Australian judges attack political free speech and try to cover-up judicial corruption

Three federal politicians are still under the threat of possible jail as Supreme Court of Victoria Chief Justice Marilyn Warren attacks free speech and tries to cover-up judicial bribery. On Friday the Supreme Court reserved its decision on whether or not to proceed with contempt of court charges against federal MP’s Health Minister Greg Hunt, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge and Assistant ­Treasurer Michael Sukkar.

Judicial bribery was also raised in court on Friday and implied it should not be reported in the media which is amazingly brazen in an attempt to cover-up judicial corruption.

The Supreme Court of Victoria claims that the three federal politicians have undermined the public’s confidence in the judiciary and breached the separation of powers that says we should have an independent judiciary who should be free from political interference.

But Australia has never had a true separation of powers given every judge in the country has been appointed by politicians and a lot of the judges and magistrates are political cronies.

I’m in a unique position to comment on this matter as I have also been charged with contempt of court for criticising a NSW judge and court registrar which is at a point where a Notice of a Constitutional Matter has been issued to all the Australian Attorney-Generals. (Click here to read more)

Judicial bribery

A journalist and The Australian newspaper are also potentially facing contempt charges and they were also represented in court by a barrister named Mr Houghton on Friday for the contempt of court committal hearing. Justice Weinberg asked him a question as per below:

Justice Weinberg asked Mr Houghton whether The Australian would have published a story where judges were alleged to have been bribed and corrupt.

“It would depend on the context,” he answered.

“Is that a serious answer?” the judge responded. (Click here to read more)

Why would a judge ask a question about the media reporting judicial bribery and then say, “Is that a serious answer?” when he got a response he didn’t like. Of course, the media should report judicial bribery. Fairfax Media and the ABC’s Four Corners reported in 2015 that the Australian Mafia bribed NSW judges $2.2 million. (Click here to read more) Was Justice Weinberg suggesting judicial bribery like that shouldn’t be reported? From what he said it seems so.

Background

On Tuesday (13/6/17) The Australian published a story titled “Victorian judiciary ‘light on terrorism’” which started off:

Senior ministers including a member of Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet have launched an extraordinary attack on the Victorian judiciary, claiming it was advocating lighter sentences for terrorists as part of “ideological experiments”.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has led a charge of fellow Victorian federal ministers who have blasted the Victorian court system for becoming a forum for “ideological experiments” that ignored the ­reality of the local and global ­terrorism threat.

“Comments by senior members of the Victorian courts ­endorsing and embracing shorter sentences for terrorism offences are deeply concerning — deeply concerning,” Mr Hunt told The Australian.

“The Andrews government should immediately reject such statements and sentiments.

“The state courts should not be places for ideological experiments in the face of global and local threats from Islamic extremism that has led to such tragic losses.”

The escalation in rhetoric by the federal government follows a series of sentencing decisions in Victoria involving serious and ­violent offences, and follows comments last week by the Chief Justice, Marilyn Warren, presiding over an appeal by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions against a 7½-year non-parole sentence imposed last year on Anzac Day plotter Sevdet Ramadan Besim.

Besim pleaded guilty to an act in preparation of planning a terrorist attack in 2015, in which he would run down and behead a police officer, an offence that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. (Click here to read more)

The story also had the below picture.

The judges claim a lot of what was reported in The Australian article regarding what the judges said in court was taken out of context and misleading which The Australian did not dispute in court on Friday.

Supreme Court of Victoria threaten charges

The following day on Wednesday (14/6/17) it was reported:

Three senior Turnbull government ministers will be hauled before the Supreme Court of Victoria to explain why they should not be charged with contempt after accusing the judiciary of advocating softer sentences for terrorists.

In an explosive development, the Supreme Court has ordered Health Minister Greg Hunt, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar and Human Services Minister Alan Tudge to appear on Friday “to make any submissions as to why they should not be referred for prosecution for contempt”.

A letter from Judicial Registrar Ian Irving obtained by Fairfax Media says comments by the three ministers published in the The Australian accusing the judiciary of going soft on terrorists would appear to bring the court into disrepute.

“The attributed statements were published whilst the judgements of the Court of Appeal were reserved,” the letter says. (Click here to read more)

The same thing happened to me in February when Justice Robert Beech-Jones wanted me to go to court and argue why I shouldn’t be charged with contempt for criticising judges and a court registrar. Justice Beech-Jones also put a dodgy suppression order on elements of the matter so I could not name 2 judges and the registrar and say what I said which I breached and wrote a story about it. (Click here to read more) This is relevant because Justice Robert Beech-Jones has publicly attacked the three federal politicians:

Justice Robert Beech-Jones, president of the Judicial Conference of Australia which represents judges and magistrates, said the comments were a slur on the Victorian judiciary.

