Queensland Law Society

QLS calls for respect of High Court decision in case of Gerard Baden-Clay

Date 31 Aug 2016
Contact Tony Keim
Phone 07 3842 4835
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email media@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society has called on members of the public and politicians alike to respect the ruling in the Baden-Clay matter handed down today (Wed Aug 31) by the High Court of Australia.

Society president Bills Potts said this case had been arguably one of the most high-profile and emotive cases in Queensland’s legal history, but has asked for everyone to respect and embrace the High Court’s decision.

Mr Potts said the High Court’s decision to over-rule the Queensland Court of Appeal and reinstate the charge of murder had refined our understanding of the law, which is its role, and the decision proves the system works.

“The original decision was in-line with the understanding of the law at that time, and the High Court’s decision reflects the current interpretation of the law,” he said.

“The court made its decision by interpreting the law and considering the submissions before it, not in response to emotive considerations or public sentiment – as it should.”

Mr Potts said the decision means the original sentence imposed by Supreme Court Justice John Byrne would be reinstated – meaning Baden-Clay could remain behind bars for the remainder of his life.

At the time of his sentence, Baden-Clay would have had to serve a minimum of 15 years in custody before being eligible for parole. However, Mr Potts said it would be up to the Queensland Parole Board to decide if Baden-Clay should ever be released.

Mr Potts said it was important that people manage their response to the decision, with the children and wider family of Allison Baden-Clay in mind.

“Whatever our personal views on this decision, we should keep in mind that Allison’s children have lost a mother, her parents a daughter and her siblings a sister,” he said.

“This decision brings some form of closure for them but it does not address their loss. I ask everyone to keep the feelings of the bereaved front-of-mind when they respond to the High Court’s ruling.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, media@qls.com.au.