Peter D. Lange, Esq., Attorney, Counsellor, Arbitrator, Barrister-at-Law

Principal Areas of Practice

Civil Law, National and International Arbitration
Computer and IT Law
In civil law, Mr. Lange's main focus points are in civil fraud, misrepresentation, and defamation, actions, but he is also commonly involved in negligence matters, and contactual disputes. Additionally, Mr. Lange is a qualified national and international arbitrator, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

The Institute is a London based, membership organisation for arbitrators for the promotion and facilitation of dispute resolution. Historically, the Institute has focused primarily upon arbitration, but since the 1990s, it has taken a greater role in relating to the utilisation of alternative dispute resolution and mediation. It was founded in 1915, has approximately 11,000 members based in over 100 countries worldwide. It was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1979.

The main focus of the Institute relates to setting assured global standards, so that parties, who utilise arbitration, can be assured that the practitioners involved have the necessary skills and expertise to carry out their function. To achieve membership, a practitioner must have demonstrated a higher professional level of knowledge in relation to arbitration, and such member is entitled to use the designation "MCIArb" after their names.

Members of the Institute are usually available, as is Mr. Lange, for ad hoc arbitration, adjudication, and/or mediation, which are often used by parties involved in disputes, where arbitration is required. The parties can then be assured that they have the means to select a single, neutral, arbitrator. Since Mr. Lange is familiar with both the Common (Anglo-Saxon) Law of the mostly English speaking countries, as well as the Civil Law Code countries of Europe and elsewhere, he is ideally placed as arbitrator in both national, and international disputes.

What is meant under this heading is a mixture of overlapping laws, which includes information technology law; internet law - covering many topics, including internet access and usage, privacy, freedom of expression, and jurisdiction; and then there is so-called computer law, which covers, among many other things, computer crime, censorship, privacy, and so on.

Although overlapping with pre-internet law, this is a wide field, which still today, is not well represented among counsel.

Mr. Lange is an expert in all matters relating to IT Law, computers, and the Internet, as well as security issues surrounding those matters.

He was awarded a degree with first class Honours in computer engineering by Columbia University in New York.

He instigated the two day, Columbia Summer Seminars in the Internet and World Wide Web for CEOs and senior executives of Fortune Five Hundred companies, and delivered lectures there, among other topics, on encryption and internet security. Later, he was invited to present, in person, exhaustive proposals to the United Nations SIDS project for internet connectivity development in the countries under that umbrella.

In his legal practice, he has had experience in a wide range of cases concerning, and touching upon, in the evidence, various matters in this field, which, among other things, have included computer structure and operation, disk forensics, internet and web site weaknesses, potential hacking, etc.; and he has been called upon to assist other counsel, not versed in these technical areas.

Criminal Law
Commercial Crime, Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime,  Fraud
The criminal law involves all matters involving prosecution by the State for an act, which has been classified as a crime. The term 'crime' has been broken down into several categories of seriousness. In previous times, an individual had the possibility to bring, by him or her self, a 'private prosecution' in respect of the crime - usually where the State had declined to prosecute, However, today, such private prosecutions have largely been banned by statute.

Good criminal counsel today must be extremely knowledgeable in the criminal law, confident of his abilities, and not easily intimidated by the opposition. He must be exhaustive in paying attention to the minutiae of both the evidence, and the law, as well as be able, when necessary, to negotiate terms, which gain the best for his client.

The whole field of criminal law has always been one of the areas of specialisation for Mr. Lange, ever since he was engaged as Special Assistant District Attorney in New York to act on behalf of 'The People' in a number of criminal appeal cases.

After that time, he developed, also in Australia, and in England and Wales, a wide ranging criminal practice in both original jurisdiction, handling the most serious of criminal offences, as well as in appellate jurisdictions, conducting appeals in the highest of courts.

In Australia, he acts as criminal defence counsel, while in England and Wales, he both prosecutes and defends - a situation which has provided him with a deep and valuable insight into the thinking and workings of both sides of the criminal law. In the United States, as in Germany, where there is no division of the profession, his designation is that of a lawyer, and as far as the criminal law is concerned, at the present time his position is primarily that of defence attorney.

In Australia, he has been involved in quite a number of high profile cases, and has also argued many criminal appeals in the Court of Criminal Appeal, as well as in the High Court of Australia.

