In the Media

UK ?miscarriages? model rejected by South Australia

PUBLISHED July 26, 2012

Thursday 26 July 2012 by Eduardo Reyes

South Australia is now highly unlikely to adopt a UK-style Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), following a report by the parliament's legislative review committee. The committee also cautioned against the creation of a CCRC at a national level.

The Australian Human Rights Commission had contended that lack of ability of the courts to fully rehear a matter could contravene Australia's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Advances in forensic science were also a factor in deciding to review the law, in particular technical advances that allowed evidence to be retested.

Key reforms proposed by the Committee included a recommendation that a conviction could be appealed at any time if the evidence was tainted, or if fresh or compelling evidence cast 'reasonable doubt' on the conviction. A forensic science review panel should be established by the Attorney General, the committee also concluded.

These are lower standards of appeal than currently apply. The report was welcomed by campaigners for reform of the UK's CCRC, including campaigning group The Innocence Network.