Miscarriages of justice seminar timely topic

Speakers from around the country will gather in Brisbane this month to discuss miscarriages of justice at a seminar.

Reforming the Law in Australia to Deal with Miscarriages of Justice will be presented by the Queensland chapter of the International Commission of Jurists, in partnership with Griffith University’s Innocence Project and Law Futures Centre.

Presenters from four states will include:

  • Brisbane barristers Stephen Keim SC and Samuel Lane, who will speak about their experience in the High Court, acting for convicted murderer Derek Bromley in his application for a further appeal;
  • Malcolm McCusker KC, former barrister and governor of Western Australia,  who will speak about his work on the high-profile wrongful conviction of Andrew Mallard and the challenges of working on such cases more broadly;
  • Dr Bob Moles, one of Australia’s highest-profile, wrongful conviction academics, who was instrumental in having the second appeal introduced in South Australia; and
  • solicitor Rhanee Rego, a member of the legal team for exonerated mother Kathleen Folbigg.

The seminar will conclude with a panel discussion focussing on reform options and a potential Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Innocence Project Director Robyn Blewer said the event was timely for several reasons.

“We have had not one but two DNA Inquiries here in Queensland in the space of 18 months or so – both of which uncovered serious issues with forensic science testing in this state; the pardon (and subsequent exoneration) of Kathleen Folbigg in 2023; and the decision of the High Court in December 2023 in the case of Bromley v R,”  Dr Blewer said.


“All of these have contributed to growing calls for improved responses in the criminal justice system to wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice.

“There has been a lot of discussion in the science community about these issues. We know of – and share – the grave concerns of scientists in this area.

Dr Robyn Blewer

“The focus of this seminar will be on the legal responses, including the possibilities for establishing a Criminal Cases Review Commission.

“We want to move the conversation beyond discussing the need for such a commission to thinking about how, if at all, one might be created.”

Dr Blewer said the seminar would also discuss proposed second/subsequent appeal reforms in Queensland.

“We invite all criminal law practitioners and academics to attend this important event,” she said.


“While the speakers are notable experts in the field of wrongful conviction in this country, the perspectives of the profession will be equally important and welcome as the hosts and our speakers work collaboratively to improve criminal justice systems in this country.”

Reforming the Law in Australia to Deal with Miscarriages of Justice will be held on 23 February, from 12.30pm to 6.30pm, at the Queensland College of Art and Design, South Brisbane. Register here.

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