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Right of appeal clause in DNA bill removed

Published:Saturday | December 12, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Government Senator Lambert Brown on Thursday urged his colleagues in the Upper House to remove a provision in the DNA Evidence Act (2015) which gives the prosecution the right of appeal where a person has been acquitted by the court.

Brown questioned whether there was any current legislation that allows for the Crown or the director of public prosecutions to appeal a not-guilty verdict.

"I don't think we are at that point where somebody is acquitted and then the right to appeal that acquittal comes. I have a problem with that," he reasoned.

After examining the provision, Justice Minister, Senator Mark Golding agreed that the right of appeal provision which is contained in Clause 50 of the bill should be removed.

Brown also suggested that the law should be amended, allowing the defence to cross-examine expert witnesses such as scientists who analyse DNA material.