Attorney General Nicola Roxon

AG Nicola Roxon gives instructions to her subordinate Justice Steven Rares in the Peter Slipper / James Ashby case

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has been using the media to give instructions and try to influence Justice Steven Rares in the Peter Slipper / James Ashby matter currently before the court.

While there has been plenty of media attention on the matter and some criticism of Nicola Roxon there has been no summary of Mrs Roxon’s clear and blatant interference in the judicial system to my knowledge. And that is what this post will do.

Relationship between Nicola Roxon and judges

Judges are meant to be independent of the government but they are not. It is a fallacy. The relationship between Nicola Roxon and Justice Rares is one of employer and employee as it is with other federal judicial officers. One of the reasons judges are assumed to be independent is that they are appointed to retirement age which is 70 years old for federal judges, but if they want promotion to the High Court for example it is the attorney-general who has ultimate say of recommending their promotion to cabinet for approval.

Judges pay and benefits are also set by the government. And if a judge is corrupt, guilty of misconduct or are no longer competent it is the government who are meant to take action. As I have written in a previous post Rares is as corrupt as they come. (Click here to read the previous post on Rares)

Nicola Roxon as attorney-general even has an office in the Law Courts Building in Sydney where Justice Rares is hearing the matter. I wonder if she has ever popped into his chambers for coffee.

Justice Rares while criticising others in the matter has failed to criticise his boss Nicola Roxon.


Peter Slipper and the federal government have been sued by one of Mr Slipper’s staff members for sexual harassment. The federal government in recent days has settled with Mr Ashby for $50,000. The government say this is to save on legal costs. More likely it was settled to keep Nicola Roxon out of the witness chair given her public statements meant she was a likely witness. The case against Mr Slipper is still afoot and there has been argument in court in the last few days that the matter should be dismissed for being an abuse of process. Justice Rares has reserved his judgement.

Interference by Nicola Roxon and perceived bias by Justice Rares

1. Nicola Roxon and a number of ministers making public statements about the case.

Various ministers, including Roxon, have made public statements on the matter which has already had an influence on the case.

“Federal minister Anthony Albanese had compared the Ashby case to Watergate and called for the Australian Federal Police to investigate Mr Ashby’s behaviour in allegedly leaking parts or Mr Slipper’s diary to political rivals and the media. These comments were highlighted by Mr Ashby’s lawyer Michael Lee SC as evidence of the fact Mr Ashby was being accused of criminal conspiracy.” (Click here to read more)

Nicola Roxon herself has said things like “The Commonwealth strongly believes that this process has been one which is really for an ulterior purpose, not for purposes of an ordinary workplace
complaint,” and ”A number of other participants other than the applicant [Mr Ashby] were party to formulating this complaint with the clear intent of publicising it before it was filed, with the clear intention of harming Mr Slipper and advantaging his political opponents.”

This ultimately led to a situation where James Ashby did not have to file a response to the abuse of process claim by Mr Slipper because Mr Ashby might incriminate himself. Justice Rares was left with no option but to make that decision. But he did not condemn Roxon and the other ministers for interference when he should have. He should charge them with contempt of court as well.

2. Commonwealth settle with Ashby then act as Slippers counsel.

The Commonwealth settled with James Ashby for $50,000 which was announced in the media on Friday the 28th of September. Although it was not finalised until the 4th of October after the commonwealth were trying to sneak another clause into the agreement. It was probably the protect Nicola Roxon clause.

Nicola Roxon, in announcing the settlement, made a public statement that the case against Peter Slipper should be dismissed because the commonwealth had settled. She was acting as Peter Slipper’s defence counsel and sending instructions to Justice Rares. It was not for her to argue that and she was wrong.

Michael Lee, SC, acting for Mr Ashby said:

He also claimed comments by the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, suggesting Mr Ashby drop his case against Mr Slipper was ”unprecedented” and undermined ”public confidence in the judiciary”.

Ms Roxon’s comments followed news last Friday of a $50,000 settlement between the government and Mr Ashby.

In response to Mr Lee, a spokesman for Ms Roxon said, ”the judge himself made comments about the desirability of the matter being settled”. (Click here to read more)

Yes, Justice Rares after taking instructions from his boss Nicola Roxon says the same as Nicola Roxon.

3. Peter Slipper sent an email to the court and wanted mediation if it was not settled last Tuesday 2/10/12. He got what he wanted.

Last weekend was a long weekend in NSW with last Monday being a public holiday and the matter being set down for hearing on Tuesday. At this point Mr Slipper was representing himself as he had dismissed his legal team. Over the long weekend Mr Slipper sent an email into the court saying that he could not make the hearing and if it was not resolved that day then he wanted the case to be sent for mediation. He got exactly what he wanted despite Ashby’s counsel arguing that the matter should proceed without mediation. Given Slipper was not there he should have been given no favour by Justice Rares.

