Double Jeopardy Meaning – Term Paper

What does Double Jeopardy Mean

In that conjunction, South Australia also scrapped parts of the law of double jeopardy through the introduction of more legislation. For instance, it legalized retrials for crimes that are serious if the acquittal was tainted or with the compelling and fresh evidence. On 8th Sept. 2011, Western Australia introduced amendments that allowed retrial if compelling and new evidence was found. It was applied to serious offences where the penalty was 14 years or more or life incarceration. Due to that, an acquittal would also allow retrial because of perjury, jury tampering, or witness intimidation. Also on 19th Aug. 2008, Tasmania introduced amendments that allowed retrial in cases that are so severe if there is compelling and fresh evidence. On 21st December 2011, legislation was passed in Victoria to allow new trials where there is compelling and fresh DNA evidence. That is done when a person subsequently admits to the crime or where it is clear that the key witness gives the false evidence. Applications for retrial, however, could only be made for offences that are serious such as armed robbery, rape that is in aggravated forms, serious drug offences, and arson resulting in death, manslaughter, and murder. For the case of the UK, the law was declared invalid in 2005, meaning that offenders could be judged more than once for similar crimes committed. This means that if the law was to be applied for the three victims (children), the offender could be judged for three offences and their families could not be complaining that justice was not done.

On 18th Oct. 2007, The laws of double jeopardy were modified in Queensland to allow a retrial where compelling and fresh evidence is available after tainted acquittal for a crime that has a sentence of 25 years or more. A tainted acquittal needs a conviction to administer justice on offences like perjury that led to its originality. Unlike in the Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales, and the United Kingdom, this rule does not have a retrospective impact, which is unpopular with some reform advocates.

How does Double Jeopardy Work

The defendant is affected by the proposed change following her/ his acquittal that involves some procedures. To begin with, the ‘DPP’ (Director of Public Prosecutions) gives the consent for the reinvestigation of the defendant. The other one is only where it emerges compelling, fresh evidence that was not available in the first trial reasonably and suggests guilt that is when the DPP can quash the acquittal by applying to the court of appeal. In that conjunction, the judge of criminology will have the power to order a retrial and quash the acquittal where there is new guilt-compelling evidence, and there is the interest of justice. In such terms, while the reforms are retrospectively operating, the retrial will only be one, and the changes are applied only to homicide offences such as manslaughter and murder and those that have life incarceration as a penalty.

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The government of the New South Wales proposed that the new evidence is considered as an exception in the article. In both Australia and internationally, the historical growth and development of the doctrine of double jeopardy were reviewed. The United Kingdom adopted the new reform process that has resulted in the use of new and exceptional evidence. The article still on the double jeopardy law considered the effect of new evidence exception. In that regard, it is argued that even if the reforms are well conceived, still there is substantial incursion to protect the right of the of the accuser. At last, it is acknowledged that the offender should be convicted on a retrial that benefits the victim and the community.

Nevertheless, this retrial benefits does not mean that the rights of the offender should not be considered. In the trial process of a criminal offence, the lawful process is of fundamental importance if the main restrictions are embodied upon the power of the state in a democracy. It is submitted that in this respect the values that are protected by the rule outweigh the desirability to obtain the slightly higher rate of conviction for offences, which will be held except new evidence is obtained. However, at a practical level, the outcome is uncertain for the reform package. Due to that, the Macpherson Inquiry’s author, Sir Macpherson acknowledged that youths are acquitted that even if there is the adoption of the law of Commission’s proposals the case of the murder of Stephen Lawrence will not be retried due to the absence of fresh evidence. In that same reason, the case of Raymond Carroll was not retried. Therefore, it made the number of cases that fall within the reforms to be small. This challenged seriously the validity of the aim aforementioned to increase the guilty convicting accuracy. It also suggested that the proposed reforms’ significance lies predominantly in its symbolism that reasserts the criminal justice legitimacy systems. In most prominent cases, a person who has been convicted or acquitted already cannot be subsequently prosecuted on an identical charge.  In that case, the charge that is subsequent cannot be dealt with as it emerged in the former judgment. The important statutory exception but limited to this straightforward rule of common law is that the exception relates to appeals that are a remedy of statutory. 


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Model Criminal Code Officers; Committee. “ISSUE ESTOPPEL, DOUBLE JEOPARDY AND PROSECUTION APPEALS AGAINST ACQUITTALS.” Model Criminal Code Officers Committee of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, November 2003, 152.

Rowena, Johns. “NSW PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY RESEARCH SERVICE Briefing Paper No 16/03.” Double Jeopardy, 2003, 58.

University of New South Wales. “Parkinson, Charles — “Double Jeopardy Reform: The New Evidence Exception for Acquittals” [2003] UNSWLawJl 41; (2003) 26(3) University of New South Wales Law Journal 603.” Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII). Last modified 2003. ;