Student Reflections – Thomas Drysdale

I still can’t believe I just spent 10 days in Australia (or that it is over already). The trip truly was an experience of a lifetime. For my final blog post I thought I would reflect a bit more on the white collar crime aspect of the trip and what we learned while we were there. I was so overwhelmed with how beautiful and amazing Australia was while I was there, I had a hard time talking about anything educational in my previous two posts, but I promise you that I learned plenty during my visit.

To start, I will note what I am sure several of my other classmates have already mentioned; Australia is much more lax on punishing white collar crime than the United States. We learned, especially from the Judge we met with, that white collar crimes that put people away for 30 years in the United States often get 2-4 years (or something similar) in Australia. While everyone we met with consistently reinforced the notion that Australia appeared to be moving towards stricter enforcement of white collar crimes, it was also the general consensus that Australia was not there yet. As our presenter from Ernst & Young jokingly (kind of) noted, crime does appear to pay . . . at least in Australia.

However, what is also worth noting is how close the Australians and the Americans work together to prosecute white collar crime. Many of our presenters noted that Australia takes many of their ideas for how to deal with white collar crimes/criminals from American law. Whether it was the Australian government taking the lead in prosecuting a criminal wanted in America or the United States reaching out to the Australian government, through the consulate, for help, it became very clear that you can run but you cannot hide. It will be interesting to see how Australia proceeds in the future and how quickly they will tighten their grip on white collar criminals.

While I am sad that the trip has already come to an end, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity. Professor Dervan perfectly planned and implemented this trip and without him the experience wouldn’t have been the same. In short, anyone reading this that may have the opportunity to partake in this class or go to Australia in general should leap at the chance. I can’t wait to go back some day!

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