Recent Cases

Lang v The Queen [2023] HCA 29 (11 October 2023) (Kiefel CJ; Gageler, Gordon, Edelman and Jagot JJ)


Criminal Practice – Appeal – Unreasonable verdict – Independent assessment of evidence – Where appellant charged with and convicted of murder – Where appellant appealed conviction on ground that verdict unreasonable or could not be supported having regard to whole of evidence – Where deceased’s injuries were either self‑inflicted or caused by appellant – Where only hypothesis consistent with appellant’s innocence was deceased’s injuries were self‑inflicted – Whether reasonable possibility upon whole of evidence that deceased died by suicide.

Evidence – Criminal trial – Admissibility – Expert opinion evidence – Where opinion evidence adduced from forensic pathologist that injuries occasioning death more likely inflicted by another person than self‑inflicted – Whether opinion based on expert knowledge – Whether wrong decision of question of law to admit evidence.

Words and phrases – “admissibility”, “body of knowledge or experience”, “expert evidence”, “inadmissible”, “independent assessment of the evidence”, “miscarriage of justice”, “opinion”, “specialised knowledge”, “training, study or experience”, “unreasonable verdict”, “wholly or substantially”.