Attorney-General Christian Porter

Liberal and National Party MPs attack free speech and political communication with 4 defamation cases in the Federal Court

Three Liberal Party MP’s, Peter Dutton, Andrew Laming and Christian Porter, and one National Party MP, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, currently have defamation cases in the Federal Court of Australia which I suspect is a record for the number of politicians suing social media users and journalists at any one given time.

The 4 court cases by themselves are an attack on free speech and political communication and while Porter has in theory settled his defamation case, and he has tried to claim a win, it is still afoot. And if the other three were to win their cases it would have a huge negative effect on free speech and political communication in this country. How much coordination has happened between the 4 is unknown but there would likely of been at least some discussion between a couple of them if not all of them.

Christian Porter sued the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for defamation and while Porter has settled the defamation case elements of the case have not been finalised. (Click here and here to read more) Porter has been using the lawyer Rebekah Giles who runs the law firm Company Giles and he used the barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC before she was restrained by the court from representing Porter anymore.

Federal MP Andrew Laming, who is also suing journalist Louise Milligan, is also using lawyer Rebekah Giles and it is hard to believe he would not have consulted Christian Porter before hiring Rebekah Giles. Which barrister Mr Laming is using at this point is unknown.

“lawyers acting on behalf of Laming lodged documents in the federal court alleging Milligan had “gravely injured” the embattled MP’s “character and reputation” in a series of tweets on 28 March relating to a photo he took of a woman bending over at a Brisbane landscaping business in 2019.”

The claim, seen by the Guardian, alleges that Milligan “intended” for the “sensational, accusatory and spiteful” tweets to “irrevocably damage” Laming’s “personal and professional reputation”. (Click here to read more)

Federal MP Peter Dutton is suing Twitter user Shane Bazzi for one Tweet and is using the law firm Baker & Mckenzie. Which barrister Mr Dutton is using at this point is unknown.

Peter Dutton has followed through with his threat to sue social media users for defamation by starting proceedings against Twitter user Shane Bazzi for calling Dutton a “rapist apologist”. But there is a video and a Twitter message below of Peter Dutton saying, “QLD Premier Palaszczuk should be shamed into joining a federal push for a public sex offender register” and asking “why Premier Palaszczuk is siding with and protecting paedophiles and sex offenders is just beyond anyone’s comprehension and it is for her to explain”. (Click here to read more)

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro is suing YouTube comedian FriendlyJordies (Jordan Shanks-Markovina) and Google who own YouTube. Barilaro is using the law firm Mark O’Brien Legal, who also represent Ben Roberts-Smith, and Christian Porter’s former barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC who was in her usual fine form in the Federal Court on Friday. FriendlyJordies have raised over $1million for their legal defence for the defamation matter as well as criminal charges against employee Kristo Langker who has been charged with stalking Barilaro which based on video evidence is a false charge.

At Friday’s pre-trial hearing in the Barilaro v FriendlyJordies matter his barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC argued:

“John Barilaro boasting about pork barrelling government grants may be “the wrong thing to do”, but it does not show the New South Wales deputy premier is a corrupt conman, his lawyers have argued in court.” (Click here to read more)

That is Sue Chrysanthou SC once again lying in the face of the court, this time on behalf of John Barilaro. The bottom line is Pork barrelling is the fraud and theft of taxpayers money to buy votes and anyone who does that is a corrupt conman as well as many other things. For a barrister such as Sue Chrysanthou SC to argue differently in court is a breach of the barrister rules and she should be struck off as a barrister and lawyer.

Remember that Sue Chrysanthou SC is so corrupt that the court had to restrain her from representing Christian Porter because she refused to stop representing him even though she had confidential information gained from previously representing a witness for the ABC which made representing Porter a huge conflict of interest and potentially misusing the confidential information. Sue Chrysanthou SC lying, deceiving and acting corruptly in court on behalf of politicians is a threat to Australia’s democracy and she should be stopped from doing it anymore.

We are still waiting for judgment in the Christian Porter v ABC matter regarding suppression orders and Porter’s application for removal of evidence from the court file. If we have a win with the Lange v ABC political communication argument it might also have a positive impact on the other defamation court cases above.

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17 replies »

  1. This is unbelievable and the people in the street are paying for these people to control our lives and we are all allowing them to do it .shame on us for not having enough respect for ourselves .

    • It is unbelievable that so many people in the street keep voting for these people to control our lives…

    • The scales of lady justice are looking mightily imbalanced these days. Certainly the notion of any ethics or fairness is gone. It’s just about winning.

  2. Thanks for bringing these defamation threads together. It looks like the Federal Court is being forced to do the work of a Federal ICAC in some of these cases. EG what would happen if the word ‘Paladin’ came-up in the Dutton case?

    In the NSW case Chrysanthou is arguing pork barrelling in not corrupt. ‘This is something my client openly and proudly does’. ‘On the issue of the grant given to the Monaro Panthers, Chrysanthou said: “How does a conflict of interest show ‘corrupt conman’?”.

    That clears pork barrelling and conflict of interest. Just normal activities of an Australian politician.

  3. We scarcely need the media to wreck a politician`s standing. They only have to open their mouths to ‘“irrevocably damage” their “personal and professional reputation”. Yet they can`t help themselves. They have to offer an opinion regardless of their knowledge. And Blind Freddy can see through their excuses for unethical behavior. But still they try.

  4. Does the KCA know anything about the other defamation case(s) brought against John Menadue, Michael West, and Marcus Rubenstein, that were surprisingly triggered by a parliament house librarian?

  5. So Porter has set a dangerous precedence where Internet users who criticize the government get threatened with legal action or get locked up. In doing so, they have violated their own rule: “We believe in those most basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy – the freedom of thought, worship, speech and association.”

    The Liberal party might as well rename themselves the Communist Party of Australia, judging by the way their policies are up there with China’s.

    Thanks for this, Shane. I appreciate you getting the word out. Keep up the good work.

  6. It is a given that the diamond etched memory claims appearing in the statements and the diary of Ms. Thornton cannot be be accepted as a product of a vivid imagination, human minds do not function in that way.
    Beware Australia from the altered course of Australian laws and our becomingly inadequate justice and legal system, more so when a certain C Porter was positioned at the helm of Australia’s Laws, also our Justice and Legal System.

  7. From THE BLOT REPORT: Singapore Sling. 28 June 2021.

    “For many years, Singapore has been a pretend democracy, as the ruling party (PAP) uses the courts to stifle any opposition, often by means of suits for defamation and slander. This is possible because Singapore has severe restrictions on freedom of expression2. These suits are an attempt by the government to bankrupt opposition politicians, as bankrupt people are prevented from standing in elections. This is unlike the rule in the Australian Constitution which only prevents undischarged bankrupts from standing for election3”.

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