Attorney-General Christian Porter

Christian Porter’s lies exposed in the Federal Court of Australia by “News Publisher” Shane Dowling

The lies Christian Porter’s lawyers have been telling the court were badly exposed at the hearing on Friday (9/7/21) which I attended via videolink as an intervenor. Porter and his lawyers have changed strategy several times which leaves them very exposed for abusing the system. I realise it would have been hard for many viewers to follow the hearing which was broadcast via video link without the affidavits and written submissions so below are the key pieces of evidence and precedents that show Porter’s application should fail badly based on the law.

Porter and his lawyers have been abusing the system to hide the truth, but those days are numbered although he might appeal but that will just be delaying the inevitable.

Porter initially filed an application for suppression orders and for part of the ABC’s defence, and Porter’s reply, removed from the court file which was the situation on the 7th of May when News Corp and Nine Entertainment’s papers had a barrister intervene to argue against the application.

It was also believed that Porter wanted suppression orders and part of the ABC’s defence, and Porter’s reply, removed from the court file on the 1st of June, which is the day after the Porter and the ABC announced the settlement. I was in court on the 1st of June as an intervenor (seeking leave to intervene) and it was agreed that I and the other parties would file submissions and evidence regarding the suppression orders and removal of documents from the court file. The ABC said they would stay silent on the matter. It was also agreed by the parties that I would file and serve a s78B – Notice of a Constitutional Matter on the state and federal Attorneys-General because I raised a constitutional argument. Porter’s barrister also advised the court they would argue I did not have a right to intervene because they said I was not a “news publisher” as required by the Federal Court of Australia Act.

In the afternoon of the 1st of June, I was emailed draft orders by Christian Porter’s barrister for the timeline of the filing of submissions and evidence which I agreed to so it was sent to the judges associate who had Justice Jagot issue the orders for the filing of submissions and evidence.

Then on the 15th of June when Porter’s lawyers filed their submissions it revealed that they had done a total backflip with a half pike and triple twist. Porter’s lawyers said in their submissions that they were not seeking suppression orders, only the removal of documents from the court file, and therefor News Corp, Nine Entertainment’s papers and myself had no right to intervene given they were not seeking suppression orders. By not seeking suppression orders it also had the effect by in large of negating the s78B – Notice of a Constitutional Matter at least as far as the suppression orders are concerned.

The problem was that Porter and his lawyers had not told the court or anyone else that they were no longer seeking the suppression orders and why did Porter’s lawyers agree to myself, News Corp and Nine Entertainment’s papers filing submissions against the suppression orders when we were in court on the 1st of June.

The hearing went for 2 hours on Friday and a replay is still up on the internet (Click here to watch). I start my submissions in the video just before the 1 hour and 22 minutes mark. How long the video will be available I do not know.

Sometime after the 1st of June Porter’s lawyers decided to change strategy as they had no right to the suppression orders anyhow and with me filing the s78B – Notice of a Constitutional matter it meant some of the Attorneys-General might intervene which would have been bad news for Porter. Porter’s dodgy tactics and abuse of process were discussed during the hearing on Friday and in my written submissions and the written submissions of the barrister representing News Corp and Nine Entertainment’s papers.

I said the below in my submissions at paragraph 5 regarding Mr Porter’s applications to conceal evidence from the public where I quote a very similar precedent Rush v Nationwide News:

5. Justice Wigney puts a bowling ball through all Christian Porter’s attempts for suppression orders, non-publication orders, redactions and removal of documents from the court file in Rush v Nationwide News Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 357 from [178] to [200] and Justice Wigney says at {195}:

Fourth, I doubt that the fact that parts of the Amended Defence will be struck out justifies the making of a suppression or non-publication order over the entirety of the pleading, or the parts that have been struck out. Nor does it warrant the removal of the pleading, or part of it, if that is possible, from the Court file. The principle of open justice demands and requires that the public be able to follow and understand all stages of a proceeding, including interlocutory steps such as the striking out of part of a defence. It is difficult to see how such a step could be fully understood, or fairly reported on, if the parts of the defence that are struck out are suppressed.

And at [200]:

Much the same can be said regarding Mr Rush’s application that the Amended Defence, or the parts of it that are to be struck out, should be removed from the Court file pursuant to r 16.21(2) of the Rules. It is doubtful that removal from the Court file would be justified simply because the parts of the Amended Defence that are to be struck out no longer form part of the pleading. Something more would ordinarily need to be shown. Removal of material that was struck out because it was manifestly scandalous and vexatious might be justified in some cases. The material struck out of the Amended Defence in this matter, however, does not really meet that description. In any event, in this matter in my view the principles of open justice discussed earlier clearly outweigh any further embarrassment that Mr Rush may suffer if the Amended Defence, or the parts of it that are to be struck out, are not removed from the Court file. (Click here for the full judgment)

Most political court case Australia has ever seen (Click here to read my written submissions and click here to read my affidavit)

The High Court of Australia has ruled in numerous judgments, such as Lange v ABC in 1997, that there is an implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution and that laws that infringe on that are invalid. So, I argued the Porter v ABC matter is the most political court case Australia has ever seen and that any suppression orders and orders by the court to remove documents from the court file would be invalid because that is political information that we are entitled to have because it goes to Christian Porter’s suitability to be a politician, a minister in the government and the Attorney-General.

