Derek Bromley “on the steps of the High Court”

Andrew L. Urban.

 On the eve of his 40th year of imprisonment, Derek Bromley “finds himself, figuratively speaking, on the steps of the High Court of Australia for the second time,” writes his long-time friend and supporter ROBYN MILERA on Bringing Justice, as this extraordinary case remains in legal limbo, in controversial circumstances that will now be examined by the highest court in the land. 

The SA Director of Public Prosecutions should be directed to inform the High Court that the evidence of Dr Colin Manock, former chief pathologist in South Australia, was inadmissible as he was not qualified to do autopsies or to give expert evidence in court, according to Flinders University legal academic Dr Bob Moles. Derek Bromley was convicted of murder based on Manock’s evidence.

“I can now confirm that all documents required for the application and an appeal have been filed,” writes Milera, in an update that follows the High Court’s unusual move last year in referring Bromley’s seeking leave to appeal to the full bench.

“No one is predicting where the case will be placed in the 2023 calendar but we hope it won’t be too long before we’re notified of the hearing details,” writes Milera. “Derek will enter his 40th year of imprisonment in April of this year. Conceivably, reaching this milestone will co-occur with the hearing of his application and hopefully a successful appeal.

Derek Bromley (2009)

“He has never allowed himself to be daunted by poor odds, or the disadvantaged position he occupies as a prisoner and a black one to boot. Neither has he ever considered making false confessions in order to improve prospects of release on parole. All efforts to have his conviction over turned ran into the fact that realistically there was no truly accessible pathway to justice for him in those early years of striving, however, those years netted support and placed him in the box seat for a breakthrough.

“In 2013, there was finally a legislative change. The South Australian Parliament created a new right of appeal against conviction on the basis of fresh and compelling evidence following a protracted campaign for measures to address incidents of miscarriages of justice. Although the measures provided in the resulting amendments fell short of forming an independent body of review of criminal convictions, there was at least a new avenue back to the Supreme Court. Because Derek hadn’t given up, he still had the attention of advocates and was granted funding from the Federal Attorney-General’s Department for the Aboriginal Legal Rights to prepare Derek’s second appeal to the Supreme Court. He was by then 29 years into his sentence.

“Fast forward ten years to the present day and he finds himself, figuratively speaking, on the steps of the High Court of Australia for the second time. It is there that the Supreme Court’s rejection of his 2018 application will be assessed. He knows he is innocent, he also knows an appeal is not about establishing actual innocence or guilt, but about adjudication of arguments on the relevant legal issues. He has been studying those arguments, reading them day and night, talking them through, trying to put himself in the mind of the Director of Public Prosecutions who is vehemently opposing him. He’s been trying to grasp in his own mind his prospects of coming home on the authority of a favourable judgment from our highest court of appeal.”

It has been said that private markets, for all of their weaknesses, have the incentive and capacity to self-correct: when their design is poor, the flaws trigger changes in market structure and conduct that usually ameliorate the problems.

Not so with the legal system. For instance, is the Director of Public Prosecutions vehemently opposing Bromley’s application to be heard by the High Court really about justice – or is it really about protecting the conviction irrespective of merit?

As we see with this and other cases we report, the legal systems around Australia remain firmly attached to their weaknesses, avoiding at all costs any reforms that might improve their efficiency in delivering justice – or correcting injustice when it seems so obviously needed.

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10 Responses to Derek Bromley “on the steps of the High Court”

  1. Don Wakeling says:

    The High Court is not so high when it comes to prioritising Justice. Can you just imagine what little regard those elitists have for some “felon” whose spent 40 years imprisoned. What’s it matter when he get around to decide his future: what there is left of it.
    It reminds me of the case I had in the late 70’s/ early 90s. I was acting for the numerically largest union in Australia in a fight to the “industrial desth” against the AWU. An appeal to the High Court was two weeks away to be heard in WA. (All lawyers were from NSW). A phone call came through to notify us that our case date had to be cancelled as a matter of great national importance had gone heard immediately. And so their Honors decided whether Dennis Tuttys desire to transfer away from The Tigers was being unduly fettered as an unreasonable restraint of trade.
    But, Bromley is on their calendar; within theirs sights, so to say, and we all, down here in subjected land are genuflecting in gratitude.

  2. Ted Whalensky says:

    Was in the NAVY and the ARMY- ( unusual) will probably burn in hell for my transgressions–but at least- I wasn’t a GIT Judge ! Hell is full of them . In many a court– the evil one is not the accused but the GITJUDGE-his mate the screen play writer and reader /prosecutor- some of the likely corruptly selected jury – don’t forget the manipulation of evidence experts- policey men ! Get the GITS out of the Appeals courts would be a good start . Military action of ANY sort is not a good idea- the hot shots in the forces are of the same Gitworks genre–guarnteed .

