Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 9 June 2016) . . Page.. 2012 ..
for the murder of a Ms Julie Hogg. In 2010, Mark Weston was retried and convicted for the murder of Ms Vikki Thompson, also on the basis of new DNA evidence.
Future improvements in DNA testing may reveal new evidence in cases that are being tried today. New techniques have been developed in the past decade that extend beyond direct matching including familial searching, mitochondrial DNA profiling, and low copy number DNA analysis, which can lead to obtaining a profile from microscopic samples such as sweat left from a fingerprint. These new techniques have made a significant contribution to the recent investigation of serious crimes.
DNA evidence will not be the only type of fresh and compelling evidence which may justify the use of the exception. A confession by the acquitted person or a witness providing evidence for the first time years later may also constitute fresh and compelling evidence.
It is my hope that the kinds of situations anticipated by this bill do not arise, but if they do, the bill will allow for a retrial in these very exceptional and rare circumstances and will allow for the redress of what would otherwise be a grave injustice.
I will be moving one government amendment to the bill in response to scrutiny committee comments, which I will address later at the detail stage of the debate. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Clauses 1 to 4, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Capital Metro, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (8.49): Pursuant to standing order 182A(c), I seek leave to move my amendments Nos 1 to 3 together, as they are in response to comment made by the scrutiny committee.
MR CORBELL: I move: amendments Nos 1 to 3 together and table a supplementary explanatory statement to the government amendments [see schedule 2 at page 2027].
The bill provides three exceptions to the law of double jeopardy in the ACT. The amendment amends the bill by inserting a new section 68M(3)(a), 68N(4)(a), and 68O(2)(a) of the bill. These new provisions provide that an acquitted person is entitled to appear at the hearing of an application for a retrial made pursuant to section 68M and 68N.