Attorney General Senator George Brandis SC

Australian KCA blogger found guilty of the crime of journalism by NSW Supreme Court. Free speech under attack

Supreme Court of NSW Acting Justice Nicholas has made a finding that I am in contempt of court for the crime of journalism and also for making a complaint of criminal conduct about Justice Ian Harrison. I made the complaint via email to Chief Justice Bathurst, the then Attorney-General Greg Smith and Federal Police Commissioner Tony Negus and others. According to Justice Nicholas’s judgement if you make a complaint about a crime you yourself could be committing a crime and in this matter I am guilty says Nicholas.

I have seen many dodgy judgements and plenty of judicial corruption but this one takes the cake for its absolute stupidity. I have written to Premier Mike Baird and the Attorney-General Hazzard and said:

“As all judges know given the 2004 High Court precedent of Coleman v Power no laws can stop people exercising their constitutionally protected rights to political communication. This is not just an attack on political communication but an attack of free speech as a whole.”  (Click here to read the email to Premier Mike Baird)

The key part of the judgement is at section (1) (3) where it in effect says that I am in contempt of court because of: “an email to the Chief Justice of New South Wales and other persons. (A copy of which is annexure C to these reasons).”

(Click here to read the judgement) and (Click here to read the attachments)


Kerry Stokes sued me for defamation in April which is still afoot and went to court Ex parte (without my knowledge) and had Justice Harrison put a suppression order on it so I could not tell anyone that I was being sued. I wrote an email of complaint to the Chief Justice, A-G and police etc as it was very dodgy which I was right because the suppression order lasted only two days.

Justice Harrison said he put the suppression order on to protect my reputation. Stokes lawyers argued that a suppression order was needed because I had previously disobeyed an instruction by Stokes in 2011 not to publish a threatening letter from his lawyers. Either way a suppression order was not justified.

I also did a post on this site letting people know I was being sued and sent a tweet on Twitter on the same day but they are covered by Qualified Privilege (your right to political communication) as well. That is the crime of journalism so Stokes says. The email is clearly political communication as it is complaining about judicial corruption and was sent to the Chief Justice, Attorney-General, federal police and the Office of the legal Services Commissioner who investigate complaints against lawyers. (Click here to read the email to Chief Justice Bathurst and others)

I took the action I did because it was clearly dodgy what was happening. Ex parte hearings (only one party is in court with the knowledge of the other party) are only meant to happen in extreme situations and suppression orders are pretty much the same. Stokes or his lawyers or the court has ever been able to justify what happened. So given I write about judicial corruption I thought it might be a set-up of some sort and I wanted people to know what was happening in case something went wrong and I never got another chance. In hindsight I did the right thing as I have no doubt that Justice Harrison would have corruptly extended the suppression order otherwise. Stokes’s barrister Sandy Dawson were arguing for the suppression order to be extended permanently.

Judgement of Acting Justice Nicholas

Justice Nicholas lied all over the place in the judgement and ignored the submissions I put forward in regards to Coleman v Power. For example he said at paragraph 15: “The defendant did not file and serve any evidence as directed, and adduced no admissible evidence at the hearing.” That’s a lie as I filed 2 affidavits but is doesn’t matter what evidence I filed as there was a clear precedent that supported my case and that was Colemen v Power. For a list of some of the dodgy things that Nicholas did during the hearing read my post from last week. (Click here to read)

Justice Nicholas knew what he was doing because he was one the barristers in the 2004 High Court precedent Lange v ABC which set what is known as the Lange test which in effect makes laws invalid if they are an unconstitutional restriction on political communication. It is one of the precedents that Coleman v Power relies on. A suppression order stopping me from sending an email complaining about the suppression order to the relevant authorities clearly is political communication and makes the suppression order invalid in that situation. The courts do not like this fact because they love their suppression orders to cover-up what they do.

