Double jeopardy exemption expands to sex offences

Judges gavel. | Newsreel
Double jeopardy exemption has been expanded | Pexels: Katrin Bolovtsova

Queenslanders previously acquitted of rape, attempted murder and manslaughter can now be retried for the same offence if “fresh and compelling” evidence emerges under changes to the state’s double jeopardy laws.

Changes passed in State Parliament this week expand the double jeopardy exception to 10 additional offences – six unlawful killing offences and four sexual offences.

Currently, only people acquitted of murder can be retried under the double jeopardy exception if there is fresh and compelling evidence of guilt.

The amended legislation also establishes a new framework for the criminal justice system to respond to possible wrongful convictions.

Currently, once a convicted person has exhausted their original right of appeal, their only remaining avenue is to petition the Governor for a pardon.

The new laws establish a right for subsequent appeals against conviction on the grounds of fresh and compelling evidence or new and compelling evidence that a miscarriage of justice has occurred.