Whistleblower Troy Stolz and Friendlyjordies YouTube channel publisher Jordan Shanks have been hit with contempt of court proceedings by ClubsNSW because they shone a light on alleged corruption in the NSW gambling industry.
What is very disturbing and points to judicial bribery is that the contempt charges were only made public on Friday (2/9/22) after suppression orders were lifted and no evidence has been published to suggest any justification for the suppression orders. What makes it a thousand times worse is that the suppression orders were issued on the 29th of July by Justice Yates at an ex parte hearing which is a secret hearing that Troy Stolz, Jordan Shanks or their lawyers were never told about.
For Justice David Yates to issue court orders, in any shape or form, on one party restraining them from speaking about the case shows at the very least perceived bias, and the reality is it is actual bias, and he needs to recuse himself from hearing the matter any further. And then add the illegal suppression orders on the contempt application and the secret ex parte hearing Justice Yates had with ClubsNSW and there is a powerful prima facie case for charging Justice David Markey Yates with taking a bribe off ClubsNSW.
The suppression orders were lifted on the 26th of August 2022, after a hearing on the 5th of August, but only became public on Friday the 2nd of September 2022 when a journalist noticed that the judgment had been published online. (Click here to read the judgment)
It says on ClubsNSW website:
ClubsNSW represents more than 1200 member clubs, and makes an important contribution to state and national policy direction, including the development of industry-specific legislation relating to alcohol, gambling, taxation, and industrial relations. In addition to these services, ClubsNSW executes media and PR communications, tailored training solutions, financial services, events, and responsible gambling services. (Click here to read more)
In July 2022 ClubsNSW approached Justice Yates, at an ex parte hearing, in their current lawsuit against Troy Stolz and filed an application to charge Troy Stolz and Jordan Shanks with contempt for an interview published on YouTube. ClubsNSW says the interview breached previous court orders that “restrain Stolz from speaking publicly about the case in any manner calculated to “intimidate, harass, or otherwise bring improper pressure” on it during the proceedings.”
ClubsNSW asked for and were granted a suppression order on the contempt application because they say:
ClubsNSW had argued that publication of the fact that it was pursuing contempt proceedings against the pair could provide them with the “opportunity to escalate attacks against ClubsNSW and its legal representatives”.
“ClubsNSW says that Mr Stolz’s and Mr Shanks-Markovina’s conduct suggests that they have been goading it into bringing contempt proceedings so as to provide a springboard for them to generate further waves of publicity and social media activities which attack ClubsNSW and its legal representatives in relation to the bringing, and conduct, of these proceedings,” Yates said.
“ClubsNSW is concerned that bringing contempt proceedings against Mr Stolz and Mr Shanks-Markovina will provide Mr Stolz and Mr Shanks-Markovina with the opportunity to escalate attacks against ClubsNSW and its legal representatives.” (Click here to read more)
Nowhere in the judgment is there any “exceptional circumstance” to justify the suppression orders that were issued in July and lifted on Friday (2/9/22) so that means there was no “exceptional circumstance” in July to justify issuing the suppression orders in the first place. Nor is there any exceptional circumstance to justify why Justice Yates had an ex parte hearing with ClubsNSW in July to issue the suppression orders.
The reality is Justice Yates is breaking the law and doing huge favours for ClubsNSW to help them minimise media coverage of ClubsNSW abusing the law to stitch up whistleblower Troy Stolz.
That’s 2 strikes and Justice Yates is out. Suppression orders “should only be made in exceptional circumstances” (See Rinehart v Welker [2011 ] NSWCA 403 at paragraph 27). And an ex parte hearing should also only occur in exceptional circumstances which ClubsNSW and Justice Yates have failed to identify.
In paragraph 64 of Justice Yates’ judgment, ClubsNSW admits that “a suppression order or non-publication order should only be made in exceptional circumstances” but they fail to identify one nor does Justice Yates identify one.
Instead, ClubsNSW started running another scandalous argument in paragraph 65 in effect trying to get Justice Yates to ignore the Rinehart v Welker precedent that was set in 2011 by the NSW Court of Appeal and which ClubsNSW confirmed in the previous paragraph (64) that was the correct interpretation of the law.
ClubsNSW’s barristers and lawyers should be drug and alcohol tested given they are wasting the court’s time with such scandalous submissions.
The below video gives further information regarding this article:
Contempt proceedings and suppression orders are 2 areas of law that I know very well because I have been charged with contempt of court 3 times and I was recommended by a judge for another. And I would have to go close to being Australia’s most suppressed journalist given the number of suppression orders and non-publication orders that I have against me. All of these are related to Kerry Stokes, his associated companies and/or my reporting on judicial corruption which has upset numerous NSW Supreme Court judges.
I raise my personal experience because I know for a fact that Justice Yates conduct in this matter cannot be legally justified in any way. ClubsNSW proceedings against Troy Stolz is a SLAPP lawsuit (Strategic lawsuits against public participation) and Justice Yates knows it and he is helping to facilitate it by abusing his position as a judge.
ClubsNSW instituted their court case against Troy Stolz in April 2020 but only filed their statement of claim outlining their case in July 2022 which says they are playing delaying tactics which is part of a typical SLAPP lawsuit strategy.
Troy Stolz only crime seems to be he is a whistleblower:
The New South Wales’ club lobby is using emails between whistleblower Troy Stolz and journalists at five major media outlets to argue he waged a campaign to “tarnish” its reputation with confidential information about its alleged failures to comply with laws designed to prevent money laundering and terror financing, according to court documents.
ClubsNSW is suing Stolz, a former employee, over his handling of internal documents, including a series of documents he sent to journalists.
The clubs lobby said the emails show Stolz sent the journalists confidential documents about its alleged compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing laws.
The ABC and Sydney Morning Herald later published stories alleging that 95% of NSW clubs were failing to comply with the laws. (Click here to read more)
It must be noted that ClubsNSW is not suing the ABC or the Sydney Morning Herald but only suing Troy Stolz which I think is very telling.
Jordan Shanks defence
The video published on Friendlyjordies YouTube channel that has the alleged contempt is actually an interview between Troy Stolz and Friendlyjordies producer Kristo Langker so I can only assume they have hit Jordan Shanks up for contempt on the basis that he owns the YouTube channel. That could be an issue that needs to be dealt with and a possible defence for Shanks.
I watched the video on Friendlyjordies YouTube channel and there was nothing wrong with it and I think what will save Shanks is that the whole court case against Troy Stolz is so dodgy it would be a very brave person to find anyone in contempt of court for anything associated with the matter.
From what I can tell Friendlyjordies has more than enough money left over from their fundraising for the John Barilaro defamation matter so they are in a good position to drive the contempt charge as far as they need to which will shine more light on what a scandal the whole court case against Troy Stolz is.
Open court only for the rich
Why is it that the rich such as ClubsNSW can abuse the legal system and undermine Australia’s open court system which is there to keep judges accountable and maintain the public’s confidence in the judiciary? Suppression orders are meant to be hard to get as they can easily undermine the open courts system, but Australian courts operate like a Mcdonald’s Drive Thru for the rich who constantly show up to court, often at secret ex parte hearings, and have suppression orders issued against whistleblowers.
“The Streisand effect is a phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to hide, remove, or censor information has the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of that information, often via the Internet.” (Click here to read more)
We have all seen the corruption in the casino industry over the last few years with the various inquiries which uncover widespread money laundering etc and it keeps happening because nobody ever goes to jail. On that basis and on the allegations of Troy Stolz I have no doubt there is widespread corruption at ClubsNSW.
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Categories: Federal Court of Australia