The ACT government has been given until next month to decide if convicted murderer David Harold Eastman is eligible for release on licence or a judge will issue a ''please explain'' to Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.
Eastman is serving a life sentence for the murder of assistant police commissioner Colin Winchester, who was shot while he was sitting in his car in a Deakin driveway in January 1989.
In 1995, a jury found Eastman guilty of the killing and he was sentenced to life behind bars.
He has always maintained his innocence, lodging a number of appeals and fighting the verdict all the way to the High Court.
An inquiry into his conviction is currently under way.
Under territory law no minimum term can be attached to a life sentence, but a prisoner can apply to the Attorney-General for release on licence after serving 10 years.
Eastman has served 17 years of the sentence and has made three such requests for release on licence since 2009, the most recent last year.
In February, ACT Supreme Court Acting Justice Steven Rares found the government failed to properly consider his June 2012 application to be released from prison on licence.
The judge ordered the government to reconsider Eastman's request, but a decision is still outstanding.
Eastman, who represented himself at Monday's hearing, said the fact ACT Corrective Services and the Sentence Administration Board had not yet been consulted on the matter was proof the government had failed to act on the court's order.
He asked Justice Rares to order the government to act promptly in accordance with his February decision.
Eastman said the government had treated the matter with contempt and was ''stringing it out and delaying it''.
But ACT government solicitors told the court a decision would be made by June 30.
The defence said the lack of consultation with the jail or Sentence Administration Board was not proof there had been no progress.
Justice Rares said that he did not have the power to impose a time frame on the government's decision.
But the judge relisted the matter for July 4, four days after the government's self-appointed deadline has passed.
He said if a decision had not been made he would expect a detailed explanation on what progress had been made.
Justice Rares said that if he was not content with the explanation he may order Ms Gallagher to explain, via affidavit, the delay to the court.
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