Recent Cases

Orreal v The Queen [2021] HCA 44 (16 December 2021) (Kiefel CJ, Keane, Gordon, Steward and Gleeson JJ)


Criminal practice – Appeal – Miscarriage of justice – Application of proviso that no substantial miscarriage of justice actually occurred – Where appellant convicted of unlawfully and indecently dealing with child under age of 16 years and rape – Where evidence admitted by consent that both appellant and complainant tested positive for herpes simplex virus type 1 (“impugned evidence”) – Where impugned evidence irrelevant and inadmissible – Where Court of Appeal found miscarriage of justice because trial judge failed to direct jury to disregard impugned evidence in its entirety – Where Court of Appeal applied proviso because it concluded impugned evidence could not have impacted jury’s assessment of reliability or credibility of complainant – Whether no substantial miscarriage of justice had actually occurred.

Words and phrases – “contested credibility”, “jury’s assessment of the reliability or credibility of the complainant”, “miscarriage of justice”, “natural limitations”, “nature and effect of the error”, “proviso”, “substantial miscarriage of justice”.