Justice Beech-Jones warned the comments threatened to undermine public confidence in the courts.

“The statements attributed to the ministers are deeply troubling. They represent a threat to the rule of law. They should never have been made,” he said on Tuesday. (Click here to read more)

Justice Beech-Jones has prejudged the 3 MP’s. I wonder of Justice Beech-Jones will now be charged with contempt?

Supreme Court Hearing – Friday 16/6/17

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Victoria had a committal hearing to determine whether or not the 3 federal MP’s should be charged. The hearing was heard by the 3 judges who also heard one of the cases that the MP’s were accused of trying to influence. You can watch a video of it on the court’s website. (Click here to watch the video)

Justice Mark Weinberg, Chief Justice Marilyn Warren and Justice Stephen Kaye

.

The judges reserved their decision and no time frame was given for when a judgment would be given. From watching the video of the hearing, I was left with the impression that the judges will decide to have the 3 MP’s charged with contempt. The MP’s withdrew their statements but refused to apologise:

Three Turnbull government ministers have refused to apologise for their statements that put Victoria’s highest court in an “embarrassing and invidious” position.

Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue, QC, representing Health Minister Greg Hunt, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge and Assistant ­Treasurer Michael Sukkar, told a packed Supreme Court that the ministers regret their statements, but will not apologise for them.

This week, Mr Hunt accused the Victorian legal system of becoming a forum for “ideological experiments” as the Court of Appeal considered a federal prosecutor’s appeal over the sentence of convicted terrorist Sevdet Ramadan Besim.

The three Victorian ministers – all qualified lawyers – face being charged with contempt of court for their public comments, which were made before the Court of Appeal had announced its ruling on the appeals of Besim and another teenager jailed for terrorism offences known as MHK.

Those convicted of contempt of court face fines and potential jail terms. 

Mr Sukkar told The Australian newspaper the judiciary should focus more on victims and less on terrorists’ rights, while Mr Tudge said some judges were “divorced from reality”. (Click here to read more)

Concerns that if the MP’s are charged and found guilty they will have to resign which would cause a constitutional crisis

There are some concerns that if the 3 MP’s are charged and found guilty they will have to resign.

Senior government sources have confirmed if convicted there are fears the MPs could be ineligible to sit in Parliament, meaning the government would lose its one seat majority.

This is due to Section 44 of the Constitution, which precludes anyone who is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer from remaining as an MP. (Click here to read more)

For whatever reason most of the media seem to have gone quiet on the issue. Maybe they are too scared to upset the judges.

If the three MP’s are charged and the court could keep the focus solely on the allegation that the MP’s tried to influence the court’s 2 cases where the judgments had been reserved then there might be some argument that MP’s had been in contempt of court.

But I have no doubt that if the 3 MP’s are charged with contempt then the whole situation will spill out into the wider issues of systemic judicial corruption and the failings of the courts in Australia and that’s where it becomes very dangerous for all the corrupt judges.

It is because of the wider judicial problems that I believe the MP’s should not be charged with contempt and that we all have the right to criticise judges at any time during a court case because the judges are not being kept accountable as it currently stands.

We need a Royal Commission into the Australian judiciary for corruption and their failings. We don’t need to waste money on having politicians charged with contempt for voicing legitimate opinions.

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34 Comments on “Australian judges attack political free speech and try to cover-up judicial corruption”

  1. Jaquix June 18, 2017 at 1:47 am #

    I think these 3 ministers made those comments purely on an ideological basis themselves. Theyve been ramping up the political rhetoric against Premier Daniel Andrews because there is a State election coming up and they’re trying to discredit him.

    • Alex Kennedy June 18, 2017 at 9:11 am #

      How can you further discredit a totally discredited premier?

      • saxon June 18, 2017 at 10:25 am #

        Hear hear! Andews is nothing more than a union stooge, he has compromised the financial integerity of the state with reckless decisions eg cancelling east west link which cost us billions.

    • Paul June 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

      Mr Andrews is doing a fine job of that without any help.

    • Daveyboy June 23, 2017 at 8:10 pm #

      Yup but what about Rob Hulls appointing over 100 judges on a Political basis during his reign including these thin skinned individuals. I am very skeptical of any Party but what Hulls did was reprehensible and crossed the line IMO. Victorians cowering in locked bedrooms reap the benefits of his thought bubble while he escapes unscathed or unaccountable. You seem to forget that…

  2. ohdeah June 18, 2017 at 5:47 am #

    Weak sentences every day in crime Victoria – some criminals are not even given a sentence and Victoria is sick to death of the people who sit on our benches. This complaint by the Judges against the politicians is farcical – Andrews wont do anything about it as he has done nothing in the past about our crime. Pulling straws once again the Judges on our benches.

