Michael Abbott QC Michael Abbott QC

Michael Abbott has practiced for more than 50 years and has conducted many criminal trials in which forensic evidence has been tested.  He acted for Edward Charles Splatt in the Splatt Royal Commission in South Australia which changed how the Courts approached forensic evidence.


Father Frank Brennan Father Frank Brennan
SJ, AO, BA LLB(Hons) Qld, BD(Hons) MCD, LLM Melb., DUniv QUT, Hon. LLD UNSW

Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest, an adjunct fellow in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the ANU, professor of law in the Institute of Legal Studies at the Australian Catholic University, and professor of human rights and social justice at the University of Notre Dame Australia. He was the founding director of Uniya, the Australian Jesuit Social Justice Centre. In 2005, he returned to Australia from a fellowship at Boston College.

His books on Aboriginal issues include The Wik Debate, One Land One Nation, Sharing the Country and Land Rights Queensland Style. His books on civil liberties are Too Much Order with Too Little Law and Legislating Liberty. His book Tampering with Asylum compares Australia's asylum policies with other first world countries. He wrote the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council's paper The Timor Sea's Oil and Gas: What's Fair?. In 2006, he will publish his latest book Acting On Conscience: When Church And State Collide looking at the place of religion in Australian politics and law.

He is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to Aboriginal Australians, particularly as an advocate in the areas of law, social justice and reconciliation. He and Pat Dodson shared the inaugural ACFOA Human Rights Award from the Australian Council for Overseas Aid.

While Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in East Timor, he was adviser to the East Timorese Church Working Group on the Constitution. He was awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for his work in East Timor and the Australian Centenary Medal for his service with refugees and human rights work in the Asia Pacific Region. During the 1998 Wik debate, Paul Keating christened him the meddling priest. The National Trust has classified him as a Living National Treasure.


Estelle Blackburn OAM Estelle Blackburn OAM

Estelle Blackburn is the author of Broken Lives, the book that led to the exonerations of John Button and Darryl Beamish for killing women in Perth in the 1960s.  At the time of the exonerations in 2001 and 2005, they were the longest-standing convictions to be overturned in Australia.

Estelle was a Perth journalist working for the WA Premier when by chance she met John Button man who claimed he had been framed 35 years earlier.  At first skeptical – Button and Beamish had lost a combined seven appeals in the ‘60s – she looked into it and for 10 years undertook a combined exercise in investigative journalism, authorship and citizen advocacy. 

Estelle has won many awards for her work:  Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, WA Woman of the Year, WA Citizen of the Year (Arts, Culture & Entertainment), WA Premier's Book Award; The Crime Writers Association of Australia's  Award for Best True Crime, Perth Press Club Award for sustained excellence in journalism, WA Media and Entertainment Alliance award for greatest contribution to the profession, induction into the inaugural WA Women's Hall of Fame and a Churchill Fellowship to look at innocence projects in UK, US and Canada. She has helped with other WA cases.


Mr Desmond Browne QC Mr Desmond Browne QC
Former Chairman of the Bar and Joint Head of Chambers (withMatthew Nicklin QC).

Desmond was Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales in 2009 and Treasurer of Gray’s Inn in 2015. He has recently taken over as President of the Council of the Inns of Court. As Chairman of the International Committee of the Advocacy Training Council, he has trained in Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore Poland and the Hague.

He is Joint Head of 5RB, a set of chambers specialising in media law. He has appeared in the House of Lords for Times Newspapers, Neil Hamilton MP, the late Boris Berezovsky and for Mirror Newspapers in the Naomi Campbell privacy appeal. Clients for whom he has acted in the Court of Appeal include Elton John, Michael Douglas, Don King, Victoria Beckham and Associated Newspapers. He appeared as counsel for the Trinity Mirror newspapers in the Leveson Inquiry into the culture of the press. Latterly he has acted for two defamation clients in actions arising from covert filming by journalists, and for a policeman on the gates of Downing Street called a “pleb” by a Cabinet Minister.