Click here for the Lange v ABC judgement and you can see where it says: “W H Nicholas QC intervening on behalf of Nationwide News Pty Ltd (instructed by Gallagher de Reszke)”

Suppression orders and Ex parte hearings are 2 of the key tools used by corrupt judicial officers and that needed to be protected by acting Justice Nicholas. This has not gone unnoticed by others and at the recent “Open and Shut” workshop held jointly by the Rule of Law Institute of Australia (RoLIA) and the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at UTS, in a paper titled “OPEN COURTS: WHO GUARDS THE GUARDIANS?” is says:

Justice Gibbs (as he then was) stated:

This rule has the virtue that the proceedings of every court are fully exposed to public and professional scrutiny and criticism, without which abuses may flourish undetected.

and: Publicity is the very soul of justice… it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. (Click here to read more)

And flourish the abuses do in the Supreme Court of NSW. This site writes about judicial corruption and will always struggle to get a true and just judgement in the courts. But it is not only this site that struggles for justice in the courts as many readers know from their own personal experience.

Kerry Stokes – The man who wants to steal your constitutional rights

Kerry Stokes’s lawyer Richard Keegan told me on the phone today that Stokes wants me punished and he will be pushing for jail time or a fine for me. The contempt proceedings are still to be given a time and date for sentencing but that only happens if Stokes wants to for some reason. (See paragraph 31 of the judgement) It looks like Stokes is now running the courts. I should know when soon and will update this post when I do. This of course is happening with the full support of Chief Justice Tom Bathurst.

Stokes clearly has serious issues if he thinks he is above us all and we should all bow to him. The only things Kerry Stokes has achieved so far is to:

1. Drag himself right into the heart of the corruption going on in the Supreme Court of NSW.

2. Pour money down the drain on his legal fees unless of course he has Channel 7 paying for them which he probably has and

3. He is now a party to what will go down in history as one of the dumbest and most corrupted judgements any court anywhere has ever seen. When there is a Royal Commission into the judiciary one of the first witnesses to be called should be Stokes.

The picture on this post is NSW Premier Mike Baird. He is only new in the job but needs to step up and take responsibility for solving this issue as people are sick of corruption and their rights being undermined. It also sets a precedent that affects all Australians not just me and the government of the day has a responsibility to take action to protect our rights.

How can communication with the Chief Justice of any court on any matter be in contempt of court? It is scandalous for Justice Nicholas and for Chief Justice Bathurst that Nicholas has made such a decision. Worse still is that communication also went to the Attorney-General and the federal police. Is reporting a crime to the police now also a crime? What sort or fool is Nicholas? Nicholas leaves as a judge next week which probably helps explain why Chief Justice Bathurst gave him the case in the first place. No other judge wanted to get their hands dirty.

Update 29/7/14: Sentencing / penalty hearing is set down for 9.30am on Thursday the 31st July 2014

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34 replies »

  1. And in the Supreme Court’s bicentenary year, let us fittingly hark back to 1814 and the first judge of the court, the aptly surnamed Jeffery Bent, who “…arrived in Sydney by boat on 28 July 1814 with great expectations. Governor Lachlan Macquarie had high hopes for Bent. However, Bent refused to come ashore until he was honoured with a salute appropriate to his status. Macquarie authorised an appropriate salute with gunfire and Bent disembarked. Bent was subsequently sworn in as a judge on 12 August 1814.” And there begins the ill-illustrious history of the Supreme Court of NSW. Alas…

  2. Does this mean you have to pack a toothbrush?

    or are you going to Appeal? Not that will do you any good, cause you’re going to get the same garbage dished out.

    After that are you going to try your luck in the High Court? I don’t think that will get you out of the clink either.

    Speaking from experience, except there was no clink factor.

    Good luck!

  3. R.I.P Free Speech in Australia, now I wonder how they would feel if the Worlds Bloggers came to your aid and started Blogging about Australian Corruption from every corner of the Globe..??

  4. Is it of any significance that your website is hosted and published in the USA, and hence not within the region specified or jurisdiction of the court as stated in “7a. applies throughout the Commonwealth”?

    I hope I’m right in this, I know I am correct about where the site is hosted and published, and that is easily checked.

