The London-based Queen's Counsel who led the fight to clear the name of convicted double murderer Mark Lundy before the Privy Council hopes to return to New Zealand to defend his client in a retrial, but is concerned the matter won't get legal aid funding.

David Hislop QC was the lead counsel in the case which this week saw the Privy Council quash Mr Lundy's convictions for killing his wife Christine and daughter Amber, 7 in 2000 and ordered that he will stand trial again for their murders.

Mr Lundy is due to make an application for bail today until his retrial.

Mr Hislop, who grew up in Whangarei and was once a partner in Dallas Thorne and Partners, said he was immensely proud to have won the appeal before the Privy Council, but that was tempered by the fact that that a man has served 13 years of his life in prison on the back of unsafe convictions.


He had committed to looking at returning to New Zealand to "complete the job" at Mr Lundy's retrial, but said funding may be an issue.

"There are huge practical difficulties. Whether New Zealand will grant me legal aid is one issue - they have refused it thus far and I suspect in the name of 'winning the game' they will do their very best to prevent me personally being granted legal aid to represent Mark," Mr Hislop said.

"We can only hope that someone who has the ability to fund this might feel strongly about this apparent injustice to assist us to right this wrong. If I am to fight the retrial we will have to seek out backers with deep pockets because doubtless, as with the appeal, the Prosecution will have an army working on the case against us."

Mr Hislop works for London firm Doughty Street Chambers, which is arguably the leading law firm internationally on human rights and civil liberties issues and he has a strong background in human rights issues and got involved in the Lundy case by chance.

"I think when I read into the Lundy papers I began to get an increasing feeling of unease that something had gone wrong.

"The more I read regarding the science in the case the less convinced I was that the Prosecution scientists had got it right."

10 Oct, 2013 7:47am
3 minutes to read