Privy Council Quashes Murder Convictions

08.10.13 | |

Doughty Street’s David Hislop QC and Malcolm Birdling of Brick Court Chambers achieve success in the Privy Council.


In 2002 Mark Lundy was convicted of the murders of his wife and young daughter in what has become one of New Zealand’s most notorious murders. Vilified by a nation, on appeal to the Court of Appeal Mark Lundy’s convictions were upheld and his sentence increased to 20 years before being eligible for parole.  Doughty Street’s David Hislop QC headed a team that filed an appeal to the Privy Council in what is likely to be the last such appeal from New Zealand Courts. The filing met with widespread derision and shock in New Zealand and a nation, save a very precious and determined few, scoffed.


When the Privy Council granted permission to appeal in February this year some  began to take the appeal seriously – but national polls taken still gave Mark Lundy next to no chance of success.  After three days of legal argument in the Privy Council in June 2013, led by David Hislop QC and televised live to viewers in New Zealand public opinion began to swing.


Today viewers in New Zealand were greeted by the news that both convictions for murder had been quashed by the Privy Council. The Appeal was founded on three principal grounds relating to computer science, medical science and time of death and immunohistochemistry as a forensic tool. Their Lordships accepted all three grounds.


Click here to read The Guardian article.

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