Reflecting on Wrongful Convictions of Women in Australia: Definitions, Debates and Data


  • Robyn Blewer
  • Dr. Celine van Golde


The quashing of Kathleen Folbigg’s convictions in June 2023 caused many to reflect upon the way in which Australian criminal justice systems might judge women. The growing body of research into wrongful convictions of women overseas is developing an understanding of how and why the criminal justice process often fails to consider the experiences of women, incarcerates them – and makes it more difficult for their wrongful convictions to be uncovered and corrected. This article considers that research and applies its findings to known cases of wrongful convictions of women in Australia. The exploratory analysis offered in this article highlights possibilities for further research that will develop a more precise understanding of prosecution processes in Australia, the risk factors for wrongful conviction of women, and the barriers to uncovering wrongful convictions. Understanding these issues will help prevent wrongful convictions and improve pathways to justice.

Author Biographies

Robyn Blewer

Robyn Blewer is a lecturer at Griffith Law School, where she teaches Criminal Law. Her research focuses on criminal trial procedure and the treatment of vulnerable witnesses. She is the Director of Griffith University Innocence Project.

Dr. Celine van Golde

Dr. Celine van Golde, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney's School of Psychology, specialises in researching the reliability of eyewitness memory in children and adults, examining how forensic interviewing techniques impact memory accuracy. She is also the founder and director of Not Guilty; The Sydney Exoneration project. The authors also acknowledge the valuable contributions in research and reviews from Dr Lisanne Adam and Wen Boa Amy Liu as well as the feedback from the anonymous reviewers.