COMMENTARY: "David Eastman inquiry shines a light on ACT  justice system," by Jack Waterford, published by the Canberra Times on May 23, 2014. (Jack Waterford is an Australian journalist  and commentator who is now Editor-at-Large of  The Canberra Times.)

GIST: "Alas, the very delay caused by the prosecution has served to reinforce all the old doubts about the ACT's criminal review system, about the integrity of criminal investigations and scientific evidence, and about the competence of police and their close political masters. And whether a Supreme Court, which has specialised so often in getting these things wrong, can ever be the vehicle of setting them right. The wrongly instituted inquiry - started 20 months ago and now concluded - has found that some of the evidence complacently considered, and ticked off, by numerous Supreme Court judges over the years, was seriously flawed, perhaps made up. It had pointed to serious procedural irregularities. For the first time in 20 years, a Supreme Court bench has conceded that there are real questions about the safety of the verdict. The DPP, the AFP and senior detectives, and the most significant forensic witness, have been served with notices warning them that they will probably be criticised in the report. During submissions, Justice Martin appeared to accept that prosecution failures were inadvertent, but made it clear he nonetheless thought the consequences significant to the fairness of the trial. His findings will go to the Supreme Court - which one might hope to be constituted by judges whose own past reflections on the case will not be haunting them - next week. One way or another, their deliberations, and the failure of the ACT to adopt a modern criminal review system, may have the reputation of the ACT justice system, and its custodians, in an unwelcome spotlight for some time to come."