Munda v Western Australia

The High Court has dismissed a sentencing appeal against the decision of the Western Australian Supreme Court of Appeal in Western Australia v Munda.

Munda is an aboriginal man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter after killing his de facto wife, and was sentenced by the Supreme Court to 5 years and 3 months in prison. The Court of Appeal allowed a Crown appeal against the leniency of the sentence and increased it to 7 years and 9 months in prison. Three issues were raised before the High Court. First, whether the appellant’s background of deprivation and disadvantage as an aboriginal warranted a lesser sentence (the Fernando considerations); secondly, whether the Court of Appeal correctly applied the principles on manifestly inadequate sentencing; and thirdly, whether the Court of Appeal should have exercised residual discretion and disallowed the sentencing appeal.

High Court Judgment [2013] HCA 38 2 October 2013
Result Appeal dismissed
High Court Documents Munda v WA
Full Court Hearing [2013] HCATrans 168  6 August 2013
Special Leave Hearing [2013] HCATrans 136  6 June 2013
Appeal from WASCA [2012] WASCA 164  22 August 2012
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About Martin Clark

Martin Clark is a PhD Candidate and Judge Dame Rosalyn Higgins Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Research Fellow at Melbourne Law School. He holds honours degrees in law, history and philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and an MPhil in Law from MLS. While at MLS, he worked as a researcher for several senior faculty members, was a 2012 Editor of the Melbourne Journal of International Law, tutor at MLS and various colleges, a Jessie Legatt Scholar, and attended the Center for Transnational Legal Studies Program.