Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen

Labor Party ring-in Chief Magistrate Lauritsen hears the Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson AWU fraud matter

It’s  time for an update on the Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson AWU Fraud which was in court this week before Victorian Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen. As it turns out Mr Lauritsen is a good Labor Party boy who has a direct personal interest in the case via John Cain and should be nowhere near the matter. That’s the same Peter Lauritsen that was identified as being corrupt by former ACT Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill in 2009.

It’s looking like the cover-up of the cover-up will be bigger than the original cover-up and crime. Yes, it would be comical if it wasn’t so criminal.


I will keep it brief as most readers know the background. Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard helped her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson rip off the AWU in the 1990’s when she worked at the law firm Slater and Gordon which was covered up. (Click here to go to the page that has all my posts on the subject)

Victorian Police have been investigating again since the end of last year based on new evidence. The police subpoenaed documents from Slater and Gordon which was in court this week because Bruce Wilson is claiming legal privilege over some of those documents. Legal privilege basically means that any communication between yourself and your lawyer is private and cannot be used against you in a court of law. The exception is when your lawyer helps you commit a crime then you do not have legal privilege. This is known as the crime exception, fraud exception or crime-fraud exception which is what the Victorian police are arguing in this case. They are basically saying that Julia Gillard and/or her then boss Bernard Murphy knowingly aided Bruce Wilson in committing crimes.

As a side note Julia Gillard appointed Bernard Murphy as a Federal Court judge not long after she became Prime Minister. (Click here to read the post that I wrote on his appointment)

In a situation like this favours are called in from everywhere to try to make sure it is swept under the carpet. An example being the Craig Thomson fraud which the Labor Party managed to bounce around for almost 4 years before anything happened and probably nothing would have happened if Craig Thomson had not been so arrogant.

The Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson AWU fraud is a lot bigger than the Craig Thomson matter as it involves a lot more high-profile Labor Party people and no stone will be left unturned to have it swept under the carpet and that includes judicial favours if they think they can get away with it.

Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen’s background

If you read Mr Lauritsen’s CV nothing really stands out although it does show he has strong credentials.  He was admitted to practice as a lawyer in 1975 and worked as an employee solicitor and partner in a suburban legal practice until 1987. What his CV does not say is that the Law firm was owned by John Cain Jnr who was the Labor Party Victorian Premier from 1982 until 1990.

In 1987 Mr Lauritsen was appointed as a magistrate for the Northern Territory.

In May 1989 Mr Lauritsen was appointed as a Victorian magistrate by the then Victorian Premier John Cain who was also Mr Lauritsen’s old boss at the “suburban legal practice”. A quick check of the WikiPedia profile for John Cain Jnr and it says he “practised law in suburban Melbourne”. Lauritsen’s failure to mention the name of the law firm where he worked seems to be motivated to hide his political connections.

In 2003 the Steve Bracks Labor Party led Victorian Government appointed Mr Lauritsen as Deputy Chief Magistrate for Victoria.

In November 2012 Mr Lauritsen was promoted to the top job of Chief Magistrate. His appointment was praised by many including “Mr Cain”.

Address by Michael Holcroft, President of The Law Institute of Victoria, on Thursday 13 December 2012 at the welcome to Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen upon his appointment as Chief Magistrate of Victoria (Extract – click here to read the whole speech)

20. Your Honour then went to Cain & Lamers in Preston.

21. John Cain (senior) was first elected to the Victorian Parliament in the March 1976 election – but he remembers Your Honour well as a young solicitor with a good knowledge of the law – and with great skill and understanding of the situations of clients in what he describes as “a robust people-practice in the Northern suburbs”.

22. It was at Cain & Lamers that Your Honour met your wife Kathleen, who was a solicitor there.

23. Your Honour achieved partnership at Cain & Lamers. You were one of three partners:  Peter Lamers, Michael Quinn and Your Honour – with about 12 staff.

From what I can make of it, Lauritsen joined Cain’s Law Firm and by the time Lauritsen became a partner in the firm, Cain had left to become a politician. Maybe Cain retained a financial interest in the firm after he left which would be interesting to know or did Lauritsen pay Cain for his share of the firm? One has to suspect some sort of financial transaction between Cain and Lauritsen and one they were both happy with given Cain later gave Lauritsen the Victorian magistrates job.