Prof Roger Byard AO PSM Prof Roger Byard AO PSM
The University of Adelaide

Professor Roger Byard AO PSM holds the George Richard Marks Chair of Pathology at The University of Adelaide and is a Senior Specialist Forensic Pathologist at Forensic Science SA in Adelaide, Australia.  He qualified in medicine in Australia in 1978 and became a licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada in 1982. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of the United Kingdom, a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists, a Fellow of the National Association of Medical Examiners in the United States, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and has a certification in Family Medicine from the Canadian College of Family Physicians.  He is a Foundation Fellow of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom, a Foundation Fellow of the Faculty of Science of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and an Honorary Member of the College of Forensic and Legal Medicine of Sri Lanka. He is a Registered Expert with the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He was awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal and the Australian Federal Police Operations Medal for disaster victim identification work in Bali after the bombings in 2002 and in Thailand after the tsunami in 2004. He is a Professorial Fellow at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia, and received The University of Adelaide Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013 and the University of Tasmania Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016.


A/Prof Julia Davis A/Prof Julia Davis
Associate Professor in Law, School of Law, University of South Australia

Associate Professor Julia Davis is a foundation staff member of the School of Law at the University of South Australia. She joined the School in 2008 after 13 years of teaching and research experience in the Faculty of Law at the University of Tasmania.

She currently teaches into the Honours program and is the Supervising Academic Editor of the University of South Australia Student Law Review. Her teaching experience covers Tort Law, Jurisprudence, Sentencing Law and Conflicts (Private International Law). Her research interests include: the theoretical, practical and psychological aspects of sentencing, the philosophy of criminal law and the concept of justice.

Over the last ten years, Associate Professor Davis has worked with her research colleagues, Emeritus Professor Kate Warner and Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg on the topics of jury research and measuring public opinion on sentencing. Together with the research team, she has been awarded three large research grants from the Criminology Research Council and the Australian Research Council to develop and apply an innovative method of using juries to gauge informed public opinion on sentencing.


Dr Ian Freckelton QC Dr Ian Freckelton QC

Ian Freckelton is an experienced barrister in full-time practice throughout Australia, working as a Queen's Counsel from Crockett Chambers in Melbourne. He is a member of the Victorian, Northern Territory and Tasmanian Bar Associations and took silk in 2007. He has a mixed trial, appellate and advisory practice in administrative law, disciplinary law, personal injury law, criminal law and commercial law. He has also appeared in judicial inquiries/Royal Commissions and provided advice in relation to parliamentary inquiries. In over two and a half decades at the Bar, Dr Freckelton has appeared in many leading cases across a wide range of legal areas in all States and Territories in Australia. He has also undertaken advisory work for cases in New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.

Dr Freckelton has also been appointed to a number of tribunals on a part-time basis, including the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and Victoria's Mental Health Tribunal (formerly the Mental Health Review Board), Psychosurgery Review Board, Medical Practitioners Board, Psychologists Registration Board, Disciplinary Appeals Board, Investigation Review Panel, Suitability Panel, and the Northern Suburbs Football Disciplinary Tribunal.

Dr Freckelton is also a part-time Professorial Fellow in Law and Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne, an Adjunct Professor of Law and Forensic Medicine at Monash University, an Adjunct Professor of Law at La Trobe University in Melbourne and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. He fulfils such functions after court hours. Dr Freckelton is the co-editor of the 7-volume looseleaf service, Expert Evidence, and the co-author of Expert Evidence: Law, Practice, Procedure and Advocacy, the 6th edition of which was published in 2016; as well he is the co-author of a series of empirical studies on expert evidence, the third of which (Expert Evidence and Criminal Jury Trials, OUP) was published in 2016.


The Honourable Robert Shenton French AC The Honourable Robert Shenton French AC
Chief Justice of Australia, High Court of Australia

Robert Shenton French was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia in September 2008. At the time of his appointment he was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, having been appointed to that office in November 1986.

He graduated from the University of Western Australia in science and law. He was admitted in 1972 and practised as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia until 1983 when he went to the Western Australian Bar. From 1994 to 1998 he was President of the National Native Title Tribunal. At the time of his appointment he was an additional member of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and a member of the Supreme Court of Fiji. He was also a Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal and a part-time member of the Australian Law Reform Commission. From 2001 to January 2005 he was president of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law. Chief Justice French was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2010.