Justice Rares did criticise Mr Slipper for not showing up to court and for emailing the court over the long weekend. Litigants are not meant to approach the judge without the consent of the other party. Just because it was sent to the court and not directly to Justice Rares does not matter in this situation and I doubt very much that Mr Slipper would have sought or received approval from James Ashby or his lawyers.

It must be noted that Mr Slipper is a lawyer and barrister and would know better.

Julian Burnside who was in court representing the government made excuses for Peter Slipper.

“Julian Burnside, QC, for the Commonwealth, said it had been a ”difficult time” for Mr Slipper and he may have stayed away from court to avoid ”intensive and intrusive media attention”.

“He also said the Speaker’s failure to have legal representation at the hearing was related to ”financial considerations”. (Click here to read more)

It was not for Burnside to do that, he is getting paid to represent the government not Peter Slipper.

4. Peter Slipper allowed to use court car park.

Slipper was given special treatment and allowed to use the courts car park which was organised by Nicola Roxon and in direct breach of the courts policy.

“Ms Roxon’s office yesterday admitted she had direct involvement in granting the Speaker’s ComCar access to the Sydney Law Courts car park – a manoeuvre slammed by a judge for undermining public confidence in the court.”

“Justice Rares said this would “undermine the public confidence in the court” because it was important that “justice should not only be done but be seen to be done”.

Yet still there was no direct criticism of Nicola Roxon by Justice Rares. I laughed when I read the above given how dodgy Rares is.

5. Offer from Julian Burnside to help Peter Slipper as he was a lay person. Slipper is a qualified lawyer and Barrister.

By Thursday the 4th of October the government had finalised settlement with James Ashby and the mediation the day before with Slipper and Ashby had failed so they were back in court with Slipper representing himself.

Julian Burnside was there to finalize in court the government’s settlement.

Mr Slipper, who is representing himself, is seeking to have Mr Ashby’s case thrown
out as an abuse of process. Earlier, Julian Burnside QC, representing the Commonwealth, offered to remain in court to offer Mr Slipper some assistance with the hearing. The Commonwealth is in the final stages of reaching a settlement with Mr Ashby.

“Mr Slipper has some disadvantage being here as a lay person acting for himself,” Mr Burnside said.

Justice Steven Rares said Mr Burnside’s attendance in court would not be appropriate unless he was directly acting for Mr Slipper. (Click here to read more)

Julian Burnside referred to Peter Slipper as a “lay person”. This is scandalous and straight out lie in the face of the court by Mr Burnside. Peter Slipper is a lawyer and qualified barrister and is well equipped to defend himself. Who was going to pay Mr Burnside to assist Mr Slipper? The tax payer! Julian Burnside would not have made this offer without first getting approval off Nicola Roxon.

If you are ever in court and cannot afford a lawyer just ring Nicola Roxon and I am sure she will send Julian Burnside to court free of charge to help you out.

James Ashby’s defence team has made statements that they are considering suing Nicola Roxon for defamation and instituting contempt-of-court proceedings against her. Whether they will or not who knows as they will probably consider many factors before they decide. But they have an open and shut case if they do. It does not matter how the case finishes, Nicola Roxon’s conduct has been a disgrace and her position is untenable. She has to go as the attorney-general.

As Rares quoted “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.” R v Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy ([1924]

With Roxon at the helm justice will never be seen to be done. Nicola Roxon is the laughing-stock of the legal fraternity.

Imagine if it was you. Could you not bother showing up to court and just send an email in? Could you get the attorney-general to organise a car park in the Law Courts Building so you could avoid the media? Could you get Roxon to organise for Julian Burnside to represent you free of charge? Could you get Roxon to make a public statement that the case against you should be dismissed? etc.

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50 replies »


    • Nicola Roxon has to explain herself for influencing this court case ,she is also involved in the AWU scandal,where she got rid of files to do with JULIA GILLARD.! Just remember SHE IS APPOINTING THESE JUDGES! Just how really crooked is this government?

      • It seems that Steven Rares was appointed by Phillip Ruddock when he was AG in the Howard Government. However, this does not prevent him from the possibility that he might have been influenced by Roxon.

  2. And Ms Roxon would have us believe that anyone who is not a big fan of hers or Ms Gillard or Ms Wong such as Mr Abbott is a misogynist .
    Likewise I suppose if you don’t warm to Wayne Swan or Anthony Albanese or Stephen Conroy you must have a problem with men.


  4. This grubby union filled mob just get dirtier by the day,

    This country is being smashed by these corrupt Ex Union lawyers and Ex Union Delegates, who sleep with one another and lay with the devil.

