NSW Magistrate Pat O’Shane is suing Alan Jones for saying that she “can deliver the most diabolical and wrong decisions in law, and they go through to the keeper”. I laughed when I read that because what Jones said about O’Shane would not even be considered an entree in relation to what I say on this site about other judicial officers. (Click here to read more)
I suppose the difference is that I generally accuse judicial officers of criminal conduct where as Jones is just making a broad statement about Pat O’Shane’s competence. Pat O’Shane’s handiwork is currently under review by the NSW Judicial Commission to determine if she should be sacked so I do not like her chances in any defamation case against Jones. (Click here to read more)
This to me is important to this site because I have never been sued for defamation, so as far as I am concerned it is a stamp of approval for the accuracy of what I write. The only exception is that I once did receive a threatening letter from Kerry Stokes’s lawyers demanding that I amend one of my posts. My response was to scan the letter in and do another post and I never heard from them again. (Click here to read the post)
I do not have any evidence to show that Magistrate O’Shane is corrupt but she certainly is incompetent to the highest degree. She has had some real clangers overturned on appeal. For example this is what Judge Peter Johnson said about O’Shane in one matter:
O’Shane made “recurring errors” and the hearing was “tainted by denial of procedural fairness” and returned the case against Kasian Wililo to the local court to be heard by another magistrate. “I regret to say there could be no confidence that a hearing on merits, conducted according to law, would occur if the matter was remitted to Magistrate O’Shane,” he said. (Click here to read more) and (Click here to read more)
The SMH have done a review of Magistrate Pat O’Shane which says:
Between 1999 and this year, the NSW Supreme Court has been asked to review decisions of O’Shane in at least 56 cases, including 16 criminal cases. In at least three of these cases, she was criticised for refusing to allow a prosecutor to call further witnesses and, in effect, placing herself in the role of counsel for the defendant rather than an impartial judicial umpire.
In the latest decision, Justice Peter Garling noted the Supreme Court had given very specific directions on how O’Shane should apply the law but again her conduct ”fell short of the required standard of a trial judge acting properly and … involved a manifest error of law”. (Click here to read more)
If Pat O’Shane was corrupt she would be safe. Judicial officers hearing appeals never find any corruption of the originating judge whose judgement they are evaluating. It just does not happen. They protect each other. Pat O’Shane’s problem is that she just seems to be incompetent.
Back to the defamation case and O’Shane’s barrister is arguing that certain parts of Jones defence should be struck out because magistrates have “Judicial immunity”. This is stupid because what judicial immunity means is that you can not sue a judicial officer for their judgement or what they say in their judgement. It is in effect the same as parliamentary privilege where politicians can say what they want in parliament and no one can sue them.
Based on the above Alan Jones is easily covered by the fair comment defence. Although they seem to be running the truth defence at least in part.
My interest in this matter is not to defend Jones, he can do that himself. What it shows is that judicial officers can and do sue for defamation and some have been successful. But they do not come near this site because I get the facts right.
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Categories: Magistrate Pat O'Shane