Academy confirmed as independent scientific adviser at Folbigg inquiry

September 06, 2022
Kathleen Folbigg appears via video link during a convictions inquiry at the NSW coroners court in 2019. Photograph: Joel Carrett for AAP.


The Australian Academy of Science has been granted leave to appear and be represented by legal counsel at the Second Inquiry into the convictions of Ms Kathleen Folbigg.

The Academy’s role in the Inquiry extends to making submissions addressing:

  1. suitable experts in areas of specialised scientific knowledge for the purpose of obtaining relevant evidence;
  2. suitable questions/clarifications for experts who are engaged by the Inquiry;
  3. scientifically technical aspects of the inquiry: in particular how that science should be approached consistent with appropriate scientific standards and scientific rigour.

The grant of leave does not extend to the examination or cross-examination of witnesses but does not preclude the Academy from making an application to examine or cross-examine any particular witness.

Australian Academy of Science President, Professor Chennupati Jagadish, said the Academy was pleased to be able to provide scientific rigour at the inquiry, as an independent scientific adviser.

“This will ensure the commissioner and senior counsel can hear from the most qualified experts relevant to this case,” Professor Jagadish said.

“Our assistance to the Inquiry is designed to ensure that Commissioner Bathurst is able to call on the best available contemporary science to support the Second Inquiry into the convictions of Ms Kathleen Folbigg.”

Orders made by the Commissioner are published on the website of the Department of Communities and Justice.


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