    Oh God when will it end?

    • This government would have to be the sleaziest that has ever disgrased our parliment…the sooner they’re out the better.

  5. Well as Shane has said “Kangaroo Court of Australia”. BTW Ms Roxon was the associate to HCA’s Mary Gaudron in her younger days.

  6. Dreadful woman. Was never up to the job. Once she started making public statements about Ashby she should have been sacked. She said that we had to wait until any court had decided Craig Thomson’s innocence or guilt, but when it came to Ashby she said the opposite.

    Just don’t know how this most awful Government gets away with so much. (Mmmm could it have something to do with the left wing Media constantly turning a blind eye) Therein lies the true problem.

    The media are a necessary part of our democracy. The politics of the Government are not the playthings of the Canberra Press Gallery and the fact that this government get away with so much is the fault of this media. (with a few notable exceptions)

  7. Nicola Roxon is another on the Labour front bench who has delusions of grandeur.
    However the public are not as stupid as these imposters think. The public is aware of how much they want to stiffle debate.
    Moderator: The rest deleted for being off topic.

  8. yes i wondered the same thing , but we have an attorney general who has barely worked a day in its life apart from doing photocopys 12 months in a law office , the rest of her life she was at school , if you want a laugh look up her bio where she gives her school as sydney !!! so u dont know that she like all labor polititions comes from a family as rich as midas

  9. This is more criminal than I thought, It has gone through my mind all these remarks in parliament, I remember it, it was during Question Time.
    Surely this woman should be sacked immediately, she is making a laughing matter of the whole legal system, All in front of us , I am absolutely disgusted.!

  10. I recommend to all, especially lawyers, search: ‘lawyers and the third Reich’ and learn. Particularly, with respect that the first law officer of the Commonwealth and her staff take note. Our democracy and the Westmnister system is being brought into disrespect and our democracy is under threat……it seems. Lawyers, better pull their fingers out! The fourth estate is history, the internet now is the bastion of democracy and due process. (and hopefully, justice)



  12. The PM must take Roxon to task for interfering in a court case, especially as there is conflict of interest involved with The Speaker , Roxon and Gillard all on the same team! This is not JUSTICE seen to be done, GILLARD!

    • Honestly, Pat, can you see Gillard taking any of her “merry men and women” to task? They all sit in the same basket, and Roxon is one of the apples most infected! When I look at what’s happened in their private lives over the years, it’s not even as simple as being on the same team! They resemble a tight little family group, but each one having his/her own agenda, and none of it has anything to do with Justice – and tell me there isn’t one of them who wouldn’t do to Gillard exactly what she did to Rudd!


  14. Seems, Shane, that this corruption of the governance of the colony is so ongoing and entrenched that you don’t need to post much new stuff because older posts keep evolving in their significance and meaning as the back-stories informing them refuse to resolve.

    I regularly go back and review older posts because they remain as alive and relevant now as when you first posted them.

  15. this woman is so smug that when she comes on telly i have to switch channels or go to mute it’s got as bad as listening to gillard.not bad an attorney general with no brains holds the highest legal office in the land no wonder Robert McClellan got his nose out of joint. i have a 18 month old granddaughter that makes more sense than her

  16. If Australians are so stupid as to permit this idiotic wasted space to be Attorney General , then they get what they deserve.
    I , for one , am tired of being vilified for trying to save this country from sliding in to the abyss, by people who don’t even have a clue who they are voting for.
    If this is what they are voting for , heaven help Ausrtralia.
    As displayed by her , and he comprades in government , the intellect level is below childhood.
    But , as they say , the government is a reflection of the people .

    Not much more needs to be said.

  17. It occurs to me on the subject of our Ms Roxon if you follow the logic hers that Tony Abbott must be a misogynist because he does not seem to warm to either her or Ms Gillard then as all of the ALP seem to dislike Alan Jones it must be a veritable seething nest of homophobes .

    • My opinion on this is that Tony Abbott feels the same way a lot of us do about the women the Labor Party seems to attract! They just don’t realise how truly loathsome they are to anyone with half a brain, male or female!

      • Hi. No more about Abbott. This post is not about him. Have had big problems in the past with the comments going off topic and becoming a waste of time.

  18. So Mr Slipper has resigned as Speaker, while his court case is still being considered.
    He could have waited, gained a positive outcome, and then resigned from parliament on the speakers salary. He has moved to the middle ground. He is daring the Judiciary to find him guilty, and if they do he will vote with the Opposition, and if he is not guilty, he will support the Government. Roxon has her finger prints all over this matter.

    How will Slipper’s move affect his court case? Is Judiciary political?

    Will the Opposition accept his vote, if he decides to vote with them?
    Oh what a mess.

