Key Points:

LONDON - David Bain's lawyers failed in their bid to have the multiple murder accused's charges dismissed by law lords at the Privy Council in London today.

But Bain's lawyer Michael Reed and lead supporter Joe Karam said the British law lords had made history by forcing the New Zealand solicitor general David Collins to consider all evidence presented at the Privy Council at further hearings in New Zealand courts.

The Commonwealth's highest court ruled against Bain in a preliminary hearing to consider whether to grant his defence team leave to have its application for acquittal heard by the full council.

Bain is now set to face a new trial next year.

Bain's lawyers hoped to persuade the Privy Council to recall the decision it delivered last year that Bain should be retried for the murder of his father, mother, two sisters and brother in Dunedin in 1994.

Lord Hoffman, Lord Scott and Lord Mance ruled against Bain's team after just five minutes deliberation.

Mr Reed argued the Privy Council could look at the case more widely than New Zealand courts and argued a stay was the correct decision for the law lords to make.

"Knowing what we know now we're reasonably confident the board would have ordered an acquittal and not a retrial."

But the law lords said: "This is surely a point for the New Zealand courts."

They added: "Now he - Bain - is going to have to have the double jeopardy of standing trial for a second time."

Mr Reed presented his case to the Privy Council for 45 minutes.

He said outside the court: "We've achieved a tremendous amount," adding that he expected the "full and fair hearing we've always wanted" back in New Zealand.

Outside court Mr Reed said he believed the Privy Council was better placed to deal with the question of a retrial than courts in New Zealand.

He said his victory was that "every point we've raised here New Zealand courts will have to hear".

"The Privy Council always held this was a serious miscarriage of justice. They can't be much more critical than that. I hope our trust in the New Zealand courts will be vindicated."

Mr Karam said it was unique to get a written decision which underlined the gravity of the case.

"We've got to get this problem out of David Bain's life. It's a nightmare we have to bring to an end."

He said Bain, who was working in the community and "progressing well" would be disappointed but pragmatic about the decision.

Supported by his son Matthew, Mr Karam said: "We made some quite strong progress. The Privy Council ruled there will be no restrictions on what the New Zealand court hears, contrary to what we'd expected. It's a good result."

He said there was no forensic laboratory in New Zealand capable of analysing a wide range of DNA, ballistic and blood splatter evidence as well as in the UK and so he had spent a month in the UK collecting evidence that he hoped would clear Bain's name at a retrial.

Mr Karam returns to New Zealand tomorrow.

Mr Collins said outside court that the case was too delicate to talk about.

- NZPA