Neville Wran

Former NSW Premier Neville Wran dies and takes a lot of knowledge of judicial corruption with him

Neville Wran is the former NSW premier who sold out the former Chief Magistrate for NSW Murray Farquhar in the 1980’s and let him be sentenced to 4 years jail. But it is said by some that Farquhar’s conviction is what ultimately forced Neville Wran to resign both the premiership and his seat in Parliament on the 4th of July 1986.

I sat here writing another post then it showed up on a news site that Neville Wran had died and I had to acknowledge that because Wran was up to his neck in corrupting the judiciary, if not the whole NSW public service, and he was at the heart of the biggest judicial scandal that the country has seen and very close to the second biggest.

The first being the Murray Farquhar jailing and the second being the former high court judge Lionel Murphy attempting to pervert the course of justice.

These two matters are important and need to be acknowledged by this site because they are hard evidence that judicial corruption goes to the top of the judiciary.

Murray Farquhar

“Murray Farquhar OBE (7 July 1918–3 December 1993) was the Chief Stipendiary Magistrate of New South Wales between 1971 and 1977.”

“A Royal Commission conducted by Sir Laurence Street into the alleged involvement of Premier Neville Wran and Farquhar in the acquittal of former head of the Australian Rugby League, Kevin Humphreys on fraud charges resulted in Farquhar in March 1985 being sentenced to 4 years gaol for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. During his trial, it became clear that Farquhar had deep roots in the criminal community, including connections to George Freeman and Nick Paltos. Much of the investigative work in the Farquhar case was due to the efforts of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program. Murray Farquhar has been played by John Wood in the drama series Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities.”

“In March 1991 Farquhar was acquitted of receiving stolen paintings. He had a fatal heart attack in 1993 while on trial for conspiracy to obtain stolen passports.” (Click here to read more)

Murray Farquhar was very much Neville Wran’s boy and if Farquhar had connections to organised crime then Wran had the same connections through Farquhar. I wrote a previous post on Murray Farquhar in 2011 with further details of his handiwork and connection to Neville Wran. (Click here to read the post)

Lionel Murphy – High Court of Australia

Murphy was a clear and blatant political appoint given he was the federal Labor Party attorney-general immediately prior to becoming a high court judge in 1975.

Neville Wran and Murphy were good friends. When Lionel Murphy was facing charges Neville Wran while still Premier said he had a “very deep conviction” that Murphy was innocent which lead to Wran being charged and convicted of contempt of court. (Click here to read more).

“In July 1985, during the term of the Hawke Labor government, Murphy was convicted on one of two charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice, over allegations made by Clarrie Briese, the Chief Magistrate of New South Wales, that Murphy had attempted to influence a court case against Sydney lawyer Morgan Ryan, whom Murphy referred to as “my little mate”. A subsequent appeal to the NSW Court of Appeals quashed Murphy’s conviction on the grounds that the trial judge had misdirected the jury. A second trial was then held and, on 28 April 1986, Murphy was found not guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice. After his acquittal, Murphy said, “Thank God for the jury system!”.”

“Attorney-General Lionel Bowen, acting on what he said was his belief that the Justices of the High Court were minded to take some independent action to assess Justice Murphy’s fitness to return to the Court, introduced legislation for a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, constituted by three retired judges, to examine “whether any conduct of the Honourable Lionel Keith Murphy has been such as to amount, in its opinion, to proved misbehaviour within the meaning of section 72 of the Constitution“. (Section 72 specifies that a High Court judge may be removed only by the Governor-General and both houses of Parliament “on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity”.) The terms of this inquiry specifically excluded the issues for which Murphy had already been tried and acquitted.”

“The legislation establishing the Commission of Inquiry received assent in May 1986. In July, Murphy announced that he was dying of terminal cancer, and the establishing legislation was repealed. That repeal legislation vested control of the Commission’s documents in the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate. Murphy returned to the Court for one week of sittings. He died on 21 October 1986.” (Click here to read more)

It is not a long post but one this site needed to document as it is a foundation post to the argument that judicial corruption is widespread and has its roots in the political word as Neville Wran shows.