Just so there is no confusion there are 3 people named John Cain from the same family. John Cain (senior) who was Victorian Premier three times between 1943 and 1955. His son John Cain (junior) who was Victorian Premier from 1982 until 1990. And then there is the grandson John Cain (who is also sometimes referred to as junior) that was involved in the Julia Gillard, Bruce Wilson AWU fraud when he was CEO of the Law Firm Maurice Blackburn.

John Cain and the AWU Fraud connection

When the AWU found out about the fraud committed by Bruce Wilson and others in 1995 they transferred they legal account from Slater and Gordon Lawyers to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

The grandson and son John Cain (I will refer to as Jnr from here on) was the Managing Partner / CEO of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers during the 1990’s when the AWU fraud took place. It says on the Maurice Blackburn website which is dated June 2011:

“Mr Cain, who was Victoria’s Government Solicitor until March 2011, will return to the firm he led throughout the 1990s. Mr Cain was Managing Partner of Maurice Blackburn from 1991 until 2002. Since then he has continued his distinguished career as CEO of the Law Institute of Victoria (2002 – 2006) and more recently as Victorian Government Solicitor (until March 2011).” (Click here to read more) Mr Cain did not last long back at Maurice Blackburn, in August 2012 he moved to the law firm Herbert Geer.

Ian Cambridge who was the joint National Secretary of the AWU at the time wrote an affidavit in 1996 where he points out that he tried to get some documents from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers in relation to the fraud but they refused to hand them over. I dissected the affidavit in relation to this point in a previous post where I wrote:

Page 34 Paragraph 31 – 8th September 1995 – Cambridge also says he wrote to Bob Smith AWU Victorian Branch Secretary requesting information. At paragraph 32 Cambridge says he received correspondence from Bob Smith saying he had sought legal advice and would send the information requested.

Page 37 Paragraph 44 – 21st June 1996 – Cambridge writes to Steve Harrison Joint National Secretary requesting he counter sign a letter to Maurice Blackburn lawyers requesting the relevant files. Mr Harrison never did sign the letter.

Page 39 Paragraph 52 – Ian Cambridge writes to Maurice Blackburn and requests they send the relevant files to Bill Ludwig’s lawyers C.A. Sciacca and Associates in Federal Court matters 1247 and 1296 of 1995.

Page 39 Paragraph 55 – Maurice Blackburn advise Cambridge their CEO, John Cain, is on leave and when he returns the matter will be raised with him. At paragraph 57 Maurice Blackburn advise Cambridge their client has refused to make the file available as it is covered by privilege. The client is Bob Smith, the AWU Victorian Branch Secretary. At paragraph 58 Cambridge suggests Smith will not release the files to cover-up his actions. (Click here to read the full post)

So on the basis of what Ian Cambridge said in his 1996 affidavit, it means John Cain and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers were heavily involved in the cover-up and have plenty of questions they need to answer. And as the Victorian Police have pointed out with Slater and Gordon there would be no legal privilege.

Michael Smith says on his site in relation to John Cain “he was the Maurice Blackburn partner who was at the Commonwealth Bank when the CBA handed over about $160,000 to Wilson and Bob Smith after a deceptive letter was handed to the branch manager.” (Click here to read the post)

There is another thing that makes it even worse for John Cain. In 1995/96 Julia Gillard and her then boss Bernard Murphy left Slater and Gordon when the AWU fraud started blowing up. Where did Bernard Murphy go? John Cain who was CEO / Managing Partner at Maurice Blackburn employed Bernard Murphy. John Cain was fully aware of the fraud and theft of Bruce Wilson which Julia Gillard and Bernard Murphy helped facilitate but still gave Murphy a job.

Perceived bias by Peter Lauritsen and why he should stand down from hearing the matter

Currently what is before the court is that Chief Magistrate Lauritsen will have to determine what documents subpoenaed by the police from Slater and Gordon can and cannot be used in making out the police’s case of criminal offences by Bruce Wilson and others. This is important as a whole case can sometimes turn on one or two pieces of evidence, so any decision by Chief Magistrate Lauritsen could have a huge impact on the case.

The Australian reports:

“LAWYERS for Victoria Police have declared there is “very strong” evidence to suggest Julia Gillard’s former boyfriend may have committed fraud, as they fight to obtain documents seized from her old law firm relating to the AWU slush fund scandal.”

