CaptureThe families of three Aboriginal children murdered at Bowraville, and supporters, will be rallying on Thursday, with NSW Parliament anticipated to debate a bill that would clear the way for justice.

The families will meet at 10.30am Thursday 5th May at the Hyde Park Fountain and then proceed to the NSW Parliament. The rally coincides with debate resuming on Crimes (Appeal and Review) Amendment (Double Jeopardy) Bill  which seeks to implement essential changes to deliver justice. The bill would implement Recommendation 8 of the Bowraville Inquiry’s unanimous report to broaden double jeopardy laws.

It is anticipated a fresh application for a retrial under the existing double jeopardy laws will also soon be presented to the Attorney General. The families are also seeking from the Attorney General that this new application will be referred for independent assessment in accordance with Recommendation 9 of the Bowraville Inquiry.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“Two years on from the start of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Bowraville murders, family members and community supporters are coming together to ask why there is still no justice.

“When the report was handed down, MP’s from all sides of politics spoke in support its 15 recommendations. It is well and truly time we put those words into action.

“This is a simple reform that can deliver a realistic chance of obtaining a retrial where all three murders can be considered together.

“Given Parliament’s emotional commitment when the Bowraville report was tabled, we hope that every political party can get behind this reform and put into law our collective promises. 26 years is too long to wait for justice.” Mr Shoebridge said.

Recommendations from the Parliamentary Inquiry:

  1. That the NSW Government review section 102 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 to clarify the definition of ‘adduced’, and in doing so consider:
    • the legal or other ramifications of defining adduced as ‘admitted’, particularly on the finality of prosecutions
    • the matters considered by the English courts under the equivalent UK legislation
    • the merit of replacing section 102 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 with the provisions in section 461 of the Criminal Appeals Act 2004 (WA), and
    • the merit of expressly broadening the scope of the provision to enable a retrial where a change in the law renders evidence admissible at a later date.
  1. That the NSW Government ensure that, should any new application for a retrial of the Bowraville murders be submitted to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions or Attorney General, the merits of the application be considered by an independent assessor, such as a retired senior judge or senior prosecutor from another jurisdiction.