Prosecutors believe a second trial of David Harold Eastman will be half the length of the first and would not start until late next year.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions appeared in the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday, confirming its plans to try Eastman again for the murder of Assistant Federal Police Commissioner Colin Stanley Winchester in 1989.
Eastman's conviction for the notorious murder was quashed earlier this year, after an inquiry found serious defects in his original trial, including the use of deeply flawed gunshot residue analysis to link him to the scene.
Eastman's Legal Aid defence team, led on Tuesday by chief executive John Boersig, have already foreshadowed launching a stay application to permanently halt a retrial on the grounds that it cannot be conducted fairly.
That stay application, the court heard, could take place in June next year, depending on the availability of an unnamed judge who has been approached by the ACT Supreme Court.
But a series of unknowns are hampering planning for any retrial and are preventing the emergence of a concrete timetable.
The DPP's counsel Murugan Thangaraj, SC, indicated a date next September would be suitable for a retrial.
But Chief Justice Helen Murrell said that may be overly optimistic.
That's because, should Eastman's stay application fail, he may want to find a different judge to sit on his murder trial.
"I don't anticipate that will be an easy task," Chief Justice Murrell said.
But the court was unable even to set down a date for the stay application, because it still needs to confirm the availability of the judge being sought.
Mr Boersig also disagreed with the DPP's estimate of three months for a new trial.
That is half the length of the original trial in 1995, and many witnesses were not cross-examined in those proceedings, which helped cut down the length.
Mr Boersig said he acknowledged some witnesses and evidence used in 1995 would not feature again in a retrial, but said he thought it was still a conservative estimate.
"Three months is, I think, optimistic," he said.
The Crown case statement is expected to be filed later this month, while the brief of evidence and witness list will be served on the defence in late January.
Eastman's defence team are likely to file any stay application by 29 May, four months later.
That delay is needed, the court heard, because Eastman is briefing a new counsel who needs to get across the large volume of material.
The case will appear back before the ACT Supreme Court on February 4 for a further directions hearing.
Eastman was not present in court on Tuesday.
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