  5. The judgement indicated that you didn’t file any material, as was ordered. Very strange to me.

    8 Grounds for making an order

    (1) A court may make a suppression order or non-publication order on one or more of the following grounds:
    (a) the order is necessary to prevent prejudice to the proper administration of justice,

    what on earth has this to do with the interim claim as the publication by the accused hardly could have harmed the defendant.
    It is one thing where Derryn Hinch published the name of the accused priest and by this a case can be aborted, but not if the defendant himself publish the material.
    In my view this should have been argued in written submission that the publication could neither harm the Defendant or the plaintiff.

  6. People what are you saying here give up ? visit Shane in Jail ? What will it Take for persons to act ,there’s no doubt this is a Disgraceful Decision ,but to suggest it might mean pack a toothbrush and the High Court will not help is a Big Copout instead we Should be at the very least be offering some Positive Moral Support shouldn’t we ? .

    Take Another Judge for example Garry Neilson who recently said During a court case I believe that ” Child Rape and Incest is Not such a Taboo these Days ” Currently a Petition on Change .org . What we really need are Common Law Courts run by the people for the people , and for these Judges or at least 98a% OF them tried and Jailed for Life For Fraud Deception Treason Pervert the Course of Justice and then some Wake up Australia Do You Have Children Grandchildren Or Rights ? or the Courage to Stand for what is right and just ! Maybe another Petition is in order here too ?

    • So….start one! I’m sure we will all sign it! I know I would like to be one of the first. It is beyond a disgrace that the upper echelon (!) of our “justice” system have so many corrupt members. Thank Heaven for Shane Dowling and his straight talking. Good luck to you Shane – I hope you realise how many followers and admirers you have.

  7. You HAVE to appeal. If the conviction is overturned you will get compensation. If not overturned, take it to the High Court. You will win in the end. If you give up now, all of your toil has been in vain.

    • Mike
      If the judges are like the ones in QLD, Shane has buckley’s chance and by what he has been writing.
      This garbage is bigger than anyone thinks and systemic, I don’t know where the solution lies and if an RC is called, you have judges judging judges.

  8. Hi Shane, I don’t understand the technical or legal issues here but the law is clearly wrong and I’m damned if I can see how you have done anything wrong. Stuff the courts as they are loopy at best and who knows what at worst. It’s time for a trial by media and the public should be informed of just how ridiculous this issue has become. And Channel SEVEN is not needed for that. Get the word out.

    Regards, Warren Olsen

  9. Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of the Judges

  10. I can’t believe this verdict Shane! Let’s get everyone on KCA to vent our spleen to the mass media….this is just not right mate…..where do we live…..Australia or Russia? I am beginning to wonder. Appeal the verdict and take it as high as you can….we will support you Shane.

  11. I hope the Communication Minister’s Office is following this, maybe Stokes is the sort of person they want holding a commercial TV license because his behaviour in this raises serious questions about his suitability.

  12. So if I make a complaint about a judge to another judge I am breaking the law? If I stand up in court and say that I think the procedure is unfair I am breaking the law? Is this what justice in NSW has become? Thoroughly ashamed of the whole procedure. You must appeal this stupid verdict.

  13. Hi Shane lad I am so sorry you lost out I am in no position to offer suggestions on how to deal with this ….. when I read your letter I genuinely felt a pain in my chest as I realised it is just one more example of a corrupt justice system is there anyone in the political arena I could forward your letter on to i.e. Clive Palmer etc..? I have already passed this letter on to my friends among them some very disgruntled doctors and police the latter complain often about the way the system is run grrrrr!!! and the way the perpetrators get off so light then once in prison they live better than us oldies.

    I am going to be writing again to the labor party with a complaint re Bill Shorten for someone like myself who has suffered in this way it is like a slap in the face to us who have been through the mill….. nothing short of him standing down is good enough Take care lad this is going to you with out Kevin seeing it as he is not here hopefully I have not overstepped the line or made to many mistakes. Kind regards, Patti Ps: why the colour next to people who reply to your news letters? is it coding?

  14. And people like that have the audacity to criticize the judicial system in countries like China, Indonesia, Russia etc. They are certainly not better, quite likely even worse.
    I think it comes down to the ridiculous system judges are appointed in this country.

