COMMENT: Year of highs and lows for domestic violence

AS 2015 draws to a close, I feel it has been a year highlighting domestic violence on so many levels.

From Rosie Batty's determination to the downgrading of Gerard Baden-Clay's conviction, it has been a year of highs and lows.

Yesterday's decision bythe Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions to seek leave to appeal the downgrading of Baden-Clay's murder conviction will no doubt be met with approval Australia-wide.

I am one of many who stand in support of the decision.

However, I also respect Baden-Clay's right to appeal in the first instance, no matter how heinous the crime.

Australia truly is the lucky country, and our legal system is no exception.

It cannot be an easy task for judges to remain unmoved by popular opinion, particularly in the face of tragedies such as that of Alison Baden-Clay's death.

It is only fair that both sides have the same right of appeal and the courts remain fiercely independent and objective.

Anything less would be a travesty, as hard as it can be to swallow at times.

Personally, I feel for Alison's family and sincerely hope the appeals process is swift and thorough.

I can only imagine their suffering, and hope that true justice is delivered.

Samantha O'Neil, Reporter



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