Admin: I was in the Supreme Court of NSW defending myself and this website on Thursday as detailed in the previous post and Justice Harrison has reserved his judgement and has set a time of 10 am this Thursday (24/4/14) for his judgement.

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23 replies »

  1. Helps reinforce my view that only those who are suitably corruptible are ever allowed to rise to the top.

  2. It draws a fine line between corrupt and corruptible. Too many instances of the dirty oil floating to the top of the water. Our whole Judicial system needs investigation.

  3. Errol, that may be true….but who would investigate it?…..and how would we know the if the end result was a proper outcome….it’s hard to pick out who the “black hats” and the “white hats” are!

  4. What is it about today’s crop of politicians that they think by praising the newly dead they can somehow expunge corruption in the past?

    Every politician who has jumped to get on TV today, Easter Monday, has praised Wran as a leader beyond reproach. Perhaps it was because they are not old enough or wise enough to have seen Nifty at his niftiest.

    • By Denying or avoiding the corruption of Wran and painting him White the Politicians are avoiding resposibility of Corruption in Government. Government is a sinking ship in public opinion now days as is Churches, Unions and other groups. Where can the sheep go now for security?

    • Grumpyoldman Wouldn’t you also jump with joy and praise the man now he is dead and can’t sink you with his little Black Book of misdeeds and corruption. I think the praise is out of relief, not admiration, and also to be seen as a Loyal Moth which is shut by all the other cats in the box.

  5. Thanks for the corruption history lesson Shane,

    I had forgotten, as I suppose have most of the older population of Australia, how far back the political/judicial corruption train started steamrolling along. I would hazard a guess that it has been rife from the earliest days of parliament, after all politics has always been about the rich & wealthy ruling over the masses, and it’s hardly changed in over two hundred years.

    The Governments have developed some clever ways of burying the past
    so that future generations never see the whole picture, let alone hear the truth.


  6. The tradition of not speaking ill of the dead severely limits what I could say about Neville Wran …………maybe he was kind to his mother .

  7. Hey Shane, Curruption will never go away and NSW has always been a hot bed. Good luck with your own court case. But in this article you have come up with some names that more than ring a bell. Murray Farquar was my neighbour and I went to school with his son who I think is a solicitor or QC but I’ve had no ontact since my high school days. I remember Murray as knock around bloke who loved to bet on the horses. I worked in the power industry and Neville Wran ran some cases for one of the unions. He was a brilliant QC.At the time the Labor Party was a leaderless mob and the unions catapulted Neville Wran into the Labor Party leadership. Sadly Neville was not a good premier and bit the hand that fed him and ruthlessly misused his power. Best I leave it at that as the man is dead. RIP

  8. NSW has been corrupt since the Botany Days – Wran,,Murphy, Hawke – Carr and all the rest of them they are and were all a disgrace – a real problem with NSW – haven’t risen from the 1980’s corruption and deceipt!!!!

  9. Neville Wran continued the ugly, sinister corruption that plagued NSW for decades after Sir Askin. The tributes that were made to him, including are alleged rapist of an federal opposition leader (labor leader) Bill Shorten was absolutely disgusting. Wran will forever be a corrupt premier in NSW history equally with Sir Askin and one of the most disgusting political leaders in Australia’s history. Great work/post Shane.

  10. maybe we should all now be asking about those 1980s ,hidden police / age tapes from long ago, if you are old enough to remember, or as they say in the classics dead men tell no tales,the labor party had lots of DONATIONS, if you know what i mean.

  11. And as each one dies, there will be half a dozen waiting in the wings to replace them, such is the political life in Australia. I’m waiting for the posthumous awards and accolades that usually follow these events.

