Robert McClelland who could be fairly and generously described as the greatest failure and most corrupt Attorney General Australia has ever seen is no more. As of the 12th of December 2011, with the Julia Gillard cabinet reshuffle, he has passed on a poisoned chalice to Nicola Roxon who becomes Australia’s first female Attorney General.
McClelland could have achieved so much but has achieved so little. The little he has done has been nothing more than smoke and mirrors and he has entrenched the power of the lawyers and judges while continuing to corrupt the judiciary with Labor Party cronies.
McClelland was Attorney General for 4 years since the end of 2007 and I am still to read where anyone in the government has said what a great job he did and then listed all of his achievements. This will not happen because if they were to list his achievements over the four years all it would do is magnify the fact that he achieved bugger all.
It has been reported that he wanted to stay on as Attorney General. If this was true he would still be Attorney General make no mistake about that. There were reports after the 2010 election that he wanted out as Attorney General, but obviously no one wanted the hot seat. Other reports say the Prime Minister Julia Gillard was trying to get rid of him which is probably true as he is a major liability, but McClelland was in a position to stay Attorney General if he wanted as he has too much dirt in Gillard.
Moving forward more and more questions were going to be asked of McClelland and his failings as Attorney General. The sooner he got out the better for him and the government.
His reward for his criminal conduct as Attorney General is that he is still in cabinet with the extra pay and benefits that come with it. His new position is Minister for Emergency Management (created to keep McClelland in cabinet and keep him happy)Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness and Vice-President of the Executive Council.
If there is a national emergency McClelland is one of the last people you would want managing it. Anyone who has ever seen his press conferences where he lasts 5 minutes and on a good day 10 minutes before he does a runner when the questions get too hard would know what I mean. He avoided press conferences like the plague. Too many hard questions with no justifiable answers.
Some but not all of McClelland failings are:
1. Failed to reform the judiciary. It is still as corrupt as ever. In 2009 there was a Senate Enquiry that covered such things as the judicial appointment process and judicial complaints process and access to justice. Nothing has been done.
2. Driven up the costs for justice with the introduction of the Civil Dispute Resolution Act 2011 (click here to read the press release) which basically means mandatory mediation with a registrar in the Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court before your case can go before a judge. Richard Ackland summarised it well in an article in the SMH titled “Mediation more pork for lawyers” (Click here to read the full article) And what if the registrar is corrupt? Hardly a reform.
3. Failed to close down the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia although this was recommended in an in-depth report. (Click here to read) and then said they would keep it open as a Military Court which would be operating by the end of this year which has failed to happen. (Click here to read) It must be noted that the Federal Magistrates court is run by one of Australia’s biggest criminals Chief Federal Magistrate John Pascoe. (Click here to read my previous post on Pascoe’s handiwork).
4. Committed a criminal offence in support of Julia Gillard in making a false complaint to police about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. (Click here to read previous post)
5. Failed to reform the legal profession. Yes, there is a new National Legal Services Board and National Legal Services Commissioner coming into effect but only four states, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory which makes it nothing more than a joke. And the devil is always in the details so another toothless tiger and more smoke and mirrors from McClelland. And based on how states have previously run things it is hard to see that it will make much difference. Things will just be covered up at a federal level instead of a state level. The Attorney General’s Department are well-trained in cover-ups, just ask McClelland.
6. In writing this site and my previous site Crimes of the Law I have heard from many people who have made complaints about judicial officers and court staff and everyone says there complaint was swept under the carpet and they were never given a detailed response. This has been standard practice under McClelland. As an example I did a post on the 24th of October 2011 titled “How the Australian Federal Police and Federal Courts collude to sweep criminal conduct of judges under the carpet. Part one.” (Click here to read) I then sent an email to Mr McClelland on the 25 October asking him “Can you please advise whether or not only the Chief Justice or Chief Magistrate of the federal courts can make complaints to the Federal Police in relation to alleged criminal conduct by judges and magistrates.” Because this is what the Federal Police have been telling members of the public. I then followed up with a phone call to Mr McClelland’s office on the 31 October and was told I would get a response in two weeks. Well I am still waiting.
There is enough for a book on McClelland’s failings but I think you get the picture. McClelland thinks he can just walk away and anything and everything he did as Attorney General is forgotten. Well think again Mr McClelland, your failings will be documented for many years to come and history will remember you as a bad joke. And take note Mrs Roxon, Robert McClelland’s reputation will never be recovered and nor will yours if you go down the same path as him.
Yesterday when Nicola Roxon was announced as the new Attorney General there was no mention of judicial reform, legal reform or Federal Police reform etc just how she would take on the tobacco companies in the High Court. Beautiful, looks like her honeymoon period was over in two minutes.
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