Public Interest Cases

In addition to free legal advice sessions and ongoing case support, the Legal Centre and Newcastle Law School take on major cases, which have significant public interest value. In each of these cases, the contributions made by our law students are instrumental to the work being completed.

Some examples of past cases supported by the Legal Centre include:

Reinvestigation needed
A reinvestigation by the New South Wales Crimes Commission of a case involving the murder of a Newcastle teenager in 1989 was carried out following a 300 page submission from the Legal Centre. The submission identified failures in police methodologies and investigatory procedures. The matter was subsequently referred to the NSW Police Integrity Commission.

Opening up cold cases
Following extensive submissions to the Minister for Police, a major reinvestigation of a number of Hunter Missing Persons cases was carried out.

Legal Centre recommends body be exhumed
Following a review of a Coronial Inquiry and Royal Commission into the death of an Indigenous man, the NSW State Coroner accepted a Legal Centre recommendation. The Legal Centre recommended that the remains be exhumed for the purpose of determining if relevant post-mortem procedures had been performed, and to identify any injuries not observed at the original post-mortem.

Bondi Beach shooting
A case involving the shooting of a person by Police on Bondi Beach attracted national interest. The Legal Centre represented the partner of the deceased person at the Coronial inquest.

Representing the family of Cornelia Rau
The Legal Centre represented the family of Cornelia Rau at the inquiry into her wrongful detention at a Queensland prison and then at the Baxter Detention Centre.

Indigenous persons denied entry to a pub on racial grounds
The Legal Centre acted in an anti-discrimination case, which was brought by eight Indigenous persons who had been denied entry and service at a hotel in Newcastle. The NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal found that the exclusion of the persons was a deliberate policy to exclude Aboriginal people from entering the premises and was in breach of the race discrimination provisions of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act.