Reforms For Double Jeopardy And Subsequent Appeals

Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Leanne Linard
  • Queensland Parliament has passed new laws to expand double jeopardy exceptions to 10 additional serious offences including manslaughter, attempted murder and rape.
  • New laws have also been passed to provide an additional avenue for a convicted person to appeal.

People can be retried for serious crimes including manslaughter, attempted murder and rape, under new laws passed in State Parliament today.

The changes expand the ‘fresh and compelling evidence’ double jeopardy exception to 10 additional offences – six unlawful killing offences and four sexual offences.

Currently, only people acquitted of murder can be retried under the double jeopardy exception if there is fresh and compelling evidence of guilt.

The Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Double Jeopardy Exception and Subsequent Appeals) Amendment Act 2024 also establishes a new framework for the criminal justice system to respond to possible wrongful convictions.

Currently, once a convicted person has exhausted their original right of appeal, their only remaining avenue is to petition the Governor for a pardon.

The new laws establish a right for subsequent appeals against conviction on the grounds of fresh and compelling evidence or new and compelling evidence that a miscarriage of justice has occurred.

The amendments to the state’s double jeopardy laws and the introduction of a subsequent appeal framework will take effect later this year.

Quotes attributable to acting Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Leanne Linard:

“These are very important reforms that will ensure Queenslanders continue to have confidence in our criminal justice system.

“The double jeopardy rule prevents an acquitted person from being retried for the same offence and until now, an exemption from that rule if fresh and compelling evidence emerges, has only applied to murder.

“The new laws are safeguards against both unjust acquittals and wrongful convictions.

“The expanded double jeopardy exception and the new subsequent appeal framework bring us into line with other jurisdictions, providing greater consistency.

“They demonstrate our commitment to maintaining a justice system that is contemporary, fair and a reasonable reflection of community expectations.”

/Public Release. View in full here.