  3. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich says:

    I wish to add to my comment that today in Australia there is no such thing as “Justice “. Poor Derek Bromley is still incarcerated even after the expose of Dr. Manock years ago !
    As for my Inheritance Claim , I forgot to add in my comment today that I was so poor at the time that I was nearly blind with Cataracts because I had been waiting for nearly 3 years as a public patient , and, that I , also, had cancer. It is my belief that I would have been allowed to appear at the Mediation to dispute the false allegation of my non-existent “violence ” which was held against me and I would have been treated more humanely by a male judge , than by a biased woman !

  4. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich says:

    Our Democracy and Legal System are not working. The Governor-General never criticises injustices or advocates for reform as he/she is apparently prevented by the Australian Constitution from doing so ? He /she is just rubber-stamps recommendations for Awards, in some cases for most unworthy recipient(s). The Media ‘s reporting is often most biased. It loves to report trivia. It serves whoever pays them !
    Whoever expects Justice in 2023 is a fool. A woman judge ordered I attend Mediation in South Australia, so ,I was forced to waste the last of my savings at the time by flying from Tasmania. I was confined all day in a little “box” inside the District Court building and prevented by Security from attending the Mediation based on the false allegation that I was “Violent ” for which there was no evidence ! I was never allowed by the woman judge to refute it. My Instructing Counsel hired for me a barrister reputed to be SA’s top expert in the field. He charged an astronomical fee. I, the ONLY Child , walked away with nothing. I still live without kitchen cupboards . My bathroom is just a toilet. I have no Hotwater Service , and, in winter I FREEZE as I cannot afford the electricity bill. Such is “Justice “. A pox on woman Judges !

    • Ted Whalensky says:

      A pox alright–on all judges one might be tempted to think ? What reasonable decent person would not find Derek Bromley ( and Sue SNF ) etc.etc not guilty- its just common sense! (where the hell are you living ? Tasbloodymania ? ) that would be right- move up here- sweat like a pig in the land of the CRIMINAL SIRS
      ( without aircon) The chances that Derek Bromley will get JUSTICE from the GIT CLUB is about zero- as I have claimed before- 12 builders labourers would easily deliver a just outcome in many cases– the lack of common decency is actually quite predictable–the scum rises to the TOP. Most readers would be aware of the bunch of criminal “SIRS” in Queensland– make ya puke ! I propose that for a decent honourable delivery of JUSTICE–the courts of appeal should consist of not GITS or secret juries-but a group of citizens publicly known–No hot shots with law degrees–will explain their decisions – and NO stinking screen plays. Keep the GITS out of the Justice Appeal system–knowledge of LAW is a red herring–a smart arse way of not delivering justice– gobbledygook instead-smartarse rubbish and GIT TALK !

  5. Julie says:

    Surely Mr Bromley must be given leave of appeal now it’s widely known Dr Manock’s evidence does not meet the criteria for admissibility.
    I look forward to April’s outcome.

  6. David Smith says:

    Until we have some Honest and Professional Public Servants and Politicians nothing will change – Too many times the arrogant Dishonest and Corrupt Public Officials will never accept they have made a mistake and then will go to any lengths to justify their Corrupt Actions – Too many Innocent People have had their lives destroyed by these People in Power – The Judicial System and Police can be Corrupt to the Top – and who loses – Derek Bromley – Henry Keogh – Andrew Mallard – Several Innocent had their lives destroyed by Dishonest Investigators at the Fitzgerald Inquiry – Sue Neil-Fraser – Bradley Murdoch – and more – The People who should be in Prison are the Police -Politicians and those in the Judicial System who think they are above the Law. We need a Media who put these people under the microscope and show these people are Innocent and those who are the guilty in their cover ups – The Policy of Convict at all Costs and then go to any length to keep the Innocent Suffering must cease. One Police Officer received an Award for their Role in convicting an Innocent Person. What a disgrace – What has happened to Australia – Flood the Media and Politicians with questions that identify the Real Guilty Public Officials and don’t take NO for an answer. The Pathologist in question must be taken to task and the Public Servants who employed him and then continued to cover up for him must be charged and imprisoned. They are responsible for keeping Innocent people in Prison.

    • Don Wakeling says:

      Like the Chief Justice of Sth Australia who, as Solr General, withheld medical forensic evidence of Mr Keough’s and directly caused his imprisonment to continue for another 10 years. This absolute crime of perverting the course of justice has been publicly identified. Yet, he is not called to account, let alone even to
      xplain. I’ve emailed the SA Att Gen and got no reply. How can that CJ be permitted to remain silent. This is a public scandal and if the SA Govt does nothing the Federal Government should demand call it in Question Time and challenge the SA’s Govt. shame.

  7. Owen allen says:

    My mind is blown, this is like Tasmania. Where are the diggers, the commandos, the SAS, RAAF for Government. Australia has a magnificent fighting force.
    The people of democratic Australia need you now; Australian Government in some States is too corrupt to function. I guess, as a pleb, my call is for the Governor General of Australia to intervene and hold the Rogue States of Injustice and Corruption to Account. Bring it On.

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