Working to free the wrongly convicted
With more than 20 years of experience, Griffith's Innocence Project is a collaborative pro bono project that brings together lawyers, academics and law students to work to free innocent persons who have been wrongly convicted in Australia. By working to correct failures in our criminal justice system, we foster an Australian legal culture that champions the defence of the innocent, and helps protect the marginalised and oppressed.
Griffith's Innocence Project will take on cases where initial investigations support an Applicant’s assertion that they have been wrongly convicted. Due to our limited resources, the large number of applications received and our strict guidelines, many cases will not be accepted.
We will try to assist when:
- There has been a conviction and the appeal period has expired
- developments in expert evidence, including but not limited to DNA evidence, whether used at trial or not, may provide new evidence to support a claim of innocence by an Applicant.
We do not accept cases:
- Involving sexual offences where there is an admission of sexual contact or where the parties are known to each other
- where the claim of wrongful conviction relies on lack of intent or on certain legal defences like self-defence, provocation or consent.
Griffith's Innocence Project is not a legal practice, nor are our volunteers necessarily solicitors. We do not provide legal advice, or conduct legal advocacy and legal professional privilege will not attach to materials and information sent to us. There are lawyers who are associated with Griffith's Innocence Project and we may seek assistance from these lawyers from time to time.
All applications for assistance must be in writing and sent to our postal address, you can find our contact details below.
- Chair: The Honourable Ian Callinan AC
- Ms Lynne Weathered
- Mr Glenn Ferguson
- Mr Tony Glynn SC
- Ms Megan Mahon
- Mr Chris Nyst
- Dr Kirsty Wright
- Ms Erin Mitchell
- Director: Dr Robyn Blewer
- Assoc Professor Therese Wilson
- Mr Jason Murukami
- Ms Erin Mitchell
- Ms Zoe Rathus
- Mr Ron Behlau
- Prof Janet Ransley
Innocence Project Legal Clinic
Griffith's Innocence Project offers an elective legal clinic that runs every trimester. Students, working under supervision, review cases where a convicted person is claiming to be innocent.
Griffith's Innocence Project Research Group undertakes inter-disciplinary research on issues surrounding the causation, identification and correction of wrongful conviction. Research publications can be found below on each member's own Griffith Experts profile.
Forensic science expert consultations
Dr Rachel Dioso-Villa is a senior lecturer in the Griffith School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her research areas include the sociology of forensic science and its application in the criminal justice system and wrongful conviction. In particular, she is interested in the admissibility of the forensic sciences, the validation of forensic science techniques, and the causes and correlates of wrongful conviction.
Dr Kirsty Wright is a forensic biologist with vast experience as a Major Crimes Scientist and expert witness for the court, and has led DNA teams in a number of successful local and international forensic operations. She was involved in the 2002 Bali Bombings forensic operation in Phuket as part of the Australian Federal Polic Disaster Victim Identification Team.
HURRICANE 'RUBIN' CARTER
Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter (1937-2014) was a supporter of the Griffith University Innocence Project.
One-time prize-winning welterweight Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter fought for more than 20 years to clear his name for a crime he did not commit. Rubin's story was immortalised in the 70's hit song by Bob Dylan entitled Hurricane and, more recently, in the movie of the same name starring Denzel Washington.
Following his release from prison, where he narrowly escaped the electric chair, Rubin Carter worked tirelessly to ensure others did not suffer the same plight he endured. He helped found the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted in Canada and strongly endorsed the Griffith University Innocence Project, which he visited in 2003.