NSW now has its third Attorney-General in the last 12 months, Craig Thomson tried the mental illness tactic in court and Andrew Bolt lost a defamation case against a barrister. All three matters are relevant to this website but don’t justify a full post so I will cover all three briefly for the Easter Post.
3 Attorney-Generals in 12 Months
Having 3 different ministers for the 1 portfolio in 12 months is a sign of a crisis and that is exactly what it is for the Attorney-General in NSW.
The new Attorney-General appointed this week is Gabrielle Upton who replaced Brad Hazzard. Mr Hazzard, who replaced Greg Smith, had only been on the role since the 23rd April 2014.
Both Brad Hazzard and Greg Smith were total failures in the role and should be investigated for criminal conduct during their respective tenures as Attorney-Generals. I have previously written about Mr Hazzard’s handiwork (Click here to read more) and also Greg Smith’s (Click here to read more)
When a government department has a regular turnover of the minister responsible it allows corruption to run rife in that department and that is what is happening in the NSW Department of Justice.
Greg Smith retired from parliament at the 2015 State Election and Brad Hazzard has taken Gabrielle Upton’s former position as Minister for Family and Community Services. It is sad to see Premier Mike Baird keeping someone so corrupt as Mr Hazzard as a minister.
It will be interesting to see how long Gabrielle Upton lasts. Obviously not long if recent history is a guide.
Former federal MP Craig Thomson’s mental illness defence
On Monday (30-3-15) in the Federal Court of Australia Craig Thomson made an application to the court that the matters against him should be dismissed because he is suffering mental health issues. The Fair Work Commission is suing Mr Thomson for stealing Health Services Union (HSU) money when he was national secretary between 2002 and 2007.
The court dismissed his application.
“After the ruling Mr Thomson said he was too mentally unwell to continue and needed to see his psychologist.”
“I have decided today on the advice of my health practitioners that if the judge wants to continue the case, I’m at risk of not being able to conduct that case and degenerating into a stage where I may take my own life,” he said.
“That is something I’m not prepared to do.” (Click here to read more)
Craig Thomson walked out of court and did not return. The case continued without him. (Click here to read more)
This is not the first time Craig Thomson has raised the prospect of suicide if matters did not go his way. In 2012 when he was still a federal politician Mr Thomson raised the issue and it was reported as per below:
“Concern has been growing for the wellbeing of Mr Thomson after he pleaded publicly yesterday for an end to his trial by the Parliament and the media.”
“Is this about trying to push someone to the brink?” he said. “Enough is enough.” (Click here to read more)
While Craig Thomson is certainly under extreme pressure this is only a civil case and he will not be going to jail. The worst case scenario is that Craig Thomson will have to declare bankruptcy which for a thief like Thomson is not such a bad outcome.
There are many criminals who genuinely suffer some type of mental illness and it should be taken into account when a judge determines what punishment they receive. But the mental illness defence is clearly being abused and it is my viewpoint that it is almost guaranteed that Craig Thomson is one of those abusing it.
Andrew Bolt loses defamation case against a Barrister
Well known News Corp blogger Andrew Bolt was successfully sued by human rights lawyer George Newhouse for defamation.
“In the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Lucy McCallum ordered a verdict for Mr Newhouse and said News Corp was to pay his legal costs.”
“The terms of the order – agreed to by both parties – requires the article to be taken down from News Corp’s various online sites. Other terms of the settlement are confidential.”
“Mr Newhouse sued over an opinion piece written by Bolt on July 10, 2014, which carried the headline “Fearmongers’ hateful fraud” in The Herald Sun.” (Click here to read more)
It is OK to drop the boot into barristers and I know because I do whenever appropriate and relevant. But had you better make sure you’re right on the money otherwise you will be in plenty of trouble. And that is why I raise the Andrew Bolt matter as it reinforces the credibility of what I have said about some barristers on this site.
A prime example is the dodgy Sydney barrister Sandy Dawson. (Click here to read more) Any barrister can and will sue if you defame them because they trade on their reputations and if they do not sue it will likely lead to a loss of business. Mr Dawson has never sued me nor will he because what I written about him is true.
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