“Bruce Wilson, who was in a long-term relationship with Ms Gillard in the 1990s when she worked at Slater & Gordon, has lodged a claim of client legal privilege over papers that fraud squad detectives took from the firm earlier this year.”

and: “The hearing has been adjourned to December to allow Sergeant Mitchell to prepare a further affidavit and Mr Lauritsen to inspect the documents.” (Click here to read more)

What is guaranteed based on all the evidence so far is that John Cain and Maurice Blackburn have plenty to hide and some of those seized documents from Slater and Gordon will have correspondence with John Cain and Maurice Blackburn lawyers. Some of those documents will quite possibly be extremely incriminating of John Cain and Maurice Blackburn or at the very least extremely embarrassing for them.

And who will making a judgement of what documents can and cannot be used by the police? And if they can be used by the police it in effect makes them public documents for everyone to read. Well the decision maker is Mr Lauritsen who is a friend and former employee of John Cain Jnr’s father, John Cain the former Premier of Victoria. As I previously stated it is highly likely that Mr Lauritsen paid John Cain for his share of the law firm. It must also be noted that if it was not for John Cain Mr Lauritsen quite possibly would not be a Victorian Magistrate.

So would the average person think Mr Lauritsen might be biased to protect John Cain Jnr. If the answer is yes then he has to stand down from hearing the matter. The AWU fraud has been in the media for a couple of years now and Peter Lauritsen would know that it involves John Cain Jnr and so he should have stood down from hearing the matter without being asked. But I suspect Mr Lauritsen would think that no one would ever notice the link. Remember Mr Lauritsen says on his CV that he “worked as an employee solicitor and partner in a suburban legal practice until 1987.” and did not mention that it was John Cain’s.

I said at the beginning of the post that it is the “same Peter Lauritsen that was identified as being corrupt by former ACT Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill in 2009”. I will expand on that in the next post as this one is long enough as it is.

This site is reliant on donations to keep publishing. If you would like to support the continuance and growth of this site it would be greatly appreciated if you make a donation. Click on the below button to donate via PayPal or go to the donations page for other donation options (Click here to go to the Donations page)

If you would like to buy a t-shirt or coffee mug visit my online shop (Click here to visit the shop)

If you would like to follow this site by email you can at the top right side of this page and about once a week you will get an email when there is a new post/story on this site.

Thank you for your support.

24 replies »

  1. Well now is the time to see if the LNP ,that myself and other like minded people worked so hard in ensuring that Labor was deposed, have the intestinal fortitude to make sure that justice is done.
    We, as a nation, have been royally shafted by a long line of ALP pollies and their union cohorts, long enough. We want to see justice.
    So, come on, Federal & State LNP, get the job done.
    I have a gut feeling that only with Malcolm Turnbull leading, we will ever see any semblance of justice.

  2. I was afraid of this and No, Malcolm Turnbull will not do anything, I’ll tell you that now.

    Shane, you are on the right track, we cannot allow this to be covered up again.
    Thank you for raising this at this time!

  3. Nothing surprises me with John cain – what a mess he made of Victoria and there were several whispers about corruption – more jolly corruption we have to put up with from LABOR

  4. I have followed the ‘developments’ for around 3 years now. I get the feeling Shane and Mike Smith may be the only terriers out there to get the TRUTH. Unless Tony Abbott orders a Judicial Enquiry we will never find out if someone signed a statutory declaration as a witness without actually witnessing it. And why is Bruce claiming client privelege ?… he has no assets to protect. Is it a jail term or something more sinister?

  5. It is time for Tony Abbott and his Government to call for a Judicial Enquiry in the AWU Slush Fund Scandal and also for a Full Royal Commission into Unions. Maybe he is waiting to see what the Courts do with this Inquiry and if he is not satisfied then he will demand what I suggested.

  6. Is this not typical of the corrupt Labor party to install a ‘ring in’ who is a ‘puppet’ to the Party. Imagine you or me requesting one of our closest friends, or someone we have the goods on, to hear our case. Yes, it’s up to Tony Abbott now to enforce the correct Justice for the crooks, involved in this rort. A full royal commission to delve into the crooked behaviour of Gillard and co, if they were a bike club they would get life..or if they were a tattooist they’d get mandatory, now look at robbing the country, every organisation they put their moniker, it’s disgusting. They should do time in the Mainstream.

