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The consequences of wrongful conviction can be devastating. This forum explores issues of miscarriage of justice with leading Victorian criminal justice experts.
The panel will discuss causal factors and steps that can and are taken to help reduce the incidence of miscarriages of justice and better facilitate their correction where a wrongful conviction has occurred.
The Hon Frank Vincent AO QC
Victorian Law Reform Commissioner, Frank Vincent has spent a lifetime upholding the civil, political and social rights of the Victorian community. During his career as a barrister, Frank appeared in approximately 200 murder trials – earning him the title ‘Mr Murder’ – before being appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1985 and, later, Judge of the Court of Appeal. In July 2012, he was appointed to the Victorian Law Reform Commission.
Dr Kaye Ballantyne BSc PhD
As a Senior Research and Development Officer at the Office of the Chief Forensic Scientist, Victoria Police Forensic Services Department, Kaye Ballantyne specialises in forensic genetics and molecular biology. Collecting examples from Australia and internationally about how experts phrase their conclusions incorrectly, she has recently been developing information about how expert evidence can be misrepresented and cause juries to overestimate its value.
Robert Stary LLB
Rob Stary is Principal of Stary Norton Halphen Criminal Law Specialists – Melbourne’s largest specialist criminal law practice. He has over 33 years of experience as a criminal defence lawyer, having worked with Victoria Legal Aid and Slater and Gordon before commencing private practice in 1995. Rob has a diverse criminal practice, with clients including environmentalists, trade unionists, political activists and underworld figures. Rob is recipient of the Law Institute’s Paul Baker Human Rights Award, is Patron of the Spirit of Eureka Committee and member of the BoH Round Table Advisory Group and BoHII at RMIT’s Reference Group.
Kimani Boden LLB
Kimani Boden is a Partner at Starnet Legal. He is perhaps best known for his pro bono work successfully representing Farah Jama, who was wrongfully convicted of rape in July 2008 on the basis of contaminated DNA evidence and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. Jama was acquitted after serving 18 months in prison. On 15 December 2009, the Victorian Department of Justice commissioned an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the wrongful conviction, setting up a working group to examine national standards for the use and collection of DNA evidence.
Julie Buxton LLB BCom MPubIntLaw
Julie Buxton is a lawyer, producer, author and advisor on Aboriginal Justice and Human Rights to Andrew Jackomos, the Commissioner for Children and Young People. Julie is also Director of Big Red Films, a not-for-profit organisation that uses digital storytelling, digital media and the arts to promote human rights, racial tolerance and social inclusion.
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