Bowraville families cling to hope of a parliamentary inquiry in double jeopardy laws.
Bowraville families cling to hope of a parliamentary inquiry in double jeopardy laws.

Glimmer of hope for Bowraville families

A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry into the double jeopardy laws which prevent the main suspect in the Bowraville children murders from being re-tried is one step closer to becoming reality.

NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge read the terms of reference onto the record in Parliament on Tuesday and gave notice he would move the motion when the Upper House next sat.

More than 22 years after Colleen Walker, Clinton Speedy-Duroux and Evelyn Greenup were killed within a six-month period on the Aboriginal mission, no-one has ever been held responsible for their deaths.

While the prosecutions brought against a suspect for the murders of Clinton and Evelyn were evenually unsuccessful, there has never been a trial where all three killings have been considered together.

Changes to the double-jeopardy legislation, which allow a person who has been acquitted of a life-sentence offence to be re-tried where "fresh and compelling evidence exists", passed through Parliament in 2006.

The families of the Bowraville children had desperately hoped the changes would apply to their cases but in February, NSW Attorney-General Smith announced he would not use his power under Section 115 of the Crimes Act to allow an application to the Criminal Court of Appeal seeking a re-trial.

The motion read that the Upper House: "Refer the question of whether the Double Jeopardy changes adopted by Parliament ... are having their intended effect to the law and justice committee and request the committee to consider the case of the Bowraville murders in the course of its inquiry".



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