Chief Justice Tom Bathurst

Journalist Shane Dowling to be sentenced to possible jail for criticizing a judge and Registrar Christopher Bradford

I will be sentenced on Wednesday the 22nd of August and possibly jailed for contempt of court for saying something in court that was critical of a Supreme Court of NSW judge and Registrar Christopher Bradford. I cannot say what I said as there is a suppression order and bail conditions stopping me from doing so.

At the sentencing hearing on Friday (17/8/18) Justice Helen Wilson flagged the possibility that I will be sentenced to jail and directed me to show up Wednesday (22/8/18) prepared for jail.

No matter what happens on Wednesday we have had a win because the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions have in effect given approval to the email I sent to the court in September 2016 and the article I published a few days later about judical corruption by withdrawing the police charge in March this year. That I regard as a good win for free speech and political communication and our rights to communicate issues regarding judicial corruption. (Click here to read more)

What I can repeat is the limited amount of information that is in published judgements on the matter. Justice Wilson put a suppression order on her judgment in August 2017.


In February 2017 I said something in court critical of Register Bradford and a judge. Contempt proceedings were instituted and there was a hearing on the 4th May 2017. A judgment was handed down on the 3rd of August finding me guilty of contempt of court for what I said and also for breaching suppression orders by publishing an article and details of what I said in court.

I was meant to sentenced a couple of months ago but it was delayed. I published an article titled “Chief Justice Tom Bathurst has dodgy suppression orders continued in contempt case against journalist Shane Dowling” on the 6th of June and said:

In August 2017 I was found guilty of contempt of court for something I said in court on the 3rd of February 2017 in what the evidence now shows was always a back-up plan in case a malicious police charge against me failed. The police charge has failed as the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew the police charge on the 28th March 2018.

I’m scheduled to be sentenced next month for the contempt charge and for breaching the suppression orders put on the details of the contempt charge and Justice Helen Wilson has said words to the effect that there is a fair chance she will give me jail time.

What I said and against who was meant to have suppression orders on it and Monday last week (28-5-18) I tried to have the suppression orders lifted but the duty judge Justice Julia Lonergan refused. This has become scandalous as recently I found out that some of the details of my contempt charges that I thought were suppressed were actually published by Justice Robert Beech-Jones in February 2017. This included naming Registrar Christopher Bradford but for some reason the name of the judge is still suppressed. (Click here to read the full article)

I argued at the hearing that what I said was covered by the implied freedom of political communication as in the Australian Constitution as per High Court of Australia 1997 judgment Lange v ABC.

I have since come across other precedents that support my argument that criticism of judges is covered by the implied freedom of political communication which are:

The 2001 judgment of Jelena Popovic v Herald and Weekly Times Ltd and Andrew Bolt which related to Victorian Magistrate Jelena Popovic suing Andrew Bolt for an article he wrote about her in effect accusing her of being corrupt. Bolt lost the case but the trial Judge (Bongiorno J) found that communication accusing a judicial officer of criminal or corrupt conduct that could lead to their dismissal was protected as political communication. (Click here to read the full judgment) The trial judge also quoted 2 former High Court judges in their 1992 judgment of Nationwide News Pty Ltd v Wills (HCA) at paragraph 16:

16. Deane and Toohey JJ pointed out that the implication of freedom of communication operates at two levels. The first level of communication and discussion is between the represented and their representatives (amongst whom they include not only Parliament and its members but also ” . . . other Commonwealth instrumentalities and institutions . . .”). The second level at which their Honours considered the implication of freedom of communication and discussion operates is at the level of communication between the people of the Commonwealth. They explain this aspect of the implied freedom as being a freedom to communicate:-

“. . . information, opinions and ideas about all aspects of the Government of the Commonwealth, including the qualifications, conduct and performance of those entrusted (or who seek to be entrusted) with the exercise of any part of the legislative, executive or judicial powers of government which are ultimately derived from the people themselves [10].”

