Justice Steven Rares has handed down a summary judgement accusing James Ashby of abuse of process, his application being politically motivated and using the proceedings to defame Federal MP Peter Slipper. This is hypocritical of Justice Rares to the extreme.
Rares judgement is clearly politically motivated and he abuses his position as a judge to defame numerous people who were not party to the proceedings thereby denying them natural justice.
What Justice Rares says about Ashby and others (Click here to read Rares’s judgement)
I have reached the firm conclusion that Mr Ashby’s predominant purpose for bringing these proceedings was to pursue a political attack against Mr Slipper and not to vindicate any legal claim he may have for which the right to bring proceedings exists
I am satisfied that these proceedings are an abuse of the process of the Court. The originating application was used by Mr Ashby for the predominant purpose of causing significant public, reputation and political damage to Mr Slipper.
A party cannot be allowed to misuse the Court’s process by including scandalous and damaging allegations, knowing that they would receive very significant media coverage, and then seek to regularise his, her or its pleading by subsequently abandoning those claims.
Sexual harassment of anyone, including an employee such as Mr Ashby, is a violation of the person’s human dignity and rights. The Court must always be available for the hearing and determination of bona fide proceedings to vindicate and protect those rights. But for the reasons I have given, Mr Ashby’s pre-dominant purpose in bringing the proceedings was not a proper one.
Even though I have not found that the combination was as wide as Mr Slipper alleged in his points of claim, the evidence established that Mr Ashby acted in combination with Ms Doane and Mr Brough when commencing the proceedings in order to advance the interests of the LNP and Mr Brough. Mr Ashby and Ms Doane set out to use the proceedings as part of their means to enhance or promote their prospects of advancement or preferment by the LNP, including by using Mr Brough to assist them in doing so.
There was no need whatsoever for Justice Rares to mention Ms Karen Doane and Mr Mal Brough. He could have handed down the same judgement without mentioning them. Where is their opportunity to respond. They have been denied the natural justice that they would have received if the matter had gone to gearing as it almost guaranteed they would have been called as witnesses and had an opportunity to put their side of the story forward. As Rares says about Ashby “knowing that they would receive very significant media coverage” Rares also knew the same about his judgement and the damage it would do to their reputations.
Political Bias by Rares
In the summary of his judgement Rares makes no mention of the abuse of court processes by Peter Slipper or the government but makes plenty of mention of Ashby and others abusing the process. On a quick read of the full judgement the only thing he mentions is that one day Peter Slipper did not show up to court yet he makes extensive mention of Ashby and others abusing the processes.
At paragraph 10 Rares says “I also ordered Mr Ashby to file and serve points of defence in reply. However, Mr Slipper’s original and amended points of claim, when filed, suggested that Mr Ashby may have acted unlawfully in providing Mr Lewis and Mr Brough with photocopies of Mr Slipper’s diary entries for particular periods in 2009 and 2010. (I will refer to the amended points of claim filed on 26 June 2012 as “Mr Slipper’s points of claim”.) As a result, on 6 July 2012, I relieved Mr Ashby of having to file any defence or evidence until the moving parties, on the interlocutory applications to dismiss the proceedings, had closed their cases. This was to avoid Mr Ashby being put in the position of potentially having to incriminate himself until he knew the case and evidence he had to meet and could make an informed decision as to the course he wished to take.”
Rares makes no mention of the fact that part of the reason Ashby did not have to file a response was also because of the public statements made by several Labor politicians which Rares did raise in court at the time a few months ago. One federal MP was Anthony Albanese and Rares said at the time “Your client and one of the senior ministers in the press is reported to make similar allegations . . . Having put this on the table why should I force Mr Ashby to do something that may incriminate him.” (Click here to read more)
So why did Rares not mention this in his judgement?
At paragraph 11 Rares says: “The affidavits were made by David Russell QC, a former senior office holder of the LNP and one of its predecessor parties, the National Party and the Liberal Party, and Mr Harmer” Why does Rares mention the political background of David Russell. It has no bearing on the case. To me Justice Rares is trying to help smear the matter as being a political conspiracy. If Rares was being fair he would have also mentioned that the barrister who represented the government, Julian Burnside QC, tweeted on twitter last year that Tony Abbott is a pedophile. (Click here to read more)
Rares goes to town on James Ashby and others in his judgement, points out liberal party connections where he can and them abusing the processes yet avoids any criticism of Labor and Slipper abusing court processes and procedures. I outline the numerous times Labor abused the processes in a pervious post titled: “AG Nicola Roxon gives instructions to her subordinate Justice Steven Rares in the Peter Slipper / James Ashby case” (Click here to read the post)
Even if all of Justice Rares criticisms of James Ashby and others was justified, his failing to fairly criticise the Labor Party, Government and Peter Slipper equally shows clear political bias by Rares and I have no doubt he did this deliberatly to keep Nicola Roxon and the Labor Party happy and on their instructions.
In April I wrote a post where predicted a lot of what happened titled “Peter Slipper strikes it lucky and lands corrupt federal court judge Steven Rares to hear his sexual harassment case.” (Click here to read)
Rares is the fool who handed down a dodgy judgement in the NRL / AFL v Optus judgment which was overturned on appeal on the 27/4/2012 (Click here to read more)
Rares is a Knox Grammer Old Boy and Liberal Party appointment (2006) so you would think he would favour them. His problem is that he is that corrupt he has to do whatever he is told whether that is Labor or the Liberals and given Labor are in power they are the current master.
A court proceeding should only ever be summarily dismissed if it has no chance of success and clearly the sexual harassment case did have a chance of success just based on the sleazy emails and texts that Peter Slipper sent James Ashby.
There is no doubting James Ashby, Mal Brough and Karen Doane and maybe others have plenty of questions to answer about their own conduct but that does not justify the matter being summarily dismissed and James Ashby being denied natural justice. Nor does it justify Justice Rares using his position as a judge to defame Ms Doane and Mr Brough which he has done without them having an opportunity of reply in court.
If Peter Slipper has been totally vindicated by the judgement of Justice Rares then I am sure the Labor Party will reappointment him as speaker of the house immediately. Of course that will not happen.
I read Rares’s judgement quickly once and then started reading it again and it only took me to paragraph 10 to start finding political bias. I may update this post when I have had an opportunity to have a better look at his judgement.
The above case apparently will be appealed which one would expect will probably not be until after the next election or at least for a judgement to be handed down. I think that is why the government settled with Ashby for $50,000. Nicola Roxon knew that Rares would give them the judgement she wanted but she also knew it would probably be appealed and did not want it hanging over the governments head up until the election next year. Now it is only Slippers problem, not the governments.
I have written about Justice Rares a number of times and given how corrupt he is I would expect to write plenty more in the future.
Declaration: Justice Rares has his own chapter in my book “Love Letters from the Bar Table” where I write about his criminal conduct while on the bench. I have also written a post 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) where Justice Rares handiwork gets a mention.
Update: After further reflection of the judgement 15/12/12: Nicola Roxon abusing her position as Attorney General and Justice Rares’s boss and making the public statements she did is one of the key reasons it had to go to hearing. Rares’s judgement has left it open for many people to perceive that he at least might have been or has been influenced by Nicola Roxon’s public statements thereby scandalising the court and damaging the public’s confidence in the judicial system. By the matter failing to go to hearing untold damage has been done to the reputation of the courts. Rares knows this and did not care.
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