    • Hayden Bradford June 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

      If you’re concerned about crime in Victoria, join us. Facebook group Protect Victoria. Security and safety forums planned. A rally to occur.

  3. jamesofcoffsjamesofcoffs June 18, 2017 at 6:34 am #

    The Australian court system has been politicised for years and more so since the Whitlam years when blatant legal appointments were made. It has become the home for politicians of mediocrity and political favours.
    There is no justice in this country unless you have a pocket full of money and friends in the right places. That is a common place comment of our court system in this country.
    Judges are in place to implement the laws of our parliaments not to interpret them in a way which gives political favour to those who break the law. It is the victim who should be considered not the perpetrator. Migrants adopt our laws not the laws of a medieval world.

  4. A.H. van Herp June 18, 2017 at 8:03 am #

    Of course the Federal politicians are right.

    Whenever I watch the news I am amazed at the lax policies regarding bail and parole.

    It is not confined to Victoria as the Lindt cafe siege proves.

    The politicians have my sympathy.

    In the 1970’s I was approached by a court registrar for a $300.00 bribe. I told him to pay it himself.

  5. Bill Grassick June 18, 2017 at 9:35 am #

    Maybe it is time to amend the Constitution – set fixed terms for Judges first, and second ensure that every appointee be first approved by the Police Forces in the respective jurisdiction! Might actually get some responsible decisions both ways!

  6. saxon June 18, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    Our judicial system is rotten to the core with light sentencing for criminals lax bail conditions all backed by weak governments.

  7. Jonde June 18, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    What is the point of amending The Constitution when it is ignored due to the entities involved having an ABN, Australian Business Number.
    Commonwealth Of Australia is not what the general public think it is.

    Further details may prejudice (as a verb: 2 [Law]) information on this site.

    • Brian Hay June 18, 2017 at 11:05 am #

      Very good comment.
      ASIC, the ACCC and the ATO openly allow Organised Crime to flourish – plenty of proof of complete failures of these departments.
      Just look up the 3 billion lost each year to companies that PHOENIX themselves.
      Report people who PHOENIX company after company for a decade and not one of these agencies acts to go after the ORGANISED CRIME SYNDICATES openly raping the system.
      So although the judicial system is broken there are also no Government Agencies that are not seriously tainted by either corruption or gross negligence.
      The problems at the ATO over the latest $130 million dollar PHOENIXING scam is the absolute tip of the iceberg and is hidden by lies from the ATO and Federal Politicians.
      Corruption is rampant in our STATUTORY bodies as they are 100% unaccountable. They just lie to our Federal Politicians who are either too dumb or too lazy to hold them to account.

  8. Brian Hay June 18, 2017 at 10:32 am #

    Anyone who has had to deal with the judicial system in Victoria would be extremely aware of the failings. Organised Crime and terrorists flock to Victoria.
    It is not just the judiciary – most Government Departments openly allow serious ORGANISED CRIME to flourish and never take action.

  9. Penguinite June 18, 2017 at 11:58 am #

    Great timing for KC? Could set a precedent?

  10. Andrew June 18, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    For Mr. Tudge to suggest some judges “are divorced from reality” mocks himself and his incompetent handling of his portfolio with the Centrelink robodebt debacle.

  11. Shane Dowling June 18, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    In Nationwide News Pty Ltd v. Wills, Mason CJ described scandalising as a ‘well recognised form of criminal contempt’ (at para 21) but suggested there was no contempt at common law ‘if all that the defendant does is to exercise his or her ordinary right to criticise, in good faith, the conduct of the court or the judge’ (at para 21).

    He stated the judiciary should be open to criticism and cited US Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black stating in Bridges v. California in 1941:

    The assumption that respect for the judiciary can be won by shielding judges from published criticism wrongly appraises the character of American public opinion. … an enforced silence, however limited, solely in the name of preserving the dignity of the bench, would probably engender resentment, suspicion, and contempt much more than it would enhance respect (pp. 270-271).

    NATIONWIDE NEWS PTY. LIMITED v. WILLS [1992] HCA 46; http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1992/46.html

  12. Arthur Tuckerman June 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm #

    Given these Parliamentarians have hit a nerve over comments that resonate with a large number of citizens it`s a pity they chose this point in time to air home truths when some of the comments relate to an appeal that is currently being considered by the Court.

    In Victoria the Chief Justice previously responded publicly when the the heat has been applied and accused media and the public of being “not aware of the facts” relating to judgement and sentencing. I`m yet to see the good Chief Justice address this shortcoming so we can all be more well informed.

    Will be interesting to see if the Court has the courage to apply other than a slap on the wrist, for the last thing they want is to focus public attention on their ‘ivory tower’ existence. I like the post by H Bradford, perhaps a rally on the steps of State Parliament is the only way these members of the Judiciary will get the message. Another bonus Shane is more publicity for your campaign.