Their Honours included the exercise of judicial power as being one of the subjects in respect of which the implied freedom operated. (Click here to read the full judgment)

The Popovic v Bolt matter was appealed which he also lost but one of the appeal judges (Justice Gillard) agreed with the trial judge and another (Justice Winneke) said the Bolt case was not about political communication but went on to say at paragraph 10:

10. That does not mean that there can never be a discussion about a judicial officer which will, or might, be relevant to the system of representative and responsible government. It is not difficult to conceive of circumstances where discussion of the character and/or conduct (whether in or out of court) of a judicial officer is capable of amounting to a discussion on government or political matters in the relevant sense. (Click here to read the judgment)

The key part is (whether in or out of court) which means you should be able to criticise a judge just as freely inside the court as outside and that is the way it should be. I only came across the Jelena Popovic v Andrew Bolt precedent this year and I used it at the sentencing hearing on Friday.

It’s worth noting that the prosecution barrister David Kell who is obliged under the Barrister Rules, which is a Barrister’s ethics code, to inform the court of any precedent that they are aware of that refutes their own arguments and David Kell did not inform the court of the Popovic v Bolt precedent. Nor did David Kell inform the court of paragraph 16 of the Nationwide News Pty Ltd v Wills (HCA) precedent where High Court judges Deane and Toohey JJ said criticism of judges is protected as political communication as per the Lange v ABC precedent.

If I get jail time, make no mistake, I’ll be a political prisoner and I’ll do my best to drive the issue further. They can’t jail everyone although they would if they could.

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27 replies »

  1. F**king disgusting. So much for freedom of speech and “justice” in this bloody down the tubes country!! Makes me sick. Hang in there Shane and let’s hope there is still a glimmer of justice in what used to be “our” country!

  2. Good on you Shane! you’ve now got ’em running for cover. They can run but they can’t hide from the cover that they’re getting in the ‘press’. Keep the ‘squeeze’ on ’em all if you can!

  3. I love your tenacity in these matters, your courage to speak out when needed .Love your posts and all the best for Wednesday.

  4. Only saying what we’d all like to say, I’m sure. Let it be known, the judicial system is on notice. The Devil has their souls, God has our backs!

  5. Well Shane, you fought the good fight and like Tommy Robinson the deep state will get their pound of flesh. They can’t have ‘citizens’ questioning the authority of the judiciary, corrupt or otherwise…that would never do.

  6. Can judges be guilty of ‘contempt of court’? In my case, I initiated a court case, but twice it was conducted in my absence because I wasn`t notified. If a judge is convicted of a criminal offense (and there have been a few of them), is he also guilty of ‘contempt of court’? A dodgy area maintained by the legal profession for self-protection. Meanwhile the list of disbarred solicitors and barristers grows.

  7. The Judicial System within Australia was formed from a construct of the abuse of power, Terra Nullius. It has no respect for family or Community. The ultimate abuse within this culture is the sexual abuse of children. The abuser has all the power and the child is powerless. When a person stands up against that culture of abuse one challenges their very structure. Their castle formed of sand and built on stolen land.
    The Judicial system is feeling threatened and as with any animal in a state of fright can be prone to act irrationally. It is very much in a state of have to defend itself instead of looking rationally at what is occurring.

    Stand your ground Shane Read the story of David and Goliath before you go into their cave.

    The more people who can turn up and sit in the court the better because they are intimidated by the appearance of the public face as with the child abusers they like to do their dirty business out of the sight of others.

    The more people who are in Sydney who can turn up on Wednesday the 22nd of August the better.
    I suggest you inform people of the address, time and which court as they make all of that intentionally very hard to find.

  8. It seems to me to be a case of change or make your own rules to suit your needs – bugger the law and justice for all. Doesn’t that make it a Kangaroo Court? Do we now add judges to the widening list of people we can no longer trust to act in our best interest?

  9. Is the Supreme Court of NSW and its Justices and Justice Helen Wilson going to jail her self for being in contempt of Covering Clause 5 of the Commonwealth Constitution where Covering Clause 5 confirms it is their/her duty to uphold the Constitution and its laws, which also includes upholding the implied rights to free speech and political communication, rights that we the people inherited under the laws of our Constitution? I would be reminding her of Covering Clause 5 and asking her if she has brought along some toiletries to prepare her self for jail and if not, why not?

