ALA applauds criminal appeals review process
21st Mar 2013
The Australian Lawyers Alliance today commended the South Australian Government for its initiative and vision in bringing about a new review process for criminal convictions with fresh and compelling evidence upon which to base further enquiry.
ALA National President, Tony Kerin, said The Statutory Amendment (Appeals) Bill 2012 was a commendable piece of legislation that had been brought to fruition by a number of people engaging with the SA government about significant unjust conviction cases around the country during the past 15 to 20 years.
“While the Bill could have gone further by setting up a review commission, the South Australian Government is to be commended for taking the risk attached to any such novel legislation. This marks South Australia out as a progressive, fresh-thinking jurisdiction with a law for the rest of the country to model in the interests of justice,” Mr Kerin said.
“One unjust conviction is too many given the fresh insights technical and scientific developments are now delivering. This is particularly true when it comes to DNA evidence,” Mr Kerin said.
He said cumbersome, long-winded and out-dated procedures such as petitioning the governor had also been clumsy and stymied access to justice.
“Hopefully South Australia’s new model will be adopted by other governments around the country as soon as possible. Its merits are sure to help justice to be served more adequately in the future,” Mr Kerin said.