On page 7 of my written submissions, I quoted Justice Steven Rares who said:

An underlying rationale in Lange is that the electors must have the ability to acquire relevant information in order to cast a fully informed vote in an election for members of the Parliament.

I said in my submissions “The federal Attorney-General, using the Federal Court of Australia which he oversees, to sue the federal government funded national broadcaster, the ABC. From a legal viewpoint, as per Lange v ABC, it does not get more political than that.” And I filed 2 key pieces of evidence that I argued showed Porter in effect also agreed his court case was a political matter.

On the 15th of May 2021 Christian Porter’s lawyer Rebekah Giles issued the below media release announcing Christian Porter was suing the ABC.

In the above press release Mr Porter’s lawyer Rebekah Giles uses the term “Attorney-General” 5 times which reinforces that the lawsuit is a political matter and she only uses Christian Porter once and Mr Porter twice. Mr Porter and his lawyer are making it clear that the court case is about the Attorney-General and his reputation as the Attorney-General which clearly makes it a political issue. 

On the 7th of May I watched the court hearing via video link and published the below message on Twitter from what I heard being said by Mr Porter’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou. She said that the matter should be heard urgently because Christian Porter had stood aside as Attorney-General because of the court case. Once again that shows how political the court case is.

The court agreed to hear the matter urgently which says the court agreed with Sue Chrysanthou’s request which shows the court supporting the political element of the court case which also proves how political the court case is. This supports the argument that the suppressed material should be released to the media in full because to do otherwise would infringe on the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution and infringe “the electors ability to acquire relevant information in order to cast a fully informed vote in an election” regarding Christian Porter.

Justice Jayne Jagot reserved her judgement and hopefully she will not take long to decide.

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21 replies »

  1. Hmmm, no federal ICAC/ CIC, no campaign finance reform, no useful FoI (every document stamped with national security, just like in the case of Pfizer, AstraZeneca …), lack of transparency from backroom agreements instead of referendums that are mandatory and binding for anything not published as an election program …, and so on and so forth.

    Independent and corporate (if not state) and social media and the public’s right to know vs yet more secrecy before the courts.

    I note ongoing parliamentary moves to get to the fit and proper person to be a minister status.

  2. “Porter’s barrister also advised the court they would argue I did not have a right to intervene because they said I was not a ‘news publisher’” as required by the Federal Court of Australia Act.”

    Quel hoot. Thanks for all your hard work, Shane.

  3. I’m with Mary on your standing as to wether you’re a news publisher or not… at any rate, Porter’s career is over and he’s well established treatment of women going forward with more and better disclosures of Scumo’s treatment and attitude towards them.

  4. We should be grateful we live in the age of the Internet where sordid matters can be exposed to all. Before computers, the powerful in our country, whether political or commercial, gagged exposure. Media hid malfeasance and comments, courts failed to notify of pending cases or blocked resolution, and both pollies and corporations threatened ruin if a citizen tried exposure. We are slowly turning the tables on those who use long-standing methods to avoid being brought to account. The growing number of lawyers being disbarred is a step in the right direction. Alternative sources like KCA finally provide a voice for concerned citizens. Now if only we can get a political party to grow a pair.

  5. Excellent Shane, you are an honest Ocker news publisher. There should be more of them. Watched most of your submission and will await the ruling with some trepidation. I suspect that it will be leaked anyway.

  6. Is it time to follow Sharkespeare’s famous words on lawyers. Whoops no offence Shane if it were not for such as you there would be even more mental health breakdown in this sad sad country. Thanks for your commitment to decency.

    • Fay, John, Jingle Belle along with the many others, your comments are reflective of the impudent, haughty & snobbish attitude adopted by Mr. Walker.

  7. Brett Walker’s snobbish put-down of Shane Dowling was disgusting. It is esoteric legal argument such as Walker and his colleagues are fond of which make justice so costly and time consuming.
    Barristers play games while ordinary people seek truth and justice.

  8. I watched the entire proceedings…It was not only stated several times by the ABC Barrister and Porters Barrister, that they had come to “an agreement,” they could both live with; I got the distinct feeling at least one of them thought you were a pest for trying to keep the information on the files and available for public disclosure…

    We need more Champions who expose Injustice and Humanity…

  9. I don’t think this was ever about Porter’s reputation, the Genie was out of the bottle, he let it out, to give him reason to sue for defamation so he could get full disclosure of all the witnesses, statements and evidence against him. He needed to know if there was enough evidence to charge him and to have time to “plan” his defence if there was.

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