Can juries get it wrong?

Andrew L. Urban.

Juries are human. Fallible, often under stress, especially in trials of serious crime, collectively uninformed in law, forensic science or other relevant disciplines. Juries ingest what the prosecution and defence feeds them. Having served on a jury, I know from first hand experience how hard it is to sift evidence, to assess witnesses and to avoid the natural bias of the police, the pleadings of the accused and to weigh court theatrics against what the lawyers say are cold facts.  Continue reading

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Robert Xie – an evidence-free conviction

Andrew L. Urban.

There was no direct evidence that Robert Xie viciously murdered five members of his wife’s family in 2009, nor any credible circumstantial evidence. The appeal against his 2017 conviction has been delayed by the Crown, most recently in October this year (2019). This briefing is published to provide the public with information about the case which may be at odds with media-generated perceptions about the man and the murders.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 11 Robert Xie | 2 Comments

Judge sorry for justice system

Andrew L. Urban.

Three men from Baltimore, US, who were sent to prison as teenagers for a murder they did not commit have been released after 36 years. And after overturning the convictions on November 26, 2019, “On behalf of the criminal justice system,” judge Charles Peters said, “I’m going to apologise.”  Continue reading

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Unis have no jurisdiction in sexual assault matters

The Queensland Supreme Court has determined that universities have no jurisdiction to adjudicate sexual assault, reports Bettina Arndt Continue reading

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Victoria’s new right to appeal law passed

Andrew L. Urban.

Victoria, as of November 14, 2019, has joined South Australia and Tasmania as states where a further right to appeal is now in place, subject to fresh and compelling evidence.  Continue reading

Posted in General articles | 4 Comments

Gordon Wood back in court to press his claim of malicious prosecution

Andrew L. Urban.

Three floors above the court room where 14 months earlier NSW Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Fullerton demolished Mark Tedeschi QC’s prosecution of Gordon Wood for being “disingenuous” and “impermissibly straining for a conviction” (for murder) yet dismissed the claim for malicious prosecution, Wood is appealing that decision. Continue reading

Posted in Case 04 Gordon Wood | 1 Comment

Gordon Wood appeal in shadow of prosecutorial malaise

Andrew L. Urban.

Gordon Wood’s appeal against his failed malicious prosecution bid last year begins in Sydney’s Supreme Court on Monday, November 18, 2019, in the shadow of a new book by former DPP Nicholas Cowdrey (Frank and Fearless, New South) in which Cowdrey refers to the Wood case and proposes that prosecutors are ‘supposed to push for convictions’. Continue reading

Posted in Case 04 Gordon Wood | 19 Comments

High Court grants leave for George Pell appeal

The High Court today (Wednesday, November 13, 2019) has granted leave for George Pell to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal which upheld his conviction in December last year on one charge of sexual penetration with a child under 16 and four counts of indecent act with, or in the presence of, a child under 16, relating to two separate incidents at the cathedral in 1996 and 1997.

The appeal will be held in early 2010.

See our previous reports for more on this case:
Onus of proof reversed
Dissenting voices
Conviction upheld

Posted in Case 07 George Pell | 13 Comments

Sue Neill-Fraser appeal set for March 2020

Justice Helen Wood has set the date for appeal against Sue Neill-Fraser’s murder conviction, for March 2 – 13, 2020, after DPP Darryl Coates estimated it would take two weeks; Neill-Fraser’s lawyer, Chris Carr, had estimated just 3 – 4 days. Continue reading

Posted in Case 01 Sue Neill-Fraser | 5 Comments

Mystery woman with my email at Tamworth Court

Would the woman dressed in black at Tamworth court on Wednesday, November 6, out on bail apparently, who gave my email address to the distraught mother of a man in police custody please make contact with me when she can. She is not in trouble for doing so, indeed, it seems to have been an act of support.

I can’t go into further details except to say the mother (let’s call her Jill), and her husband, hold grave fears for their son’s treatment within our legal system. They are certain of their son’s innocence and worry for his three young children.

I will follow this case as best I can. Anyone with further information is invited to contact me by email to

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