Viewing entries posted in May 2013
My latest lot of ordered books just recently arrived from Amazon.com. Can't wait to read them:
Great article recently in The New York Times by its Editorial Board on prosecutorial misconduct and the need to require the opening of prosecutor's or Crown files to defendants, as a general rule. See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/opinion/sunday/beyond-the-brady-rule.html?emc=eta1&_r=0. A big thanks to Bill Rowlings at Civil Liberties Australia (CLA) for drawing this one to my attention.
I discovered this very interesting history of forensic science on the Internet today. DNA, as you would expect, features quite significantly in recent years. It is fascinating to see fingerprints were used pre-700 BC and that the first lie detection test was in 250 BC. See http://forensicsciencecentral.co.uk/history.shtml
The law in Australia talks about a "miscarriage of justice" and a "substantial miscarriage of justice". But what do those terms mean? I was particularly interested in researching this issue given the mention of a need for a "substantial miscarriage of justice" in the SA appeal amendment, which I wrote about on my blog on 30 April 2013. The NSW Judicial Commission in its 2011 report on Conviction Appeals in New South Wales stated that the distinction between a mere "miscarriage of justice", and the phrase "substantial miscarriage of justice" (in the proviso), has been described as "a riddle worthy of Plutarch" (Eastman v The Queen (2000) 203 CLR 1 per Hayne J at ) and on its face "a conundrum" (Weiss v The Queen (2005) 224 CLR 300 at ).
Good news from the High Court this afternoon where a decision has been handed down to allow Roseanne Beckett (formerly Catt) to seek compensation on the basis of a malicious prosecution. See http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-08/wrongful-jailing-woman-can-seek-compensation/4676832
There has been some discussion in recent times in my reviews of criminal cases about the meaning of the word "alibi". Ross on Crime (5th Edition 2011) states that "Alibi" comes from the Latin term meaning elsewhere. When an accused person, in order to show that he could not have committed the offence with which he is charged, sets up as his defence that he was elsewhere at the time when the crime is alleged to have taken place, this defence is called an alibi.
I recently discovered a wonderful book edited by Michael Naughton entitled The Criminal Cases Review Commission: Hope for the Innocent? (Palgrave Macmillan 2011). It is dedicated to the innocent victims of wrongful conviction. The book is said to be an "outgrowth" of the Inaugural Innocence Network UK (INUK) Symposium held at the University of Bristol in 2007, which marked the 10th anniversary of the UK Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).
When I checked out the program for the upcoming Criminal Lawyers of the Northern Territory (CLANT) conference in Bali in June, which I am attending, my attention was caught by the mention of the Gun Alley case. Following this through, I found the case wasreported on Wikipedia as follows:
Operation Prospect - Investigation into Allegations Concerning Officers of the NSW Police, NSW Crime Commission and Police Integrity Commission
Spotted an interesting advertisement in The Weekend Australian 4-5 May 2013. The NSW Ombudsman is conducting an investigation (Operation Prospect) into allegations of serious misconduct by officers of the NSW Police Force, NSW Crime Commission and the Police Integrity Commission in relation to Operations/Strike Forces, Mascot, Florida, and other associated investigations during the period 1998 to 2003. For further information see www.ombo.nsw.gov.au.
At my Hobart Rotary meeting on Thursday, I received a flyer in my pigeon-hole advising that Sunday 5 May was World Laughter Day. Always being one who is very appreciative of humour, I thought that I would share this joke on the flyer with you. Let's hope you can make someone laugh today! LAUGH OUT LOUD - It's good for you...