Moseley v The Queen

The High Court appeal against the decision of the Northern Territory Supreme Court in DPP v Moseley, in which the NTSC held that it had the power to set aside a judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeal that had been tainted by alleged fraud, has been discontinued. Moseley was convicted of aggravated armed robbery and sentenced to nine years imprisonment, and his accomplice Tippett was also found guilty, and sentenced to seven years. After the conviction, an inmate at Darwin Correctional Centre, Da Silva, made a confession that he, and not Moseley, was Tippett’s accomplice. Tippett and Da Silva gave evidence to the NTCCA that they committed the robbery, which the Court accepted largely on the basis of Da Silva’s apparent lack of motive to falsely confess. Shortly after the conviction, Da Silva recanted his confession and alleged that Moseley had promised him money from the compensation Moseley expected to receive, and Moseley had admitted to committing the robbery.

The NTSC held that its equitable jurisdiction empowered it to set aside a judgment obtained by fraud, and that its concurrent jurisdiction in law and equity means that it may set aside common law judgments on that ground, which extends to appeal judgments in criminal cases. Importantly, the NTSC did not making any finding as to whether the alleged fraud had been made out, only whether it had jurisdiction to set aside the conviction and order a new trial on the basis of the judgment being actuated by fraud. The case was discontinued on 7 November 2013.

High Court Judgment
Result Discontinued 7 November 2013
High Court Documents Moseley
Full Court Hearing
Special Leave Hearing [2013] HCATrans 237 11 October 2013
Appeal from NTSC [2013] NTSC 8 1 March 2013
Related Case [2012] NTCCA 11 6 June 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.