Viewing entries posted in July 2015
Doing background research for my plenary presentation to the Australasian Council of Women and Policing (ACWAP) biennial conference at Luna Park in Sydney which commences on Monday 31 August 2015. I have been fortunate enough to have attended all of the ACWAP conferences since 1996. Delighted to be giving a plenary address to the Conference on Tuesday 1 September 2015 drawing upon my knowledge of women and policing during my 30 years of policing in various jurisdictions and my more recent engagement with police as the head of an integrity agency and as a practising criminal lawyer here in Tasmania. Was very pleased to find all of the 1996 conference papers available online. See http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/conferences/policewomen/palmer.pdf. At the 1996 conference I gave a joint plenary with Commissioner Mick Palmer (the then Commissioner of the AFP and former NT Commissioner) on "Where to From Here?".
July 2015 Australian Women's Weekly Article on the Sue Neill-Fraser Case in Tasmania Now Available Online
The 6 page article on the Sue Neill-Fraser case here in Tasmania from the July 2015 edition of the Australian Women's Weekly is now available online. See http://www.aww.com.au/latest-news/crime/tasmanian-grandmother-sue-neill-fraser-jailed-for-murder-but-did-she-do-it-21558
Supreme Court of Victoria Court of Appeal Decision in Tuite v The Queen  VSCA 148 on Expert Forensic Evidence
I refer to my blog posting on the International Conference on Evidence Law and Forensic Science (held last week in Adelaide) from 24 July 2015 where I referred to this decision being mentioned in the opening of the conference by Maxwell ACJ from the Victorian Court of Appeal. I have now had a chance to read and analyse this important 40 page decision.
An excellent and very recent article (42 pages) n an American Law Journal from the Honourable Alex Kozinski (a US Judge) dispelling some of the myths in criminal justice (such as juries follow directions, police are objective in their investigations and Prosecutors play fair). (See http://georgetownlawjournal.org/files/2015/06/Kozinski_Preface.pdf). Kozinski argues that whilst we pretend otherwise, what we do in the law is "guesswork". He adds that some fields of forensic expertise are built on nothing but guesswork and "false common sense". He lists some of the reasons to doubt that our criminal justice system is fundamentally just. He states that there are enough doubts on a broad range of subjects touching intimately on the integrity of the system that we should be concerned.
Here in Australia (myself included) we have tended to focus on the English Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) model. I raised the need for a CCRC here in Australia during my presentation last Thursday to the 5th International Conference on Evidence Law and Forensic Science (ICELFS) at Adelaide University. A Professor from the UK commented to me after the presentation that I should also examine the Scottish CCRC model which also operates part-time which allows academics to participate and contribute to the work of the organisation. See http://www.sccrc.org.uk/home.aspx
Just back from the International Conference on Evidence Law and Forensic Science (ICELFS) held at the Law Faculty at Adelaide University. We were advised that there were delegates from 15 different countries and I would estimate that there were around 150 to 200 delegates. The conference dinner at the Adelaide Town Hall was addressed by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. I was very interested in His Honour's references to the Chamberlain case and for the potential for forensic science to "seduce" and "mislead" the court. He added that things had improved since that time and specifically mentioned the preservation of evidence.
There is a major article in today's Advertiser in SA entitled "SA murderers to appeal mid challenges to evidence by former pathologist Colin Manock". See http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-murderers-to-appeal-amid-challenges-to-evidence-by-former-pathologist-colin-manock/story-fni6uo1m-1227449977585
Came across this 2001 article which is available from the AFP website. It is entitled "The challenge of the forensic investigation of computer crime" which was written by me when I was a Commander of the NT Police, on secondment to the then Australasian Centre for Policing Research in Adelaide as Director. See http://www.afp.gov.au/~/media/afp/pdf/c/comp-crim.pdf
There is an article in today's Mercury outlining where legal aid has been refused for two murder appeals in Tasmania. The article suggests that the Chief Justice could force the financially challenged Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania to fund the separate appeals. Under the Tasmanian Criminal Code, Judges can order a person be granted legal aid if it is in the "interests of justice". Apparently, such applications are rare. See http://www.themercury.com.au/legal-aid-row-over-murder-appeals/story-fnj3twbb-1227444874924
Will be heading to Adelaide next week to present on what we have NOT learned since Chamberlain at the International Conference on Evidence Law and Forensic Science (ICELFS) hosted by Adelaide University (See http://law.adelaide.edu.au/icelfs/). Whilst there, I will be attending an event hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) on the evening of Tuesday 21 July 2015 at Flinders University in the CBD. The two guest speakers are Felicity Gerry QC (of the London Bar and CDU in Darwin) and Professor Edward J. Imwinkelried of the University of California (see https://law.ucdavis.edu/faculty/imwinkelried/). Felicity will outline entertaining and informative "Tales from the Bar" involving forensic evidence and Edward will be talking on Uncharged Misconduct Evidence in the United States. I am particularly interested in the latter topic. See http://anzfss.org/sa/