Ms Felicity Gerry QC Ms Felicity Gerry QC

Felicity Gerry QC is admitted to the Bar of England and Wales and the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory of Australia. She has been recognised in the Legal 500 as a "Fearless and effective advocate" and in Chambers and Partners as "A vastly experienced advocate noted for her expertise in serious sexual offences, homicides and complex frauds.

Commentators note her bold style of advocacy and her skill in dealing with young and vulnerable defendants". At the independent Bar, Felicity has prosecuted and defended in numerous cases involving major, serious and complex crime, often with an international element. This has included cross-jurisdictional rape, murder by foreign nationals involving evidence obtained from abroad, conspiracy to import illegal immigrants and international fraud. She recently assisted in the reprieve from execution in Indonesia for Filipina Mary Jane Veloso. Her significant trial and appellate experience has also led to an expertise in online offending in the context of online abuse and exploitation, money laundering and online fraud. She has, for example, used data and metadata as evidence in criminal cases. She is co-author of The Sexual Offences Handbook and she is on the Management Committee for The Advocates Gateway that produces the toolkits for advocacy involving the vulnerable.

Since 2013, Felicity has also held a research active post at Charles Darwin University, Australia, focussing on data and rights, particularly in the context of violence against women and girls and the rule of law online. She is on the Professional Board of Computer Law and Security Review and is Chair of the Research and Research Training Committee in the School of Law at Charles Darwin University where she runs the Indigenous Justice and Exoneration Project. She also has an ongoing project for Lexis Nexis on Women in Prison and a Project with Menzies School of Health on Women's Health and the Law.

In October 2015 Felicity was Senior Counsel for the Appellant before the Privey Council in R v Jogee where their Lordships overturned earlier decisions which supported "parasitic accessary liability" (in Australia "extended joint enterprise").


Prof Andrew Goldsmith Prof Andrew Goldsmith

Strategic Professor of Criminology and Director, Centre for Crime Policy and Research, Flinders University

Trained originally as a lawyer, I spent nearly three years in legal practice before undertaking postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom and Canada. That further study was in the fields of law, criminology and social theory. My first teaching position was at Warwick University where I taught criminal law and criminology. I moved then to Brunel University, London, and then to Monash University. I joined Flinders University for the first time in 1997 as Foundation Professor of Legal Studies. Between 2009 and 2012, I held the position of Executive Director, Centre for Translational Crime Prevention, University of Wollongong. I re-joined Flinders in late 2012 to take up my current position.


Justice Lex Lasry Justice Lex Lasry

Principal Judge of the Criminal Division, Supreme Court of Victoria

Justice Lasry was a practicing barrister in Melbourne, Victoria, from 1973 until his appointment to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2007.  His work was in the criminal law, initially as a prosecutor but then as a criminal defence lawyer.  His Honour was appointed Queens Counsel in 1990.  As a trial judge since 2007, apart from other work, he has presided over almost 40 trials, mostly homicide cases.

His Honour’s primary education was at Healesville Primary School, and his secondary education was at Haileybury College between 1960 and 1966.  His Articles of Clerkship were served at Slater & Gordon, where he was articled to Jim Hill. 

His Honour’s hobbies include motor sports (as a driver – Production Sports Cars – Porsche GT3; State Series racing and Mount Buller Sprint/Targa High Country), and music. 


Mr Phil Kernick Mr Phil Kernick
Chief Technology Officer, CQR

Phil is the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of CQR Consulting Pty Ltd, the largest independent information security consultancy in Australia.

Phil has 22 years of experience in information security and technology. He has focussed on information security for the past 14 years. Phil has specialised in the areas of technical information security, critical infrastructure and IT forensics.


Justice Andrew Macrae Justice Andrew Macrae
Justice of the Court of Appeal, Hong Kong

1956 - Born in UK; 1956 - 1966 - Lived in Northern/Southern Rhodesia (now Zambia (Zimbabwe); 1967 - 1974 - Schooled in the UK; 1975 - 1978 attended University of Durham, UK; 1978 - 1979 Attended Inns of Court School of Law; 1979 - called to bar of England and Wales; 1980 - 1982 - Private Practice in the UK; 1982 - Crown Counsel, A/G's Chambers, Hong Kong; 1983 - Called to Bar of Hong Kong; 1999 - Took Silk; 2004 - 2010 - Admitted to Brunes Bar (ad hoc'); 2006 - 2010 Recorder HK; 2010 - Appointed a High Court Judge HK; 2013 - Appointed to Court of Appeal HK.


