Federal Court Chief Justice Patrick Keane has been appointed as a High Court judge by Julia Gillard. One of Keane’s recent judgements was described as being “an appalling judgment” by Slater and Gordon CEO Andrew Grech. Keane is also the person ultimately responsible for the missing files in the AWU scandal.
His appointment to the High Court is no great surprise as he is a good Labor boy but the timing of the announcement seems odd given he will not start to March next year.
Why Patrick Keane is a disgrace and should not have been appointed in the first place
Keane is a real grub given his judgement in the Merck / Vioxx case where Chief Justice Keane in effect stole money from people who were adversely affected by the drug Vioxx. The drug killed people and caused heart attacks and other ailments. In June I wrote about it in a post titled “Chief Justice Keane comes under attack from CEO of leading law firm” (Click here to read the post)
The post starts off “The matter was a class action against a drug company that was selling drugs that killed and injured people. The same matter was settled in the US for $US4.85 billion (different people suing for the same reasons and same respondent)” Keane and two other judges overturned the trail judge with a clanger of a judgement which leaves one very disturbed on how they came to that judgement given Merck settled for almost $5 billion in the US.
They’re hardly the credentials to be appointed to the High Court of Australia.
The missing files – Sydney – Federal Court of Australia – Matter NI 96/2082
It is no accident that files are missing at the Federal Court of Australia in relation to the AWU scandal, although some have been found others are still missing. Files are also missing from Slater and Gordon and a government department in Western Australia. It is obviously a concerted effort by someone to hide the document trail.
As of 2pm on Friday the 23rd November 2012 I was told by Deputy District Registrar Geoff Segal that the files in matter NI 96/2082 are still missing.
I know the staff and registrars at the Sydney Registry well and they know me and there is no love lost to say the least. But I am on the hunt for those files and/or the person or people who have stolen them.
Geoff Segal reports to Michael Wall who is the District Registrar for the Sydney Registry of the Federal Court of Australia. Mr Wall reports to Warwick Soden who is the Registrar at the Principal Registry which is also based in Sydney and has oversight for all registry staff on a national basis.
I have had direct dealings with Mr Wall and Mr Soden in the past and will keep readers of this site updated on how matters progress.
The timing of the announcement
The timing of the announcement seems odd to me given that Keane does not start at the High Court until March next year which is some 13 weeks away while the last 3 appointments to the High Court have been announced between 4 to six weeks before their start date.
There might not be much in it and probably it is nothing more than the government announcing the appointment early. But when you are dealing with corruption anything that is unusual should be scrutinised.
If the missing files are not found soon there will be a major storm for Keane given that it falls under his responsibility as the current Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia. He is the equivalent of an Executive Chairman of a company and has authority over all staff.
So it would be potently highly embarrassing for the government to have announced his appointment in 2, 4 or 6 weeks as the missing file scandal was escalating with Keane having responsibility.
The Attorney-General Nicola Roxon announced Keane’s appointment on Tuesday (20/11/12) with a start date of the 1st of March next year when Justice Dyson Heydon retires which is some 13 weeks away.
Compare this to the other 3 High Court judges which Labor have appointed since they came top power in 2007.
Chief Justice Robert French – 4 weeks to start date – appointment announced on the 30th July 2008 – started on the 29th August 2008. (Click here to read more)
Justice Virginia Bell – 6 weeks to start date – appointment announced on the 16th December 2008 – started on the 3rd February 2009 (Click here to read more)
Justice Stephen Gageler – 6 weeks to start date – appointment announced on the 21st August 2012 – started on the 9th of October 2012 (Click here to read more)
Maybe the government is just getting in early with announcing the appointment. But I know for a fact if the missing court files are not found soon then the blowtorch is going to be put on Patrick Keane in a major way. The reason I know this for a fact is because I am at least one person who is going to do it.
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