• Samara Fernandez-Brown, representing Mr Walker's family and the Yuendumu community, speaks to the media on Monday. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Less than an hour before the trial was set to go ahead, the High Court ruled in favour of the prosecutions stay application.
By
Aneeta Bhole, Douglas Smith

Source:
NITV News
23 Aug 2021 - 1:32 PM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2021 - 1:50 PM

Last week prosecutors took an urgent application to the High Court, after the Northern Territory Supreme Court refused to delay the case pending a special leave application.

On Monday, High Court Justice Jacqueline Gleeson ruled in favour of the prosecution.

A spokesman from the High Court wrote in a statement that the application has been granted until September 10 when the special leave to appeal will be heard.

“Her Honour noted that the proper construction of section 148B(1) of the Police Administration Act 1978 (NT) is a matter of significant public importance,” he wrote.

“The Crown has substantial prospects of obtaining a grant of special leave to appeal, and there are exceptional circumstances warranting a stay pending the determination of the application.”

The full bench of the NT Supreme Court previously confirmed Mr Rolfe could use three separate defences in the trial, including that he should not be held criminally liable because he was acting in "good faith" when performing his job as a police officer.

Mr Rolfe is charged with murder and the alternative counts of manslaughter and engaging in a violent act causing death.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Kumanjayi Walker’s family who attended proceedings at the Darwin Supreme Court on Monday told journalists they and their community are happy with the High Court’s decision.

“We just want to say as a family and as a community, that we are very happy with the outcome,” said Kumanjayi Walker’s cousin Samara Fernandez-Brown.

“We’re happy to just let the judicial system play out for now.”

The trial has already seen several delays because of COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Darwin Supreme Court heard all parties would like to see the matter heard this year.

Mr Rolfe was joined by family and members of the Police Association at Monday’s proceedings.

The case will return to the High Court September 10.

Acting Justice Dean Mildren has formally discharge the jury that was set to be empanelled on Monday.

The matter will return to the Northern Territory Supreme Court September 13.

Rolfe will not be required to attend if legally represented.