    • john ward June 27, 2017 at 5:23 am #

      well OK. Who is going to organise the rally? I’m happy to help but won’t be able to attend because I’m out of our country until November. If we can organise rolling rallies in every state over the next 6 months count me in.

  13. gavin June 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm #

    Failed pollies, loony lawyers, out of touch magistrates can all be found at the bottom of the garden talking garbage with the fairies. Unfortunately many talk garbage prior to getting to the he bottom of the garden for which we all suffer.

  14. Shane Dowling June 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

    “You can’t publish stories accusing judges of taking bribes and corruption” says Justice Mark Weinberg to News Corp’s barrister at the committal hearing for the 3 federal MP’s facing possible contempt charges 16-6-17. Why not? What makes judges so special that they’re above the law and the media can’t report on their crimes?

  15. lawyersorgraverobbers June 19, 2017 at 11:07 am #

    With all due respect! Anyone who has analysed the Victorian Justice System knows it requires a demolition order and then a rebuild based upon the principles of a culture of Truth Trust and Transparency founded upon Quality Control Systems that make the professional participants accountable for their actions. For the Judiciary to claim that the statements by the three Federal MP`S have bought the court into disrepute is a farcical statement as the disrepute already exists within the eyes of the public through the failure of the whole legal profession to get it`s act together and become accountable to the Australian community, a community who pays for their existence,a community who they should be accountable to and who they should serve.

    • john ward June 27, 2017 at 5:25 am #

      Absolutely true. So what are WE the people gong to do about it??

  16. Mr G.H. Schorel-Hlavka O.W.B. June 19, 2017 at 11:38 am #

    I didn’t know (until I just read your post) what had eventuated on Friday as I do not watch television. However I did submit to the Chief Justice Marilyn Warren (AC) CJ of the Victorian Supreme Court of Victoria a 62 page statement “Amicus Curiae” regarding FREEDOM OF SPEECH and gave numerous examples over about 30 odd years of I view inappropriate conduct by courts/tribunals. It includes, naturally, my spelling and grammatical errors of my self -professed crummy English!
    Is the court so to say kicking in its own goal with a deemed CONTEMPT OF COURT?

    The document can be downloaded from:
    https://www.scribd.com/document/351600951/20170618-G-H-Schorel-Hlavka-O-W-B-to-Marilyn-Warren-AC-CJ-Ors
    You may find it very interesting reading and perhaps even the Western Australia newspaper lawyers might consider this in any possible next appearance to raise?

  17. Bill Grassick June 19, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    The ivory towers are clearly weakening under the spotlight! And all the august pole sitters are getting very worried!
    On a personal note, I always believed it was only God who is always right – our judges clearly see themselves as Gods also!

  18. Jonde June 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    When judges begin verbally bullying the people they accuse of wrongdoing when there is no wrongdoing they are themselves guily of wrongdoing by trying to enforce a law which does not exist, therefore they are breaking an existing law which they swore to uphold.

    ” J’accuse…! ” (from 13 January 1898, has a very powerful meaning)

  19. Joe Zidar June 20, 2017 at 11:41 pm #

    As an independent observer, I do not envisage that three Politicians are going to be allowed to derail the government. I am curious as to how they will avoid “contempt charges”, but one thing is certain, the so called “Separation of Powers” between the Judiciary and the Government will certainly be tested. Let’s see how these honourable teflon officials maintain an unblemished criminal record.

    • David September 1, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

      The money behind them will free them and probably already has

  20. It's a JOKE June 27, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Start a Petition

    • Joe Zidar June 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

      Petition’s don’t really do much..

      Protest may drive some media
      interest though 😜

      Happy to partake given the right setting 👍

  21. David September 1, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

    The whole court system and police are corrupt. They love lies as they make heaps of money out of them. The courts don’t want people to show the truth, I have gone thru trying to bring in a lie detector test result thru the courts and I know the real reason why they don’t allow them is because the truth will be exposed. Shame on the corrupt pugs, lawyers and judges

    • Shane Dowling October 1, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

      the police might have good and bad as whole of society but they are as much victims as the public it is the courts and gov who dictate things unfortunately they use the police they want us to hate the police and the police to hate us.the police just do the job there ordered by superiors it is the courts who jail our kids and gov who orchestrates our society and the courts.shanes mum btw

      • lawyersorgraverobbers October 1, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

        Hi Shane I think of you and I remember a book I was forced to read at high school, Darkness at Noon. It is about a person imprisoned by Stalin.

        Until the Legal profession are bought to account by the citizens of Australia and forced to respect our families and our communities the courts and those that hold the reigns of this demented creature will continue to commit their atrocities upon us normal every day human beings. Good to hear from you.

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