Former High Court of Australia judge to head Bain claim

by NZ Lawyer27 Mar 2015
A former Justice of the High Court of Australia is at the helm of a fresh inquiry into David Bain’s compensation claim.
The appointment of senior retired Australian judge Hon Ian Callinan AC QC to conduct a new inquiry into Bain’s claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment was announced by Justice Minister Amy Adams last week.
Starting work immediately and reporting back to Adams within six months; Callinan will advise on if he is satisfied Bain has proven he is innocent of murder on both the balance of probabilities and beyond reasonable doubt.
Callinan is a distinguished and highly respected member of the Australian legal fraternity with the right breadth and depth of experience for the job, Adams said.
“Mr Callinan’s appointment is a significant step in progressing Mr Bain’s claim for compensation and bringing some finality to the case.
“He brings a diverse mix of experience and expertise, following an exemplary career of nearly forty years practice as a lawyer and nine years on the bench of the High Court of Australia.
There is also merit in having an inquirer from outside New Zealand to remove any perception of influence of public opinion, she said.
“Mr Callinan will bring a fresh perspective and dispassionate view to the inquiry.”
He was selected by Adams from a shortlist of retired judges with extensive criminal experience from both New Zealand and overseas jurisdictions.
Cabinet decided in February to set aside previous advice and launch a new inquiry on the basis that it did not have all the information required to reasonably reach a decision.
Biography: Hon Ian Callinan AC QC
  • Admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1960 and a barrister in 1965
  • Appointed Queen's Counsel in 1978
  • President of the Queensland Bar Association between 1984 and 1987 and President of the Australian Bar Association between 1984 and 1985
  • Appointed straight to the High Court of Australia in 1998, and retired in 2007
  • Appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for his services to the law, arts and the community in 2003
  • Became an ad hoc Judge of the International Court of Justice in January 2014

For a timeline of the Bain case, click here.