A Critical Analysis of Post-Conviction Review in New South Wales, Australia
Keywords:Post-Conviction Review, Criminal Law, Wrongful Convictions, Miscarriage of Justice
Wrongful convictions leave an indelible mark on society. They are a tangible demonstration that the criminal legal system has failed, and a poignant reminder that all human institutions are fallible. Robust post-conviction review mechanisms are essential to provide an opportunity for justice to be eventually achieved for those who are wrongfully convicted. Through a critical examination of the post-conviction review mechanisms in NSW, which includes determining the existence of independence, transparency and accountability in the system, some deficiencies will be identified and analysed. Drawing on insights from the author’s role as a lawyer for Kathleen Folbigg (a woman convicted in 2003 of the murder of three of her infant children, and the manslaughter of her first child), this article will outline some of the key problems with the current system of post-conviction review in NSW. It then critically compares the existing system with the United Kingdom Criminal Cases Review Commission (“UK CCRC”). The UK CCRC has been chosen because it is a pioneering model which is designed to identify and remedy wrongful convictions in an independent, transparent, and accountable way. The article concludes that a version similar to the UK CCRC should be implemented in NSW to achieve justice for those wrongfully convicted.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Rhanee Rego
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