I welcome the revelation today that the Tasmanian Government intends to legislate an appeal provision for when there is fresh and compelling evidence, or evidence of a tainted conviction ( Mercury: Tasmanian Attorney-General announces plan to change criminal appeals law ).
This will go some way to bringing Tasmania into line with other jurisdictions. It will also provide the same opportunity to convicted persons as is currently enjoyed by prosecutors.
Whether or not this will give Sue Neill-Fraser an avenue to have her conviction for murdering Bob Chappell revisited remains to be seen. Such an outcome will obviously depend on the detail of this reform.
In any case, Ms Neill-Fraser’s conviction remains unsafe because too many questions about Mr Chappell’s disappearance remain unanswered, and there’s still too much doubt about the conduct of the trial.
The Tasmanian Government seems to be laying the groundwork to walk away from almost four years of unwavering support for Ms Neill-Fraser’s conviction.
The bottom line is that some in the judiciary, legal profession, police and media got it wrong, and no one in two successive state governments has had the guts to take them on and remedy the situation.
• Vanessa Goodwin: Government to Draft Right to Appeal Legislation As the prosecution have had the right to seek a retrial on the basis of fresh and compelling evidence or evidence of a tainted outcome since 2008, we believe it is fair that a convicted person be afforded the same opportunity.