Laughter in court

We believe in the importance of comedy, and agree with writer, actor, philosopher Stephen Fry who once said, “It is easy to forget that the most important aspect of comedy, after all, its great saving grace, is its ambiguity. You can simultaneously laugh at a situation, and take it seriously.”  Continue reading

Posted in General articles | 11 Comments

Tunnel vision by another name

Andrew L. Urban

Tunnel vision compromised the police investigations into the deaths of Bob Chappell in Tasmania and five members of the Lin family in NSW (two of many examples), with Sue Neill-Fraser convicted of the former and Robert Xie convicted of the latter. Both wrongly, we firmly believe. It also happens in science, where it has another name: motivated reasoning.  Continue reading

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Robert Xie conviction requires urgent High Court correction – Part 3: evidence matters

Andrew L. Urban, Phillip Chapman

 The conviction of Robert Xie for the blood-soaked, savage murder of five members of his wife’s family in 2009 – going against his alibi – took four trials, including the longest trial in NSW legal history for a single defendant, and over $1 million in costs to the taxpayer. In Part 1 we examined the judge’s role. The subsequent appeal (on 8 grounds) against the conviction was refused. In Part 2 we examined the role of the Appeal Court judges. In Part 3 we examine evidence that defies the conviction and thus supports the validity of Xie’s alibi.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 11 Robert Xie | 2 Comments

Robert Xie conviction requires urgent High Court correction – Part 2: Appeal Court judges erred

Andrew L. Urban, Phillip Chapman

 The conviction of Robert Xie for the blood-soaked, savage murder of five members of his wife’s family in 2009 – against his alibi and absent a credible motive – took four trials, including the longest trial in NSW legal history for a single defendant, and over $1 million in costs to the taxpayer. In Part 1 we examined the judge’s role. The subsequent appeal, on eight grounds, against the conviction was dismissed. In Part 2 we examine the role of the Appeal Court judges. Continue reading

Posted in Case 11 Robert Xie | 6 Comments

Robert Xie conviction requires urgent High Court correction – Part 1: Her Honour erred

Andrew L. Urban, Phillip Chapman

The conviction of Robert Xie for the blood-soaked, savage murder of five members of his wife’s family in 2009 took four trials, including the longest trial in NSW legal history for a single defendant, and over $1 million in costs to the taxpayer. But that conviction – going against his alibi and absent a motive – rests on just a couple of elements that the prosecution urged the jury to accept as reliable evidence, to negate Xie’s alibi. We examine the judge’s role.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 11 Robert Xie | 1 Comment

Prosecutor’s allegation haunts forthcoming Jeff Thompson trial

Andrew L. Urban

The allegation by Jack Shapiro, a lawyer at the Office of the Tasmanian DPP, that Hobart solicitor Jeff Thompson “duped” a prisoner in the course of working on the Sue Neill-Fraser appeal, is haunting Thompson’s forthcoming trial on charges of perverting justice. The next directions hearing on the matter is listed for next Monday (April 26, 2021); will the court address the allegation against Thompson, who has yet to be tried? Is Shapiro’s allegation likely to ‘poison the jury pool’?  Continue reading

Posted in Case 01 Sue Neill-Fraser | 26 Comments

Shadow of Doubt – the movie that shone a light

As the judges of the Tasmanian Court of Criminal Appeal consider their decision in the case of Sue Neill-Fraser, we publish ANDREW L. URBAN’s review of the Eve Ash documentary, Shadow of Doubt, published on the film’s July 2013 release. The movie alerted the public to the egregious miscarriage of justice that was perpetrated against Neill-Fraser by the Tasmanian criminal justice system.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 01 Sue Neill-Fraser | 10 Comments

The 000 call that rang the wrong alarm

Andrew L. Urban

Fire, police, ambulance … and a packet of assumptions, all turned up together at a suburban Sydney house on a hot December afternoon, in response to a 000 call by a woman in a red jumper. That call on December 2, 2013 never really ended until March 30, 2021.  Continue reading

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Dysrationalia can explain wrongful convictions new study shows

This 2021 April Fool story has now been taken down.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Katheleen Folbigg – science misunderstood, legal issues scrambled

The Australian Academy of Science issued a strongly worded statement (24/3/2021) immediately challenging the Court of Appeal’s rejection of Kathleen Folbigg’s appeal*, re-stating “there are medical and scientific explanations for the death of each of Kathleen Folbigg’s children”. But the judge on the inquiry had also erred in law, argues Flinders University legal academic DR BOB MOLES.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 17 Kethleen Folbigg | 2 Comments