Another CCRC established … but still not in Australia

Andrew L. Urban.

A new, independent body that will have the power to send potential miscarriages of justice back to an appeal court is on track to begin receiving applications from July 1, 2020 – but not in Australia. It’s the New Zealand Criminal Cases Review Commission (NZCCRC), leaving Australia behind in dealing with miscarriages of justice, laments former High Court judge Michael Kirby AC CMG.  Continue reading

Posted in General articles | 3 Comments

They executed an innocent man this week

May 19, 2020, 5:55 PM ET: Today the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt the execution of Walter “Arkie” Barton, after the court of appeals for the 8th Circuit lifted the stay on his execution, discounting evidence of his innocence because it was previously available to his defence counsel. Barton was executed later that evening.  Continue reading

Posted in General articles | 3 Comments

Not guilty – but punished by a system we trust(ed?)

Andrew L. Urban.

Most people trust the legal system and accept the guilty verdicts of the courts. Is that trust sometimes betrayed – either maliciously or through incompetence? And is it justified? Not if these few examples of innocents being punished are any indication.  Continue reading

Posted in General articles | 8 Comments

Man sues over false rape charges by his ex

The Australian’s Deborah Cornwall reports exclusively today: A Sydney man is suing his former wife, the NSW Police Force and a crown prosecutor for malicious prosecution and damages, accusing them of causing him “severe mental anguish” after persisting with false rape charges against him by his former wife.  Continue reading

Posted in General articles | 4 Comments

Sue Neill-Fraser and expectations of the appeal judges

Andrew L. Urban. 

Three Tasmanian judges will hear Sue Neill-Fraser’s new appeal later this year against her conviction for the 2009 murder of her partner Bob Chappell, amid concerns that the appeal should be heard not by local but by interstate judges. One reason is that the trial judge, Alan Blow, is now Chief Justice of Tasmania – their boss. But no doubt Justices Helen Wood, Stephen Estcourt and Robert Pearce will exercise objectivity and learned good judgement, as we suggest in this hypothetical.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 01 Sue Neill-Fraser | 28 Comments

Robert Xie appeal to hear “dishonest” witness allegation

Andrew L. Urban.

At a directions hearing in Sydney yesterday (28/4/2020) in advance of the appeal against his five murder convictions*, Robert Xie’s representative Belinda Rigg SC told the court the appeal hearing would include allegations that an expert witness had given “dishonest” evidence, “one of the most serious accusations of an expert witness,” as Justice Beech-Jones remarked.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 11 Robert Xie | 6 Comments


We are delighted that many readers contribute commentary to our coverage and most abide by the rules applied in the traditional media regarding anonymity. Some, however, use pseudonyms or fake names – often for their own agendas. Given the often controversial nature of our content and the sensitive legal issues surrounding many articles, we understand that readers may wish to comment but keep their identity private. We do not publish anonymous comments; full name is required when posting (the Editor needs to know the identity of the commenter) but we will withhold names from publication when requested to do so for legitimate reasons. All comments will be moderated before publication. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Sue Neill-Fraser & a legal system lacking morality

Andrew L. Urban.

The foundation stone of the law is morality. All laws have a moral basis or background – but not all individuals and/or institutions within the legal system do. Moral considerations ought to inform legal considerations. In the case of Sue Neill-Fraser this imperative has failed and continues to fail. Continue reading

Posted in Case 01 Sue Neill-Fraser | 16 Comments

If Pell, why not other innocents in jail?

Andrew L. Urban.

George Pell’s supporters are backing a review of the way Victoria Police and the Office of Public Prosecutions handled the ultimately failed pursuit of the cardinal. Terry Tobin QC* said that if the High Court was right about the possibility of the offences not occurring, an innocent man had been sent to jail for 405 days in what was one of the biggest injustices in Australian criminal history.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 01 Sue Neill-Fraser | 7 Comments

Sue Neill-Fraser appeal delayed (again) to later in 2020

Andrew L. Urban.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another; this time, the already delayed May 25, 2020 appeal hearing has had to be delayed again due to the restrictions imposed by the emergency measures being implemented in the coronavirus pandemic; the earliest option is August 17, but it could be as late as November 2.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 01 Sue Neill-Fraser | 24 Comments