Greens MP David Shoebridge continues the fight for the murdered Bowraville children

MARCH FOR JUSTICE: Families marched back in September last year after the NSW Supreme Court dismissed an application for a man to face a retrial
MARCH FOR JUSTICE: Families marched back in September last year after the NSW Supreme Court dismissed an application for a man to face a retrial

While the gateway to justice for the families of the three children murdered in Bowraville is narrowing, it is not yet completely shut and on Thursday NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge will make another attempt to keep it open.

Following positive informal talks with colleagues from both sides of politics, Mr Shoebridge will re-introduce his 2015/2018 bill to amend the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 to extend an exception to the rule against double jeopardy.

Double jeopardy is a procedural defence that prevents an accused person from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges and on the same facts, following a valid acquittal or conviction, unless there is 'fresh' or 'compelling' evidence.

Mr Shoebridge told the Guardian News the new draft expanded the definition of 'fresh' evidence to allow a second narrow pathway to go to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

"There are still plenty of checks and balances but this clarification is much needed," Mr Shoebridge said.

"After I make the speech introducing the bill, I will propose to have the Bill immediately sent off to the Law and Justice Committee.

"This is the same committee that did the original report ... it can then have an inquiry into the Bill over the winter break with a one day hearing in Sydney and possibly another in Bowraville, reporting back to Parliament before August 6."

He said he hoped to have persuaded the other parties to either support the Bill (or have the government present their own version of it) with a view to having it passed on the Thursday of that week or later that month.

As with anything in politics, there are still many conversations to be had and the outcome is never assured, however were the bill passed by both the Upper and Lower Houses then the way would be clear for the Attorney General to make a fresh determination to support a second referral to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

The case could be before the Court by the end of the year.

The families wait and hope ... many will actually be in the gallery on Thursday, while others will be in Macquarie St outside Parliament House making their calls for justice heard yet again.

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