Ms Frances Nelson QC Ms Frances Nelson QC
Presiding Member, Parole Board of South Australia

Frances Nelson QC graduated Bachelor of Laws, University of Adelaide.

In 1982 Ms Nelson was appointed One of Her Majesty's Counsel and has been Leader of the Bar since 2000. Ms Nelson was appointed Chairperson of the Parole Board of South Australia in November 1983. She is currently in her 11th term of office having served continuously in that position since her original appointment.

Frances Nelson has served both the community and the justice system with distinction and dedication, both as a barrister and during her 30 year term as Chair and Presiding Member of the Parole Board. She continues to uphold the highest principles of justice by exercising her responsibilities in dealing with offenders in a humane, fair and when required, firm manner.


Mr Terry O’Gorman AM Mr Terry O'Gorman AM
Director, Robertson O'Gorman Solicitors

Terry O'Gorman's public role in the Queensland and Australian Councils for Civil Liberties is well known.

He has been practicing solely as a criminal defence lawyer since 1976 and is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist in Queensland. In 2015 Terry was named one of Queensland's pre-eminent criminal lawyers on Doyle's Leading Lawyers List.

Terry has sat on the Queensland Law Society Criminal Law Committee since 1979 and has been an Executive Member of the National Association for Criminal Lawyers since its inception in 1986. Terry is also a frequent speaker at National and International Criminal Law Conferences.

Terry has a very public reputation for fierce commitment to his clients' interests. Terry's skills with the media are vital in a climate in which prosecutorial and investigatory agencies are prepared to "go public" in high profile cases to gain an advantage.

Terry was awarded the Order of Australia in a General Division in 1991 for services to the legal profession.

He is currently the President of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties and Vice President of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties.


Mr Thomas Percy QC Mr Thomas Percy QC

Tom Percy graduated from the University of WA in 1977. He was admitted to practice the following year and elected to the WA Bar Association in 1984, taking silk in 1997.

He practices exclusively in the area of Criminal trials and appeals.

He is currently the State President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance and Head of Chambers at Albert Wolff Chambers, Perth.

He is a member of the Board at the WACA, and the East Perth Football Club, and a prominent horse owner and breeder.

He has a regular column in the Sunday Times and and a long-running segment on Perth Radio.


John Robertson John Robertson
District Court of Queensland

Solicitor since 1973. Founded Robertson O’Gorman in 1978 – it was then JM Robertson &Co! Practised in white collar crime, defamation and professional disciplinary matters until 1994 when I was appointed the first DCJ at Ipswich and the first solicitor appointed to the Court. From 1999 – 2002 I was President of the Children’s Court of Queensland. Since 2001 I have been one of 2 resident Judges in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast. My judicial work is in the area of adult and juvenile crime, civil and commercial litigation and planning & environment law. I have an abiding interest in all forms of expert evidence, not only in crime where DNA and medical and psychological evidence predominates, but also in planning law where experts play a major part and the Court has developed rules to limit disputes and to narrow issues.


Professor Rick Sarre Professor Rick Sarre
Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, University of South Australia

Professor Sarre has been teaching commercial law and criminology for 30 years in Australia, Sweden, Hong Kong and the USA. His research interests include surveillance law, policing and the privatization of security. Formerly the head of the School of Law and Legal Practice at UniSA, he currently serves as the President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology.


William Smith AM William Smith AM
Deputy Co-Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

William Smith is the Deputy Co-Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). The ECCC is mandated to bring to trial senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea and those most responsible for crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979. He has held this position since the court was established in 2006. For the preceding 11 years, William worked as a trial attorney and legal officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). In 2000, William was seconded to the UN Transitional Authority in East Timor as the Acting District Administrator of Viqueque District. His work has taken him all over the world, including to the Balkans, Rwanda, Senegal and Northern Ireland. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the law, particularly through international justice tribunals and human rights organizations.

