Realist Law - Criminal Lawyers Brisbane

– Pleading Guilty –

In Meissner v the Queen [1995] HCA 41; 184 CLR 132

‘… It is true that a person may plead guilty upon grounds which extend beyond that person’s belief in his guilt. He may do so for all manner of reasons: for example, to avoid worry, inconvenience or expense; to avoid publicity; to protect his family or friends; or in the hope of obtaining a more lenient sentence than he would if convicted after a plea of not guilty. The entry of a plea of guilty upon grounds such as these nevertheless constitutes an admission of all the elements of the offence and a conviction entered upon the basis of such a plea will not be set aside on appeal unless it can be shown that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. Ordinarily that will only be where the accused did not understand the nature of the charge or did not intend to admit he was guilty of it or if upon the facts admitted by the plea he could not in law have been guilty of the offence…”

R. v. Forde (1923) 2 KB 400 at 403; Reg. v. Murphy (1965) VR 187 at 188; Reg. v. Chiron (1980) 1 NSWLR 218 at 235; Liberti (1991) 55 A Crim R 120 at 121-122; Ferrer-Esis (1991) 55 A Crim R 231 at 232-233.

– Appealing after Pleading Guilt –

In Same case
“… But the accused may show that a miscarriage of justice occurred in other ways and so be allowed to withdraw his plea of guilty and have his conviction set aside. For example, he may show that his plea was induced by intimidation of one kind or another, or by an improper inducement or by fraud.”

Pilkington v. The Queen (1955) Tas SR 144; Murphy (1965) VR at 190; Barnes (1970) 55 Cr App R 100 at 106; Inns (1974) 60 Cr App R 231 at 233; Reg. v. Chiron (1980) 1 NSWLR at 235.


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