High Court rules on Baden-Clay murder appeal

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The High Court ruled this morning that Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction will stand.

In 2014, a jury convicted Baden-Clay of the 2012 murder of his wife, Allison, but the court of appeal downgraded the charge to manslaughter.  His lawyers argued that it was possible that he could have unintentionally have killed his wife during an argument. 

More to come.
  • Ian Weldon on 1/09/2016 7:42:57 AM

    Another site reports the lawyer for Baden-Clay as saying that "In this particular instance, the High Court applied the Weissensteiner dictum, that when an accused has particular knowledge they should explain what they know, if they know it," Mr Shields said.

    "The consequences are massive, that is for an accused to make the decision whether to give evidence in their defence at their trial or not.

    "Because if an accused doesn't give evidence then they're not subject to that forensic criticism."

    With respect, that hardly seems to be a fair or accurate explanation of the reasoning in Baden-Clay. The accused in Weissensteiner did not give evidence at his trial and the decision in Weissensteiner concerned the inferences that could be drawn from his silence about events of which only he could have had direct knowledge. As both the jury and the High Court recognised, in Baden-Clay the accused made a deliberate forensic decision to lie on oath at trial by denying any involvement in, or even presence at, his wife's death. It would be more accurate to say that the 'massive' consequence after Baden-Clay is that an accused might need to think more carefully about telling deliberate lies to a jury in an attempt to escape criminal responsibility.

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