  12. Shane, I seem to remember way back when Wran resigned from Office, it was just after he had been to Berrima to meet with a convicted Politician namely Rex Jackson. that meeting came about when the Labor Mob were going to stop Jackson getting his Pension and it was published that Buckets was going to dump the lot on Wran. It was in the Sunday papers I seem to remember, and the Monday Jackson said it was all a blow up, Wran resigned, Jackson got his pension and went on to run a Hot Dog stand at Stanwell Tops.
    Am I fare of the mark with this?

    • Ken,
      Oh, the days when Jackson was minister for prisons and ‘tickets’ were the currency and Mike Carlton was at his best on ABC with Bob Bottom and Marriane Wilkinson (and others) on the job.
      The junior ‘Obaids’ were in their cradles at the time.
      Then there was the colonial ‘ticket of leave’ policy……did not appreciate the irony til just now. (:-) So for history!

  13. Don’t forget the closest and now biggest benificiary of Wran’s shady past, his grieving wife. i wonder how many little Labourites she is godmother to?

    It seems that to get to the top in politics today one needs a law degree and articles in a union-supporting law firm. Has anyone noticed that every PM since Menzies ended up a millionaire? None had commerce degrees.

  14. And now they are giving this corrupt dog a State Funeral! At least one thing has been stated correctly, Neville Wran was the best Labor ever produced, the best what though is not defined.

  15. Mr Wran [ Nifty ] showed Labor how money could have been made out of politics. And now we see many trying to follow his footsteps. Rest easy Neville, as i believe one of your biggest worries was that in your after life, you maybe have been seen as corrupt. A nobody from a pseudo caring class says’ this and all that i can think of is B/S.

  16. The story of Wran has a long way to go. There is a case going through the Supreme Court of NSW called Waterhouse V ICAC case no: 2013/86239. If the Plaintiff wins..everybody wins. If a public inquiry is ordered it will make the Obeid scandal look like a game of tiddly winks. It will prove the entire system corrupt.

    The media have ignored the case so far. But if the Plaintiff wins it will not be able to ignore it. The case involves allegations that the ICAC is part of an extensive criminal confederacy to cover up Labor Party perversions of justice in the Supreme Court including judge-fixings.

    The case raises matters of the gravest public interest.

    The trial took place on the 2 April 2014. Judgment has been reserved now for over 10 months. The ICAC elected not to deny the horrendous allegations pleaded against it. Incredible, but that is what they did. This shortened the trial down from 10 months to 2 hours. Instead they elected to rely on only 3 technical defences which they agreed could be determined on the assumption the allegations pleaded in the Statement of Claim could be found to be true by the public inquiry. It was agreed by the parties that the only appropriate forum for the ultimate determination of the extremely serious allegations was the public inquiry pursuant to the ICAC Act for which the Plaintiff was seeking a writ of mandamus. The Plaintiff is also seeking orders for the inquiry to be conducted by international jurists because of the political interference with the case.

    The main defence argued by ICAC was to the effect that they had an unfettered discretion under their Act. That is they alone decided what they investigated and it did not matter why they decided not to investigate a complaint. Even bad faith in dealing with the complaint and covering it up for their political masters was apparently OK. They argued complainants under their Act were owed no duty of procedural fairness and there was nothing the Plaintiff or the court could do about it. What is very strange about this defence is the ICAC seemed to actually really believe it.

    The Plaintiff is in effect asking the Supreme Court to order a public inquiry into amongst other things allegations that the ICAC criminally and corruptly covered up judge -fixings by Labor politicians in its own Court i.e order a public inquiry into its own alleged corruption The Plaintiff asked for the Court to disqualify itself and to make special arrangements for an international jurists to hear the case. This was refused.

    We should all hope.

    • Carr stopped judge-fixing inquiry, says Waterhouse
      By Ben Hills April 4 2002

      The Premier, Bob Carr, has been accused in Supreme Court proceedings of stopping an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption into allegations of judge-fixing.

      The claim was made by solicitor Martin Waterhouse, who has been campaigning for several years for an inquiry into a case involving his mother, Patricia Hagan, the 76-year-old widow of bookmaker Charles Otto Hercules Waterhouse.
      Read more at:

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