Acquitting Sue Neill-Fraser in Tas should be next

CLA is delighted modern forensic science has freed Kathleen Folbigg from jail and the the guilt of murdering her babies. Now it is time that up-to-date forensics in 2023 re-examine the Tasmanian case of Sue Neill-Fraser for previously tested and never tested evidence samples. SNF served 13 years in jail, is out on monitored parole for the next 10 years…and continues to maintain her innocence in what CLA believes was a wrongful conviction.

Failure To Disclose: Tas police ‘don’t take disclosure seriously’

As part of CLA’s campaign to improve mandatory disclosure by police and prosecutors throughout Australia, we are monitoring what the legal profession is saying. Here’s some comments from Tasmanian barristers, including that local magistrates say Tasmania Police treats courts with contempt. If so, perhaps a magistrate will have the courage to charge Police Commissioner Donna Adams with contempt of court?

Swastika is an image, misuse is the problem

Jurisdictions throughout Australia are hell-bent on banning symbols they don’t like, when it is way the symbol or sign is used rather than the image itself that is the problem. CLA made this point in a submission to a parliamentary process in the ACT, pointing out that there are thousands of signs, symbols, gestures, chants that could – and do, at times – give offence when misused.

Australia Day: CLA asks AG for national forensic science regulator-authority

CLA, in one of its traditional Australia Day letters, has called in 2023 on Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to secure agreement of all other AGs for a major review of forensic science in Australia, and for a national Forensic Science Regulator/Authority. The December 2022 findings of the Sofronoff inquiry in Queensland dramatically highlighted the extent of the problems, which have caused wrongful convictions in cases like Fara Jama in Victoria, Mallard in WA, Keogh in SA and Eastman in the ACT, among many others.

Freeing up the law

A defendant will be represented in court by an artificial intelligence in February 2023 for the first time ever. The DoNotPay smartphone app will tell a defendant what to say during a court case challenging a speeding ticket. The apps’ developers have not disclosed the exact date or location of the case in the USA, New Scientist reports. Should the robot lawyer lose the case, the company has promised to cover the cost of the fine for the defendant. DoNotPay is billed on its website as the “world’s first robot lawyer”. Joshua Browder, founder and CEO, said: “The goal of this company is to make the $200 billion legal profession free for consumers.” or

DPP and police Failure To Disclose (FTD) warps justice

Increasingly, in criminal trials throughout Australia, the failure to disclose (FTD) critical information to the defence appears to be skewing trials towards wrongful conviction outcomes. The problem is not new – the cases of Mallard, Keogh and Eastman over two decades demonstrate that fact – but what was an occasional blight seems to be becoming a plague of considerable proportions. Here’s the story, plus a special report on the Rules of Disclosure by legal academic Dr Bob Moles.

Explosive letter & speech reopens SNF inquiry call

A former Tasmanian prosecutor, Tony Jacobs, with 30 years experience which includes 30 murder trials, has written an explosive letter – beginning with the famous phrase ‘J’Accuse, quoting Emile Zola in 1898 – to the state’s Law Society claiming that “Mrs (Sue) Neill-Fraser’s conviction for murder should have been overturned because of the mistakes & omissions of a number of Tasmanian Legal Practitioners”. Jacobs’ letter was tabled in the Legislative Council of the Tasmanian Parliament on Tuesday 15 November 2022 by Michael Gaffney MLC. Here’s the tabling speech from a Hansard proof copy, .and you can read the tabled the letter.