How do you solve a problem like Lawyer X?

How does the State of Victoria mange a review of 380-odd criminal convictions in the wake of revelations about Lawyer X? As the law stands, the answer is ‘with enormous practical difficulty and delay’. Legal academic Dr Bob Moles and Associate Professor Bibi Sangha suggest how a fairly simple change in the law (as enacted by both South Australia and Tasmania recently) can resolve the problem created by Lawyer X.

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Sue Neill-Fraser – the ‘bias’ in my reporting

By Andrew L. Urban.

In the wake of the publication of my book, Murder by the Prosecution (Wilkinson Publishing, 2018), a few more people have muttered the word ‘bias’ in my direction, referring to the Sue Neill-Fraser case which makes up the bulk of the book. I say a few more because the word was invoked when I first started writing about the case. I think the suggestion is false; it has no merit.

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Justice Party’s public register “would be outrageous”

Andrew L. Urban.

In the wake of the Victorian State election on November 24, 2018, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party (probably with four shiny Upper House seats) will seek to make public on a website the register of sexual offenders currently kept by police, including the photo and address of each offender. What is the objective of this policy? Is it wise?

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Why Dr Bob Moles is calling for a Royal Commission

Andrew L. Urban.

 Giving explosive evidence before the Budget & Finance Committee of the South Australian Legislative Council (November 5, 2018), Dr Bob Moles outlined why he believes a Royal Commission is needed into the State’s several failures in allowing the unqualified and discredited forensic pathologist Dr Colin Manock to continue his work – unchecked for decades.

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The Dreyfus Affair – 124 years later, not much change

Andrew L. Urban.

October 15 this year (2018) marks the 124th anniversary of the first of two dates that reverberate through the annals of justice, recalling one of the most infamous cases of a wrongful conviction – thanks to ill will and bad ‘science’. (Not much has changed.) On October 15, 1894, French Army Captain Alfred Dreyfus was arrested for treason – without any credible evidence. On October 15, 1906, Dreyfus was put in command of an artillery unit at Saint-Denis – having been fully exonerated in July that year.

His crime was said to have been passing secret information to the Germans Continue reading

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Murder by the Prosecution – first book review

Book review extract, The Spectator Australia, September 22, 2018:
“Urban makes a powerful case that grandmother Neill-Fraser, who had run a successful horse-riding school and been involved in property development, was wrongly accused and prosecuted for the murder of Chappell, a radiation physicist, her partner of 18 years.

Murder by the Prosecution is engrossing and troubling. Back and forth, the reader is propelled, much as a jury is during the ‘test match’ that a murder trial resembles.

The later stand-alone chapters on other murder trials which have been found to have been unjust stand as sentinels fortifying Urban’s impassioned premise that Susan Neill-Fraser is serving a 23 year sentence for a murder she did not commit. The ethical prosecutor works not for a particular verdict, but for justice to be done. This must be the hope for Susan Neill-Fraser.” – Margaret Cunneen SC, Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor (NSW)

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Sue Neill-Fraser – questions, questions, questions …

By Andrew L. Urban.

Troubling questions remain unanswered eight years after the trial in which Sue Neill-Fraser (now 64) was convicted of murdering her partner Bob Chappell, which she has always strenuously denied; she is now seeking leave to appeal in the Supreme Court of Tasmania, under new legislation. Here are just five of those questions. And a sixth question: why not welcome a thorough new review of the case?

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Former Premier & AG calls for Criminal Cases Review Commission

Former Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings officially launched Andrew L. Urban’s, Murder by the Prosecution (Wilkinson Publishing) on September 6, 2018 at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart, calling for the establishment of a Criminal Cases Review Commission and stating that the provisions of new, further right to appeal legislation “set the bar too high” to be truly effective in delivering justice.

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Murder by the Prosecution launched in Hobart

By Andrew L. Urban

Calling for the urgent establishment of a Criminal Cases Review Commission in Tasmania, former Tasmanian Premier and shadow Attorney General Lara Giddings officially launched my book on Thursday, September 6, 2018, to a full house at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart; Sarah Bowles (daughter of Sue Neill-Fraser whose case makes up the bulk of the book) spoke of the ongoing trauma endured by the entire family since her mother’s arrest in August 2009.

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Gordon Wood v NSW: nearly malicious?

In the wake of Justice Fullerton’s judgement (10/8/2018) that saw Gordon Wood’s claim for malicious prosecution against the State of NSW fail, Andrew L. Urban examines crucial parts of the judgement and finds them troubling.

It could be argued that Justice Fullerton’s judgement came as close as possible to a verdict for the plaintiff (Wood) without crossing the line to actually do so. Here is the argument for that view:

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Posted in Case 4 Gordon Wood | 1 Comment