‘The Executive Institution of Mercy in Australia: The Case and Model for Reform’


David Caruso and Nicholas Crawford


Published: (2014) 37(1) University of New South Wales Law Journal 312-348


Post-conviction review procedures in Australia have been static despite significant reform in other Commonwealth countries. Responsibility for review and the powers to do so, collectively, the ‘Institution of Mercy’ (‘IOM’), are vested in the executive of each Australian jurisdiction. We argue that the executive should not have those powers or responsibilities. To vest the executive with those powers ignores international reform, the history and development of the powers and, most importantly, is contrary to fundamental principles of a constitutional democracy. We consider recent reforms in South Australia are a model worthy of consideration by other Australian and common law jurisdictions.

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