  19. I thought Slipper had only stepped aside while this matter was heard.

    Where is the Separation of Powers here? We have the Executive trying to influence the Judiciary.

    Nicola Roxon instructed Julian Burnside SC to apply to the court to act as Amicus Curiae for Slipper, a move which the court thankfully rejected.

    An amicus curiae (also spelled amicus curiæ; plural amici curiae) is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it. The information provided may be a legal opinion in the form of a brief (which is called an amicus brief when offered by an amicus curiae), a testimony that has not been solicited by any of the parties, or a learned treatise on a matter that bears on the case. The decision on whether to admit the information lies at the discretion of the court. The phrase amicus curiae is legal Latin and literally means “friend of the court”.

  20. Just caught up on news that Slipper has resigned – well this is a start. As a senior Australian, I have never known a worse time of continuous parliamentary chaos. The sooner the people get to make a new decision, the better.

  21. Seems like multiple attempts by Roxon and Albanese to influence the judge and court would constitute a prima facie case for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

    • regarding slipper’s resignation – i’m sure they’ve already got a nice juicy position lined up for him elsewhere.

      as for “perverting the course of justice”… that’s only a theoretical statement. in reality these people ARE the course of justice in that they clearly tell the courts which way to go. there is no natural and REAL justice in this country. therefore, effectively they have not perverted the course of justice since it is they who decide whether they and their mates have committed any crime(s). do gillard and thomson come to mind here?

  22. The exposure of those idiotic texts really left him no choice given the attack line Labor have chosen against the Opposition. It does say a lot about the calibre of person permitted to advance in the political arena these days. It seems that compromised (blackmailable/bribable) people are the preferred option for those who run our political machine.

    • Paul,
      you hit it on the head, no promotion unless they have a means of control.
      The Mafia test; “Hey you want in luigi, we have a problem with Mario, come back next week.”
      The police sergeant did it this way with the new constable: Much cash from a drug bust is spread out on the desk, the sergeant counts it out in two equal bundles, there is a period of silence and a nod. If the constable takes his half/share then he is in.
      Similar allegiances and favours are developed via sexual perversion escapades.
      With some large corporations and example is; where the directors were run through a brothel and pictures covertly taken with the end threat, that any diversion from the instructions handed down or objections at the boardroom, resulted in the photographs/film being delivered to the spouse. It took a brave man and an understanding wife to free himself, being one that was reported to me.
      The result is that we are ultimately at risk of being run by many criminals of some type or other, with varying allegiances and allies, some of those affected naturally end up in influential positions.
      Experienced and knowledgible ‘power brokers’ are familiar with most of the allegiances and those compromsed, so they can trade across interests as part of their ‘profession’. One might wonder what an honest faithful family man is doing in a brothel???
      Of course another means of influencing policy is to shoot the kids dog whilst on ‘walkies’, being.another reported ncident I am aware of. (The affected has passed on.)
      All too simple to create but bloody hard to exterminate, as it is self perpetuating.

    • We focus on the bribable poltician but at the end of the day most people can be bribed. I would like to know who is bribing these people from the top! A peadophile judge has to do what he is told otherwise he is exposed! Someone new he was a peadophile before he was made judge!

    • If anyone listened to/watched Question Time on Thursday, it’s obvious that the attacks by Labor continue, and no doubt WILL continue. When Julie Bishop put forward a motion to suspend Standing Orders asking that Nicola Roxon explain when both herself and Gillard became aware of these texts (in May), Albanese used every trick in the book to delay the inevitable, two time-consuming divisions! That delay meant that it took until the end of QT to establish whether or not that would come about! Now they have time to plot out how Roxon will spend her 15 minutes explaining it all away! Dirty tactics all the way, and Albanese is the King when it comes to that!

      • Well “fidopuss” the explanation is probably that Labor’s “capable women” are such kind hearted girls and so slow to anger that took 6 months to get them to the point where it was eating away at their consciences and they felt that for the good of the community as a whole they simply had to speak out. Much as they abhorred having to hurt someone’s feelings it was a story that had to be told.

  23. The plot thickens,Roxon announced that her MATE Judge Rares had thrown the case out off court, she couldnt’ hide her delight to think that her instructions were followed to the “T” by her subordinate and she could relate the “honerable” judges condemnation of the coalitions part in the ashby alleged sexual harasssment case. What a slimey excuse for a man, a real mysoganist in the pre-Gillard sense of the word. I hope he is not holding his breath waiting to get his seat back in Fisher,I don’t think the electorate are that dumb. I suppose Tony Abbott will be accused next of forging the Taxi slips,what a dismal episode in Australian politics we are living through, Let’s vote this rabble out before Australia becomes another Uganda, even Idi Ahmin was more honest than this bunch. pensioner From Myalup Allan

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