Raised and educated in Adelaide, South Australia, William joined the South Australian Police Force where he worked for seven years, primarily as a police prosecutor. Following this, he studied law and arts at Adelaide University, graduating in 1993 while also working for the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions. William worked as a barrister and solicitor in Adelaide before joining the ICTY in 1996. In 1999, he received a Masters in International Law from Leiden University, the Netherlands.  


Prof David Tait Prof David Tait
Professor of Justice Research, Western Sydney University

David Tait is Professor of Justice Research in the Digital Humanities Research Group at the University of Western Sydney, and Professeur associé at Telecom ParisTech.  His interests include court architecture, justice rituals, and technologies used in court and tribunal hearings.  He has led five Australian Research Council projects in these areas together with scholars in architecture, psychology, law, forensic science and media studies.  Current projects examine the use of iPads to assist in jury deliberations, immersive video conferencing for court hearings and the use of cages or docks to contain defendants on trial.  His most recent book is Juries Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror: the case of the Sydney Bomber, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, co-edited with Jane Goodman-Delahunty.


Frank Thorne Frank Thorne
Award-winning former Fleet Street investigative reporter

Frank Thorne is an award-winning former Fleet Street investigative reporter who has been working as a freelance foreign correspondent from Australia for various UK national newspapers for the past 21 yUears.

These included the tabloid Daily Mirror, The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Star, Scottish Daily Record, The Scotsman, occasionally the Times of London and Sunday Times, along with UK Sunday newspapers including the Sunday Mirror and the now defunct News of the World. Along with some mass-market US magazines and popular magazines in Australia.

At 67, now virtually retired from his 40-year career, he confines his reporting of the occasional shark or crocodile attacks or breaking news stories about calamitous British tourists to The Sun and the London Evening Standard.

Thorne, then a senior staff reporter with London's Daily Mirror newspaper, won Reporter of the Year in 1990 for an expose of the secret financial dealings of then British mineworkers leader and union firebrand Arthur Scargill during the epic anti-Margaret Thatcher government miners' strike in the late '80s. Revelations included the fact that Scargill secured his own home, and those of his two chief executives, with a large amount of cash collected from Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, kept in biscuit tins, while starving miners who went without wages for a year were losing their homes.

Thorne, who led a team of four investigators for 8 months to prove their series of Scargill stories, took legal advice every step of the way - including flying to Perth for just one weekend to secure a sworn affidavit from Mr Scargill's former secretary proving that the minders' leader ordered her to falsify records of official meetings. She took the precaution of not destroying the real records when she emigrated from Yorkshire to Australia.

Thorne, who lives in Sydney is currently working on his memoirs from what the satirical magazine Private Eye calls The Street of Shame.


Mr Richard Utting Mr Richard Utting
Former President, The Criminal Lawyer’s Association

Mr Utting was born on 21 October 1946 in Perth, Western Australia. Conscripted into the Army 1967-69 Mr Utting served in South Vietnam (as it then was). Mr Utting graduated LLB University of Western Australia 1973 and was admitted in 1975. He was President, WA Criminal Lawyers Association from 1986-87 and 2008-10. Mr Utting was a presenter on ABC radio Perth 1994-95 [Morning Program] and Mayor, City of Fremantle 1997- 2001.


The Hon Justice William Young The Hon Justice William Young
Judge, Supreme Court New Zealand

Justice William Young graduated LLB (Hons) from the University of Canterbury and later gained a PhD from Cambridge University. He joined the Christchurch firm of R A Young Hunter and Co in 1978, leaving in 1988 to practise as a barrister. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1991. 

His fields of practice included criminal law with appearances for both defendants and the Crown.  He led for the Crown in the Privy Council in Adams v R [1995] 1 WLR 52 (a case which concerned, inter alia, the New Zealand end of the H-fee transaction).

He was appointed to the High Court in 1997 and to the Court of Appeal in January 2004, becoming President of the latter court in February 2006. In June 2007, he was awarded the DCNZM (Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for services as President. Justice William Young was redesignated a knight companion of that order in 2009.  He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court with effect from 1 July 2010.

He is an honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple and an honorary Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.



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