  15. Shocking decision, Shane, Not a bad idea to start a petition on Change org, I have signed a few petitions on there.
    We have only got to look at what is coming up in the Royal Commission and also because of the happenings in this country during the last six years, we have seen with our own eyes, what one is able to achieve due to corruption and it is certainly in the Judiciary.

    It is in most of the verdicts being brought down, so you have my support.

    Kerry Stokes, should be careful, as indeed he holds the license for Channel 7, but then
    money talks louder than anything else.

    The thing is, why does he have it in for you, that he wants you in jail, surely this is becoming ridiculous, you are a journalist doing a job and write it as you see it, that is not a crime to have to go to jail for. You did not even go close to 18C.

    Shane I hope you have the means to fight this, we need you here on this blog.

    I’ll help. although I am not in a position to do a lot, you are welcome to the bit I will send you.
    You need a lot of support and good luck, I will send this to as many people as possible.

  16. Shane is correct and most of the Bloggers are correct. That is to say “the systems here in Australia are Stuffed”. Some bloggers have mentioned “a people’s court” and “trial by Jury”…of course once Gillard slammed the door on that avenue, and the British Parliament slammed the door on Aussies taking their appeal from Australian Courts to the Privy Court it declared Australians shut off from JUSTICE.
    ‘Royal commissions’ as one blogger mentioned are purely ‘mates trialling mates’ so that avenue has shut the doors and remember it was Quentin Bryce who publicly stated some years back “we must stop conducting these royal commission as it names too many Ministers” leaving the power to commence a Royal Commission completely at the discretion of the PM that would be the same person who is appointing Judges.
    I think you get my drift. It is time to take matters outside the boundaries.
    Is it not our right to be involved in the government of the day?
    One group has taken Howard on in the ICC. War Crimes. The dates on their correspondence is open at 2014. WE hasten to add that it is not just about War Crimes. Crimes Against Humanity covers ever single Human Right ever written. It all falls under the Statute of Rome and the Criminal Code as well as the Civil and Political Rights held at UN. (there are others but I have just named the major ones here) The ICC hears matters against the Individuals not the state. No matter what position of power they hold.
    Our point of frustration is thus; way too many are complaining but no action has and will achieve very much. Signing petition to be handed directly back to the criminals is not logical thinking. People need to get serious about all this injustice.
    And Yes Supporting people in court is imperative. I am not sure but it sounds as if Shane went into a court room alone…No braver man than he ….

  17. Shane, if this problem is over the story of channel 7 and the Corby family, why are you in trouble? Every newspaper, news channel and other media forms, had the story. Are they all going to be charged?

  18. Shane,
    I think the entire political and judicial system is totally corrupt in N.S.W. and Q.L.D. My reasoning is just to have a look at the current inquiries and Royal Commission and see the scalps being taken from both sides of the political spectrum. Those who think they are above the law should be aware; because I think the people in general are jack of being taken for granted and fed the B/S line ‘Its for your good’. Listen your corrupt bastards…WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

    • It’s definitely corrupt in QLD.

      I had a lawyer in QLD who was obviously working for the opposition. He actually told me to ignore advice from the governing federal body who told me I had a good case. He also failed to detail the very close relationship he had with the other side (detailed now online).

      He was instrumental in covering up QLD government corruption, so surprise surprise, a few years later I see he’s now a judge. That’s how you get appointed to the judiciary in QLD.

      The courts in QLD are pretty brazen too. I requested tapes for one hearing. They stuffed around for several months and eventually what I got wasn’t tapes but transcripts. Those transcripts had obviously and even clumsily been doctored. Whoever doctored them even missed a line – leaving the magistrate saying something which makes no sense in relation to what preceded it in the transcript because it referred to what they had edited out.

      Further requests for the tapes were, of course, denied.

      What’s the point of even turning up for hearings if they’re just going to tamper with testimony after the fact?

  19. Weren’t these proceedings started without your knowledge? It’s a basic human right to know when legal proceedings have started against you. If you were denied that then there would have to be grounds for appeal.

  20. The whole system is rotten to the core. It needs the full flush treatment. More and more people are waking up to this. Keep attacking Shane.

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