The Australian reports today at page 4 that the High Court will hand down its decision in relation to Deputy DPP Margaret Cuneen and the powers of the ICAC to investigate her particular matter on Wednesday 15 April 2015. The decision may impact on other long-running ICAC investigations, including one into "illegal donations by Liberal Party MPs".
Today's Australian reports at page 3 that Victorian Coroner, the Hon. Ian Gray, will hold a brief inquest this Thursday into the death overseas of Australian backpacker Britt Lapthorne. Britt was last seen alive in a Dubrovnik nightclub in September 2008. Her body was found by fishermen off the coast three weeks later, badly decomposed. Australian pathologists completed an autopsy at the family's request but could not determine a cause of death.
Presentation by Dr Bob Moles of Networked Knowledge on Further Right to Appeal Laws to Judges' Conference in Melbourne April 2015
A very useful presentation by Dr Bob Moles of Networked Knowledge on further right to appeal issues to the 23rd Biennial Conference of District and County Court Judges of Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne on 10 April 2015 can be found here: http://netk.net.au/SA/Conference2015.pdf
Further Right to Appeal Laws - The Restrictive Nature of the "Fresh and Compelling" Evidence Requirement
This blog is a rehash of my earlier posting from 17 February 2015. It is particularly relevant now given the release on 31 March 2015 of the Attorney-General's consultative paper containing the draft proposed legislation for further right to appeals in Tasmania. It indicates that there are a range of other factors that can lead to miscarriages of justice, other than "fresh" evidence. In February, drawing on a major report on appeals coming out of NSW in 2011, I wrote:
News just out. ICAC, the NSW corruption watchdog, has been told it has no power to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by NSW Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen SC, in a decision likely to have far-reaching consequences for the Commission. See http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2015/04/15/icac-loses-cunneen-appeal-in-high-court.html
Further Right to Appeal Issues - Approach by Defence Counsel May Determine Nature of Evidence - The Tasmanian Proposed Requirement for "Fresh and Compelling"
Given the interest in further right to appeal issues in Tasmania currently, I have also reproduced a blog posting from 8 May 2013 on the issue of defence counsel and how legal representation and forensic choices made at the time of the trial may impact on the determination of whether evidence for subsequent appeals may constitute new or fresh evidence:
Once again, because of the importance of the further right to appeal laws here in Tamania at the moment, I am reposting a blog from 4 August 2013 where Phil Locke talks about finality of judgement issues and the highly restrictive rules for new evidence in the US:
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) is refusing to apologise to an Indigenous police officer who was referred to as "Abor" on a roster written by the officer in charge of the Coolangatta station. The Senior Sergeant also wrote the word "gay" next to the name of another officer on the same roster at the station. The two officers lodged complaints with the Anti-Discrimination Commission. The complaint was first investigated by the Queensland Police Ethical Standards Unit, which advised that the matter had been investigated and was concluded.
From media coverage yesterday, Gordon Wood is suing the State of NSW for malicious prosecution and false imprisonment after he was emphatically acquitted in 2012 by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal of being involved in the death of his then girlfriend Caroline Byrne. Ms Byrne was found at the base of The Gap in Sydney in 1995 and the Crown case at trial was that Mr Wood had thrown her off the cliff top. The expert evidence about the supposed throw from the cliff top was heavily criticised by the court. The court was also critical of some of the submissions made by the Prosecutor. See http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/04/08/gordon-wood-sue-nsw-three-years-after-murder-conviction-overturned and http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/gordon-wood-suing-the-state-of-nsw-for-millions-of-dollars-claims-police-set-out-to-harm-him-20150408-1mgy4l.html
I am currently working on a submission to the Attorney-General on the proposed further right to appeal legislation here in Tasmania. In doing so, I am researching the issue both here and overseas, including in the UK and US.