10 February, 2010


Back when I was a practising criminal lawyer, one of the most frequent questions I would be asked by friends was whether I was working on any murder trials, and of course, what they were about. It came as a shock to my friends to discover that I was usually working on several, and moreover that they had heard nothing about these cases in the papers.

Now this is not a criticism of news organisations or their editorial decisions. All I wish to do here is tell some of those untold stories, as well as those you may have heard bits and pieces about, but are not sure what happened in the end. It is always tragic when a life is lost, particularly at the hands of another, be it accidental or deliberate.

Another question I was frequently asked by friends, was to explain why a conviction had been overturned on appeal, or why a trial was suddenly starting all over again. Of course these usually involve quite complex matters of law, and understandably these technicalities are more often than not left unexplained. What I will attempt to do here, for those who are interested, is ditch all the legal jargon, and try and tell it like it is.

As my starting point, I have collected a year's worth of decisions from the NSW Supreme Court. These homicides all took place in the 1990's. Most were never reported, although the occasional case may ring a bell to some of you. Of course, in most cases, for a judgement to be handed down by the Supreme Court, the trial ended in a conviction. This means I will be dealing with approximately (and i emphasize approximately, as I'm not a fan of statistics) 60% of the cases dealt with that year.

I hope you find it interesting, and I look forward to reading any comments or questions you may have.

Stay tuned....

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