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18 Responses to “Barlow plans Privy Council appeal”
Dave’s got it. Barlow’s last appeal was to the Court of Appeal before 1 January 2004.
S 50(1) of the Supreme Court Act 2003 states:
“(1) The Privy Council may hear and determine, or continue to hear and determine,—
(c)an appeal arising out of a successful application to the Privy Council (whether made before, on, or after 1 January 2004) for special leave to appeal to it against a decision of the Court of Appeal—
(i)made before 1 January 2004; or
(ii)made after 31 December 2003 in a proceeding whose hearing was completed before 1 January 2004.”
> I stand to be corrected, but my understanding is the current action was not an appeal, but an appeal to the governor-general for a pardon
Sorry, I meant “a *petition* to the governor-general for a pardon.”
This is the section they are done under:
CRIMES ACT 1961
PART 14 – MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
406. Prerogative of mercy—
406.Prerogative of mercy—
Nothing in this Act shall affect the prerogative of mercy, but the Governor-General in Council, on the consideration of any application for the exercise of the mercy of the Crown having reference to the conviction of any person by any Court or to the sentence (other than a sentence fixed by law) passed on any person, may at any time if he thinks fit, whether or not that person has appealed or had the right to appeal against the conviction or sentence, either—
(a)Refer the question of the conviction or sentence to the Court of Appeal or, where the person was convicted or sentenced by a [District Court] [acting in its summary jurisdiction or under section 28F(2) of the District Courts Act 1947], to the [High Court], and the question so referred shall then be heard and determined by the Court to which it is referred as in the case of an appeal by that person against conviction or sentence or both, as the case may require; or
(b)If he desires the assistance of the Court of Appeal on any point arising in the case with a view to the determination of the application, refer that point to the Court of Appeal for its opinion thereon, and the Court shall consider the point so referred and furnish the Governor-General with its opinion thereon accordingly.
David, you might not be aware but David Bain and Peter Ellis have also recently appealed to the Privy Council. I don’t see any difficulty with Barlow’s appeal – the PC hasn’t been abolished just yet.
Interestingly, the Justice Ministry refused Barlow’s appeal despite him having a very strong case. What a aurprise! The Ministry has never, ever granted a pardon, despite appeals by the likes of Arthur Thomas, Rex Haig and Ellis. In each of these cases, the petitioners applied more than once for a pardon. Of course, the odd one out is Ellis because the other two subsequently had their convictions overturned. Ellis is still trying.
The justice system has serious problems when it refuses to acknowledge that miscarriages of justice can and do occur. Earlier this year, retired High Court judge Sir Thomas Thorp advised the government that up to 20 “criminals” that were behind bars might be innocent. What was the Justice Ministry’s reponse to this? Let’s keep the status quo.
The Public Finance Act does contain criminal offences for breaches of that Act. I have no view on whether the unlawful spending would attract criminal liability under the Public Finance Act 1989. Therefore clause 6 preserves the right to lay any offence under that Act or any other Act. Perhaps Darnton could launch a private prosecution under the Public Finance Act for the unlawful spending if his civil law suit becomes frustrated by the validating legislation.
In 2003, Neville Trendle wrote a discussion paper on the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, under which a pardon may be granted (although one never has been). I think the paper came about largely because of Lynley Hood’s book on the Peter Elis case, A City Possessed. Hood wrote that we needed a Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), similar to what exists in Britain, to investigate potential miscarriages of justice. In 2005 the Justice and Electoral Select Committee also made some noises about the need to fast-track introduction of a CCRC but there has been little publicity about the idea since.
“Earlier this year, retired High Court judge Sir Thomas Thorp advised the government that up to 20 “criminals” that were behind bars might be innocent. What was the Justice Ministry’s reponse to this? Let’s keep the status quo.”
Nothing wrong with the status quo. Twenty out of about one million convictions during the relevant period shows the status quo is working very well.
“Nothing wrong with the status quo. Twenty out of about one million convictions during the relevant period shows the status quo is working very well”.
Actually, it could work a hell of a lot better. Only a few thousand are in prison, so your figure of one million is nonsense. Further, if you’re serving 10 years for something you haven’t done, you might think differently about the system. Nobody disputes that miscarriages are relatively rare but the Justice Ministry’s position is that they don’t happen at all. Who’s got their head in the sand?
“Ross, the Thorp enquiry focused on the wrongly convicted, not the wrongly imprisoned. My numbers are entirely accurate based on that”.
Hmmm, interesting logic. If you’re wrongly convicted, you tend to be wrongly imprisoned. See the connection?
In any given year, there’s a few thousand in the slammer, so your figures are incorrect. Thorp found that more than 20% of the applications he looked at gave him cause for concern. He looked at a small number of cases. If he’d looked at more cases, I’m sure he would have come up with a figure higher than 20.
The fact remains that if you’ve been wrongly convicted of child abuse or murder, you’ll be spending many years in prison. How would go about rectifying that situation? Or is it not worth worrying about because you’re not the one being wrongly convicted and imprisoned?