  7. It’s out there in the public now thanks to you Shane. The article will get back to Lauritsen. We’ll see what eventuates as to whatever decision Chief magistrate Peter Lauritsen makes as it will be thoroughly scrutinised.

  8. Another incestuous relationship of Labor people with Lauritsen considering this matter.
    When will it end! I agree surely Abbott and co can see that this saga needs someone with a clean slate to further this investigation!

  9. A nit picky point. Our police in VICTORIA are called Victoria Police not Victorian Police. A common mistake by journalist from other states, particularly NSW.

  10. It doesn’t surprise me that a magistrate/judge with strong links to the labor party is judging the AWU fraud case. This whole thing I believe is to protect Gillard. Many labor party people know exactly what happened, and they know that if the client privledge that Bruce Wilson wants is denied, then Gillard is in big trouble. The Victorian police have already fingered Wilson, Blewitt, Gillard & Bernard Murphy in being involved in the furtherence of a fraud. The labor party don’t care about Wilson & Blewitt being charged, but they care about protecting Gillard at all cost. No wonder why a labor supporter is the magistrate in this case. Why isn’t the Victorian coalition government has taken a closer look at Mr lauritsen political connections to the labor part, knowing too well that he is the chief magistrate. The Victorian coalition government must also know that this is a massive fraud case with strong labor party/union connections, so an impartial magistrate/judge can judge this case. This fraud case is looking like a cover up.

  11. Good work Shane for keeping us abreast of the latest murky findings and the incestuous goings on with Lauritsen now. I am going to bring this up with some senior pollies in the Vic Coalition whom I know well and see what they can find out, or have to say. As usual, the whole matter stinks!

  12. Thank You Mr Dowling for the concise dot joining you undertake in good faith.
    Clearly it is a conflict of interest that you highlight here.

    The legal Industry needs to start earning serious respect back, rather than diminishing that. Otherwise it destroys the entire purpose of what they purport. Only true legal standards and representatives, are worth treasuring like Gold and some just damage the whole Industry where blatant conflicts of Interest are displayed.

    I would as you say Shane, respect the legal person, that admitted, that due to conflict of Interest they could not / would not waste Govt time and expense, because that is how respect is earned.
    It is rational and reasonable and safe for all concerned, by admitting that.

  13. Did you expect anything less, I sure as hell didn’t.

    To think that a judicial inquiry will expose the truth is comical, the inquiry will be just as corrupt as the act of fraud itself. This political cover up is just one of hundreds no doubt, it’s just that this one was exposed to the public and media.

    As Shane has pointed out in this article, ALL the relevant players in this case are in each others pockets, including the judicial members who are charged with upholding the legal justice we expect. I don’t see justice being upheld at a political level, now or in the future, and if it is, it will be a miracle.

    What is truly needed is for the public to make such a noise about it, that it can’t be ignored, after all, it’s the general public that has been deceived by our employee’s for years. The Australian public employ politicians to perform to the best of their ability for the benefit of all Australians and our country, it’s called “Duty of Care” and this is what we get, lies corruption and deceit.

    I for one don’t believe justice will be done here, as much as it pains me to admit.

    “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”

  14. Shane ,glad to see that your diligance is appearing to pay off, I think you may have upset the ABC by opening all this AWU corruption, the ABC journalists may eventually see the truth and the wheel will surely drop off their Labor bandwagon. Keep it up and maybe we will see these bastards where they belong.Allan from Myalup.WA

  15. I hope that these rogues don’t get away with this fraud committed at the AWU. if we are a true democracy, there must be an independent inquiry into this.

  16. How can we respect the legal proffesion with the deals they appear to be doing with their friends to cover up the truth. re: HSU, AWU, FWA

  17. For all those involved in this sordid AWU affair and any other corrupt practices will rely heavily on their “Friends in High places”. IMHO any Magistrate/Judge/QC and others in the legal system should be put through the same test that any Australian citizen is required to undertake when called up for Jury Duty. So the Question’s here is …Is there a conflict of Interest …yes absolutely! Magistrate Lauritsen should excuse himself immediately.

Leave a Reply