Attorney General Christian Porter said the legislation meant those who had walked free from court over alleged serious offences could face a retrial if fresh and compelling evidence came to light.
Previously, the principle of double jeopardy meant a person could not be tried twice for the same offence.
Mr Porter said the legislation was a reflection of the significant advances in forensic science that had been made in recent times, meaning some cases could be retried with the new evidence.
“This important legislation now means Western Australia is in line with other Australian jurisdictions on this issue,” he said.
Amendments to the Criminal Appeals Act 2004 now mean senior legal officers such as the Attorney General or Solicitor General can apply to the Court of Criminal Appeal for permission to retry an acquitted person if fresh and compelling evidence has come to light.
This only applies to the most serious offences under WA law where the penalty is life imprisonment or imprisonment for 14 years or more.
Treasurer; Attorney General