  10. Best to prepare a Habeas Corpus just in case and then through the Habeas call into review the imprisonment as being an abuse of due process. The Judiciary NSW is amongst the most corrupt in the country along with the Parliament who pass legislation without due process. I have had Magistrates and Judges say quite clearly that there is no justice in Australian courts.

  11. Any threats of jailing people that are actively involved in exposing judicial corruption are never going to work in the real world because those that have a clear path with the good intention of having a corruption free judiciary will keep on doing what they want to do irrespective of such threats and even after those threats are made real and the jailing does take place.

    Shane has already been jailed once and that did not stop him exposing corruption in the judiciary, in politics, in law enforcement, in the Main Stream Media and exposing the individuals where the wrongdoings are documented or are alleged.

    The honest judiciary is the very basic requirement of any democracy and the judges have the responsibility to see that individuals exposing corruption are not discriminated and put in jails to spoil their record, name and discourage them from doing what they are doing.

    Our country is perceived as getting more and more corrupt every year on the international stage for many years in a row. What joint responsibility the judges of this good country are ready to take for that decline?

    People that have broken the law for the good intention and motives have been honoured as the perfect citizens of the countries around the world.

    I have been fighting against the highest level corruption in our country from June 2006 and that includes unacceptable judicial corruption apart from the police corruption, Australia Post corruption, unacceptable conduct of the officials of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, NSW Information and Privacy Commission, criminal misbehaviour of the former highest ranking officials of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the wilful blindness of all this documented history of wrongdoings by numerous politicians including the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

    By jailing Shane will only give him more courage, enthusiasm, encouragement and he will get unprecedented support from people that are sick to death to see that our good country is spoiling.

    I have one suggestion for all those working in the judiciary. The respect can not be bought, it has to be earned and therefore please do not support any corrupt people in the judiciary. The judges will never dare to be corrupt if the supporting staff does not support their corruption if and when they see it is my view.

    I hope Shane is not jailed on 22 August 2018. I have never met Shane but support him when I see that the chances are he will face injustice of unacceptable proportions.

  12. Those of us who have experienced the corruption that is rampant through our courts can only sympathize, we know that the gutless wonders (A.G.) that are supposed to be the “fountain” of all court matters are too busy licking the boots of their “mates” (solicitors) who should be banned from all Parliaments, the current legal system is very “incestuous” it more about “helping mates” than anything to do with real justice!

  13. As I observed in a comment elsewhere …

    “For five hundred years the image of Lady Justice has worn a blindfold depicting that all are equal before the law, her scales must hang freely and without foundation meaning that all evidence should stand alone, and her sword will administer swift justice.

    Today it seems that she is blinded to the truth, the scales are weighted by politics and money and her sword is used to strike down any who object to her corrupt judgements.

    … Lady Justice is no longer seen as a symbol of truth and impartiality who will mete out consequences to wrongdoers.

    Rather, she has become a tawdry old tart who will perform whatever perverse acts her political masters demand of her … for a price. Rather than being a symbol of virtue, she’s become the Stormy Daniels of jurisprudence.”

    That opinion certainly holds true for your situation SD, and I wish you well next week when you face the Judicial Juggernaut yet again.

    I greatly admire your tenacity and the vast amount of research you must have done to demonstrate so clearly what a lazy mob of shysters and lawbreakers those so-called “lawyers and barristers” are. Either lazy or downright deceptive in failing to cite precedents in case after case they’ve brought against you.

    Abraham Lincoln said “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Shane Dowling would be the singular exception to that opinion … but then, Lincoln WAS a lawyer after all.

    Good luck … you deserve it.

  14. It seems to me that these Judges do not prioritise their times at Court if they can continue to harangue people like you. Keep up the good work as it shows how tawdry the judiciary seems to be in NSW.

  15. I for one think you are necessary Shane. These judges think they are above the law. There is no one in any society with their power that deserves not to be monitored. After all they have passed laws to monitor us.

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