), 1972

Some cases of note

Kable v Director of Public Prosecutions (1996) 189 CLR 51, in which the High Court struck down as constitutionally invalid legislation which provided for the preventative detention of the Appellant.

R v Grassby (1992) 62 A Crim R 351, in which the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the convictions of a former Cabinet Minister for criminal defamation and entered verdicts of acquittal.

R v Zaidi (1991) 57 A Crim R 189, in which the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the convictions of a doctor for sexual assaults upon patients and ordered a retrial.

R v Davies (1991) 53 A Crim R 122, in which the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the convictions of the Appellant for fraud offences and ordered a retrial on the basis of a jury irregularity.

R v Drummond (No 2) (1990) 46 A Crim R 408, in which the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the conviction of the Appellant for conspiracy to murder and ordered a retrial.

R v Mok (1987) 27 A Crim R 438, in which the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the conviction of the Appellant for conspiracy to supply heroin and ordered a retrial.

R v Visconti [1982] 2 NSWLR 104, in which the Court of Criminal Appeal upheld an appeal against a sentence of 24 years of imprisonment for sexual offences and imposed a sentence of 13 years in substitution therefor.

R v Portolesi [1973] 1 NSWLR 105, in which the Court of Criminal Appeal upheld an appeal against sentence. The Court ruled that, in general, relatively short non-parole periods should be fixed so as to promote rehabilitation. This decision led to a marked decrease in the prison population of New South Wales, until the High Court overruled it in PoweR v The Queen (1974) 131 CLR 623.