The stonewall of justice

Andrew L. Urban.

Call me naïve. It came as a shocking realisation, at 13:33 on May 16, 2024, to be exact. I’ve been wrong all this time. Before that moment, I actually imagined that the legal system, often mischaracterised as the justice system, had genuine concerns about correcting wrongful convictions. That’s why I started writing about the subject over a decade ago. 

Some phrase I read – and have now forgotten – triggered me. I should have realised this long ago.

I’ve written hundreds of articles (and a few books) about cases that challenge the convictions of murder or sexual assault. The battle over sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction stands out as the first case I researched. And researched. I was not alone. And we all urged Tasmania’s political leadership to set up a commission of inquiry to examine why so many journalists, citizens and lawyers continue to believe that conviction to be wrong.

To this day, these calls are ignored. ‘You’ve been Stonewalled.’

The victims of this secret practice, aside from Sue Neill-Fraser, include Derek Bromley, Noel Greenaway, Robert Xie, Robert Farquharson, Marco Rusterholz and Mr & Mrs X from rural NSW. That’s just a shortlist from our own archives. (Refer to the menu on the right.)

There are other cases of course but this is an audacious example of what I suddenly realised that Thursday afternoon. The unspoken mantra of The System is “IGNORE”. Isolated from political pressure or interference by the separation of powers (that double edged sword), entire jurisdictions can go rogue. And they do.

The System demands evidence yet ignores it when it’s inconvenient, threatening to unmask the errors that infest many verdicts like rats in a subway.

The stonewall system applies equally around Australia. Commonwealth Attorneys-General (four at last count) have all ignored pleas and plans to establish a system of Criminal Cases Review Commissions to improve appeal processes and outcomes.

The Tasmanians have ignored the dozens of appeals about Sue Neill-Fraser’s case, including those from eminent barristers. They stonewall on other cases, too, I’m saddened to report.

The South Australians have ignored the pleas of legal academics and honest politicians to examine the 400 or so cases in which Dr Colin Manock had an untrained hand as the state’s forensic pathologist over decades. They also ignore the scandal of their now Chief Justice withholding crucial information in a controversial murder case, also infected with the Manock curse.

In NSW, the current leader of the Opposition, then Attorney-General, ignored calls for an inquiry into the sad case of a man convicted of sexual abuse on perverted evidence and a babbling judge’s false statement to the jury. The State also had to be dragged kicking and screaming to a second commission of inquiry into a multiple murder conviction by some 150 international medical scientists who challenged the verdict.

There is nothing anyone can do about it.



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10 Responses to The stonewall of justice

  1. Winston says:

    The worst part of it all is when a government makes a special law to keep a man behind bars for one reason only – so he won’t ever have a chance to clear his name and find justice.
    Sorry, Mr. Moles, when I tried to enlist your help in this case, you and other lawyers asked me to never email again about my findings! Ignore the whistleblower = stonewalling.

    • Winston says:

      “There is nothing anyone can do about it” (says Andrew).

      The only way I can cope with the agony of seeing injustice, being witness to blatant corruption, is the fact that there is ONE who sees it all, ONE who promised to one day judge each person by how they lived this live, be it good or evil.
      Can’t wait!

  2. Robert Moles says:

    I would ask you all to have a careful read of this letter which I sent to the Premier, Attorney-General and the DPP about the shocking failure and fraudulent misconduct of the former chief forensic pathologist Dr Colin Manock. I reminded the DPP of his duty of disclosure to the court. He subsequently went ahead and told the High Court that they could rely upon the evidence of Dr Manock as given at Mr Bromley’s trial. A clear breach of the duty of disclosure. As you can see, the letter was tabled in the SA Parliament.
    Although the High Court ruled that Mr Bromley’s counsel could not mention the forensic pathology evidence during the special leave hearing, they did not object when the DPP made his submission about Dr Manock. This is the link to our letter:

  3. Joshua M Smith says:

    I came to the realisation that nowhere in this publication has there been coverage, or opinion on the case of The Croatian Six? I’ve looked it up from time to time over the years, most recently 2022. The parliamentary inquiry into their convictions is currently underway(day 14).
    It would be great to get your experienced view of this case, Andrew.

    • andrew says:

      Thank you for your note…I just don’t have the resources to investigate such a complex case. However, readers can explore the inquiry at:

    • Heinrich says:

      Judges need to be seen upholding ethical professional standards . Fair enough !
      Just don’t lend your motor mower to
      your neighbourhood judge . Jailhouse inmates also have expected codes of behaviour . Kick in the head – no appeal. Oops he fell over . Little John Pat kicked to death by drunken police. Witnesses disappeared ? Judge didn’t ask .WE know about the Witnesses – The judges ethical standards didn’t allow the Honourable git to question the disappearance of the several witnesses ? There’s just one of a multitude of examples of the proven halfwitted lack of moral decency . An Australian Judge – flexible forensics- a dog eat my baby – jail for you . Police mate yacht thieves murdered my husband- jail for you . Wasn’t at the scene – 40 years for you . Can I now launch into a foul mouth tirade of deserved insults ? Don’t like them – nasty pompous little morons ! No respect ? Not on poor Ray Bailey’s grave.
      Murdered by a SouthAustralian Judge.

  4. Owen Allen says:

    I will tell you now. HEADS ON STICKS. A new lollie by Allens, that is Owens Allens, Lollies Heads on Sticks. All we need is the nod, the get go. Owen Allen.

  5. Don Wakeling says:

    The Chief Justice of Sth Australia Kourakis CJ blandly perverted the course of justice when, as Solr General , he deliberately concealed from his own Attorney General, and from the prisoner’s evidence he had himself commissioned , which proved the innocence of the prisoner. The present Attorney General of Sth Australia knows this and knew it back in 2019 when he ignored and even praised Kourakis in a press release on May 1 of that year. He rejects a call for an Inquiry into the Chief Justice’s shocking concealment. AG Maher . The CJ has made many speeches pontificating on the high standards the community should expect of its judiciary. He is the ultimate hypocrit. If our democracy is to survive and the rule of law prevail, no one must be above the law. The Sth Australian opposition shadow Att General has also received, a few weeks ago,a detailed summary of this concealment and the Government’s refusal to call the Chief Justice to account continues. I can find no rebuttal ever proferred by the Chief Justice of this direct challenge to his catastrophic conduct: he condemned an innocent man to another decade in prison!

  6. David Smith says:

    A large number of these Cases being held up – Stonewalling – are in the Hands of Public Servants who with little knowledge of Law – will place your questions into the Bureaucratic Blender with the aim to get you to go away. That is their role – Public Servants have far too much power and they contiually misuse it – consider when some Public Servant locks up the results of an Inquiry and they are to stay locked for say 60 Years – what has been written by these Public Servants will be their own opinions or how they want History to be read when the books are opened – the people they have written about will not be there to question or defend the Rubbish written about them – this enables them to write or rewrite History to the way that they want it be. That is frightening.

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