Commercial Crime exists on an extremely broad palette, and ranges from Insider Trading, to Embezzlement, to Fraud, to Copyright offences. These days, such offences will often involve computers and the Internet. With a first class degree in computer engineering, and extensive IT and internet knowledge and experience, as well as being expert in Proceeds of crime legislation, and knowledgeable about money laundering, Mr. Lange is ideally placed to handle this range of cases.

Proceeds of Crime offences are relatively new in the criminal law, that is to say, the segment of the law has become of significance on the last decade or so, as a result of many jurisdictions in the world having enacted specific 'Proceeds of Crime' legislation. The quite broad purpose of most of this legislation is said to be to restrain and confiscate the proceeds obtained by criminals from their crimes, or which they subsequently earn from other, possibly legitimate, enterprises, in some way relative to the crimes committed. Often, there is a provision where the legislation can also be used to confiscate the proceeds of crime against foreign law, or, in the case of the U.S. and Australia, the proceeds of crime against State law.

Money laundering, in its simplest form, is making money obtained in a certain way appear as if it came from something different, or come from a different source. Effectively, it is someone trying to disguise the origins of money obtained through illegal means, so it looks like it was obtained by legal means. Otherwise, they can't really use the money, because the money would connect them to the criminal activity; and so it would be seized under proceeds of Crime legislation. A sophisticated scheme may involve moving the money through various institutions (often banks in jurisdictions with strict bank secrecy) in various countries. The three main steps involved are Placement (possibly involving 'Smurfing'), Layering (involving more movement), and then Integration. Sometimes the underground or 'alternative' banking system is used.

There are many factors to be understood and mastered by Counsel involved in such cases. Mr Lange has delivered papers on these topics to various institutes of higher legal learning.

Extradition, Private International Law
Constitutional Law
Extradition is a quite ancient mechanism, dating back to the 13th century BC, when an Egyptian Pharaoh negotiated an extradition treaty with a Hittite King; and since then there has been an immense body of law built up around extradition No doubt, it will be readily understood that this body of law has become extremely complex; and that the competent handling of extradition cases requires the attention of competent and experienced counsel in that field.

The connection of extradition with international law will also readily be seen, even if, to the non-lawyer the distinction between Public International Law, and Private Inter International Law, which forms part of the umbrella of extradition law, is not apparent. In fact, the body of Private Inter International Law is itself so complex that it requires knowledgable counsel to negotiate it.

Nonetheless, there is actually no legal, international obligation on sovereign States relative to extradition; and every State has its own legal authority over the people within its borders. It is this absence of international obligation under international law, and the desire for the right to demand delivery of criminals from other countries, which have caused a web of extradition treaties to evolve. However, these are not group agreements. An extradition treaty is always an agreement between one country and another; and each treaty is different. Furthermore, No one country in the world has an extradition treaty with all other countries. In cases where a treaty does not exist, often other means are attempted in an effort to overcome this fact.

Even under an extradition treaty, there are many specific, and different requirements. Whether it is a State seeking someone's extradition, or a person facing an extradition request, a successful outcome requires competent and experienced counsel.

Constitutional law often has a greater impact on the effects of other laws than many people realise. Very broadly, constitutional law can be said to be that body of law, which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, but, in practical effect, it deals also with some of the fundamental relationships within society, for example, the validity of laws regulating a range of topics from relationships between people to criminal prosecutions.

Not all nation states have codified constitutions. Of the countries in which Mr. Lange practices, three have written, or codified, constitutions - The United States, Australia, and Germany. The United Kingdom, like some countries, has no written constitution. There, the constitution is composed of centuries of convention, case law, and statute.

Of those countries, the one where the application of the constitution is widest is the United States, were the Supreme Court has long had power to strike down legislation deemed to be unconstitutional. That court gave itself that power in the seminal case of Marbury v. Madison in 1803. Although such a power was, at the time of the founding of the Commonwealth of Australia, foreign to both British and Australian experience, the framers of the Australian Constitution clearly intended that the practice would take hold in Australia, and expressly adverted to it in the Constitutional text (in section 76).

Unlike the 14 amendments of the United States constitution since its inception, the Australian constitution has been extended by only four amendments since inception - those being passed in 1910, 1928, 1946, and 1967. However, the Australian constitution differs considerably from the American, and to a degree from the German, in that the Australian constitution contains no comprehensive set of human rights guarantees.


High Profile Cases
Academic Awards, Professional Associations

Teaching, and Expert Advisory Roles