Viewing entries posted in May 2014

My Intro Wednesday Night for Stuart Tipple at UTAS Event - Chamberlain 30 Years On and What Have We Learned

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 30 May 2014 | 0 Comments

It was indeed a pleasure to be able to introduce Stuart Tipple at the UTAS event on Wednesday 28 May 2014. Below is the text of that introduction:

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Stuart Tipple Event at UTAS Last Night 28 May 2014 - Chamberlain 30 Years On and What Lessons Have

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 29 May 2014 | 4 Comments

The School of Social Sciences at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), courtesy of Professor Rob White of Criminology, hosted a free public lecture at the Stanley Burbury lecture theatre at the Sandy Bay campus on Wednesday 28 May 2014. The evening event was very well attended, although it was disappointing that not a single Minister or member of Parliament was in attendance on what are critical issues for our criminal justice system and ongoing community confidence in its effective operation. The majority of attendees appeared to be concerned community members with a strong interest in justice.

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REMINDER: Free public lecture at UTAS tonight by Stuart Tipple, Lindy Chamberlain's lawyer

Posted by Barbara Etter on 28 May 2014 | 0 Comments

Please don't miss the opportunity to hear highly respected lawyer Stuart Tipple from NSW speak tonight on what we, as Australians, have learned 30 years on from the "a dingo took my baby" Chamberlain case.  The Chamberlain case has been reported as being the "high-water mark" for injustice in Australia and polarised the Australian community.  Given the destruction of most of the forensic science presented in this case (including the blood spray under the dashboard and the presence of foetal blood), it will be interesting to hear what improvements have been made to prevent a recurrence of such an appalling situation, where an innocent woman spent 3 and a half years in gaol.  I am particularly interested to hear about the monumental battle that had to be fought against the system to achieve justice in the matter. I believe Stuart will also talk about current obstacles in addressing miscarriages of justice. The talk commences at 7 pm tonight in the Stanley Burbury lecture theatre at the Sandy Bay campus of UTAS. It is being hosted by the School of Social Sciences. The Uni is kindly putting on refreshments from 6.30 pm.  The talk will be filmed and can also be viewed online. I have been asked to introduce Stuart and to facilitate questions at the end. See

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A Reminder - A Must Attend Event at UTAS on 28 May 2014 - Stuart Tipple Talking on the Chamberlain Case - 30 Years on

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 20 May 2014 | 0 Comments

Just a reminder about an upcoming free public lecture at UTAS on Wednesday 28 May 2014 in Hobart hosted by the School of Social Sciences (courtesy of Professor Rob White from Criminology).  See This is a great opportunity to hear Lindy Chamberlain's highly respected lawyer, Mr Stuart Tipple, speak on what lessons have been learned 30 years on from the Chamberlain case.  The lecture should be particularly interesting from a forensic science and miscarriage of justice aspect. Stuart is also a very eloquent speaker. I am particularly interested in hearing about the formidable challenges he faced in finally achieving justice for the Chamberlains.

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The David Eastman Inquiry Explained

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 19 May 2014 | 0 Comments

Thanks to Dr Kris Klugman OAM, President of Civil Liberties Australia, for drawing this one to my attention. A most useful article in The Canberra Times on 17 May 2014 (see giving an overview of where things are at with the David Eastman Inquiry into the shooting death of AFP Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester, in Canberra, some 25 years ago. The article suggests that it might be possible that Mr Eastman may have his conviction quashed after almost 19 years behind bars. The Inquiry is said to have costed the taxpayer around $4 million to date.

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Video of Last Night's Talk by Professor Gary Edmond on what Lawyers Need to Know about the Forensic "Sciences"

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 16 May 2014 | 2 Comments

Last night's public lecture in the Centenary Theatre at UTAS in Hobart was very well attended. UTAS filmed the event and it is available here You will see my comments about miscarriages of justice and the need for, amongst other things, a Criminal Cases Review Commission from 1:09:34. There were some very critical and concerning issues raised by Gary Edmond in his talk which require urgent attention from the forensic science community in relation to the validation of many forensic science techniques, particularly in the identification/comparison areas (fingerprints, bitemarks, ballistics, shoeprints, toolmarks etc). There is also a need to undertake research to determine reliablity and error rates.  The use of language by forensic scientists in court is also an issue as is the lack of independence (from police) in many of our current forensic services.  Moreover, despite numerous high level reports out of countries like the US and Scotland, outlining serious problems with forensic science, the legal system appears not to have taken such concerns on board.  Gary expressed concern with current expert opinion provisions in our laws of evidence concerning the requirement for "specialised knowledge" which did not give much needed attention to the concept of reliability. He informed the group that there was an important case going to the High Court shortly (R v Honeysett). I will monitor the outcome of this case. The main message coming out of this event for me was the need for much greater engagement between the forensic and legal communities.

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AFI Nominated Documentary Shadow of Doubt on the Sue Neill-Fraser Case Now Available for Purchase

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 15 May 2014 | 0 Comments

You can now purchase your own copy of the Eve Ash AFI-nominated and international award-winning documentary Shadow of Doubt (about the Sue Neill-Fraser case here in Tasmania) online.  See I am advised that the film is now being used for educational purposes by schools and universities as a useful case study.

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Busy Day Today!

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 14 May 2014 | 0 Comments

Today started off with the Budget Breakfast (attended by around 250 persons - mostly men in suits!) hosted by KPMG at the Wrest Point Casino (7.00 am to 9.00 am). I then headed off to Risdon Women's Prison for a professional visit, then it was back to town and to the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (RYCT) where I presented to the Studio Network Luncheon (of around 40 attendees), chaired by the wonderful Genevieve Atkins, on Strategies for Success (and the pursuit of "Happiness"!). Heading into town for an evening cocktail reception (involving Women Chiefs Enterprises International and others) at the Menzies Centre for Ms Fitria Sofyani from Marie Claire Indonesia (will be a chance to practise my Bahasa Indonesia).  Met some wonderful people today particularly those attending the RYCT luncheon. Some great strategic networking opportunities. I hope to load a copy of my powerpoint presentation soon on the Presentations page of this website.

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Thought for the Day

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 14 May 2014 | 0 Comments

The Thought for the Day comes from the Weekly Bulletin of my Rotary Club - the Rotary Club of Hobart:

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Playing Forensic Science Monopoly?

Posted by Barbara Etter APM on 12 May 2014 | 0 Comments

"Playing Forensic Science Monopoly" is the title of a plenary paper to be delivered to the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science (ANZFSS) International Symposium in Adelaide to be held from 31 August to 4 September 2014. The paper is to be delivered by Liesl Chapman SC who has an impressive history in dealing with forensic science and expert evidence matters in the courts and in Royal Commissions (See A copy of the abstract for the paper can be found at It appears that the presenter is of the view that dealing with forensic science in the courts is a game of chance. This is one session that I will definitely be attending.

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