Yates v The Queen

Bernadette McSherry, ‘The High Court Ends a Criminal Justice Debacle: Yates v The Queen’ (10 May 2013).

In Yates v The Queen, the High Court unanimously allowed Yates’ appeal against an indefinite detention order. Yates is an intellectually disabled man who was convicted of deprivation of liberty and aggravated sexual assault, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment in Western Australia along with an ‘indefinite detention’ order. After the completion of his sentence in 1993, Yates remained in prison under the indefinite detention order, until Legal Aid Western Australia petitioned the Governor, and then the High Court, for his release. The High Court held that there had been insufficient evidence to support the trial judge’s original order (which required that Yates be shown to be a ‘constant danger to the community’), and ordered his immediate release from prison.

High Court Judgment [2013] HCA 8 14 March 2013
Result Appeal allowed
High Court Case Page Yates v The Queen
Full Court Hearing [2013] HCATrans 16  13 February 2013
Special Leave [2012] HCATrans 286  16 November 2012
Lower Court Appeal (1987) 25 A Crim R 361 29 July 1987