NSW moves to streamline criminal trials
1 May 2009
Professor Mark Findlay has serious reservations about proposed changes by the State Government to streamline criminal trials.
A report, commissioned by the New South Wales Attorney-General John Hatzistergos, says some counsel are engaging in pointless and tedious cross-examination and are inadequately prepared for trial.
The Attorney-General says the Government will amend legislation in line with the report's recommendations to try and streamline criminal trials.
However, in an interview with ABC Radio Current Affairs Program PM, Professor Mark Findlay says there's no counterbalance to these proposals.
"With legal aid being cut and with many trials in fact revolving around forensic evidence, the situation is becoming clearer that the prosecution is genuinely advantaged by access to this evidence and by having a lot of forensic support that comes from the police in establishing their case," he says.
"If defenders have very little access to this sort of evidence and we're also requiring them to disclose more and more of the case that they already have, then it might be argued that the presumption of innocence is under challenged."
Contact: Greg Sherington
Phone: +61 2 9351 0202