Case Law

The recency of the amendment to insert section 193A of the Corrective Services Act 2006, and the limited and discrete circumstances to which it applies, has meant that, as yet, there is not a lot of No body, No parole jurisprudence.

The seminal case on the application of the provision in Queensland is Renwick v Parole Board Queensland [2019] QCA 269 – the following is a case note:

On 31 May 2016, Mr Renwick pleaded guilty to one count of Accessory after the fact to Manslaughter, relating to the unlawful killing of Mr Pullen by Mr Lincoln and another on or about 16 April 2012 – both men had pleaded guilty to the Manslaughter of Mr Pullen on the basis that they were parties to the killing but that they did not actually kill him. Mr Renwick was sentenced to five years imprisonment with a parole eligibility date of 20 January 2018.On 8 November 2018, the Board refused his application for parole on the basis that he had not cooperated satisfactorily in the investigation of the offence to identify Mr Pullen’s location. The body, or remains, of Mr Pullen have not yet been found.

On 1 March 2019, the application by Mr Renwick for judicial review of the Board’s decision was dismissed by The Honourable Justice Flanagan, and in doing so, he supported the interpretation given by the Board, in its published reasons, as to the definition of ‘victim’s location’ under the No body No parole laws. Mr Renwick appealed that judgment.

On 26 November 2019, the Court of Appeal, led by the Honourable Chief Justice Catherine Holmes AC, dismissed the appeal.

Mr Renwick had argued, on each occasion, that the proper construction of the term ‘victim’s location’ was that location and place were synonymous and interchangeable terms; and the location and place where the body was to be found were the same thing [15]. The Court held that there was no error in ‘the presumption that the legislature intended different words, in this case “location” and “place”, to have different meanings’ … interpretation of the definition as referring, the term “location”, to where the remains were in a general sense, while “place” referred to specifically where they might be found, have the provision a rational meaning … so, the definition is better described as involving a test with two elements, rather than a two-stage test’ [22]-[24].

Relevant cases:

  • Renwick v Parole Board Queensland[2019] QCA 269
  • Renwick v Parole Board Queensland[2019] QSC 37
  • Renwick v Parole Board Queensland[2018] QSC 169
  • Lincoln v Parole Board Queensland[2019] QSC 156
  • Commissioner of Police Service v Parole Board Queensland & Another [2019] QSC 315
Last updated: 23 June 2020