Corrupt Queensland judge Salvatore Vasta, who is a Federal Circuit and Family Court Judge, has personally been found liable for false imprisonment and deprivation of liberty and ordered to pay $50,000 out of his own pocket in a total compensation payment of more than $300,000 to the victim.
The SMH reported:
A father who was wrongly jailed by a judge for an alleged contempt of court in a family law case has been awarded more than $300,000 in damages after he took the rare step of suing the judge personally.
In a landmark decision on Wednesday, Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney held Federal Circuit and Family Court Judge Salvatore Vasta could not rely on a judicial immunity and was personally liable for the man’s false imprisonment. The Commonwealth and the state of Queensland were also held liable.
The father of two, given the pseudonym Mr Stradford, was awarded a total of $309,450 in damages.
Vasta has been the subject of a series of excoriating appeal judgments, and is facing a second lawsuit brought by another man he jailed for an alleged contempt of court. That case was paused pending the outcome of the Stradford case. (Click here to read more)
If a judge jails someone and it is found to be “false imprisonment and deprivation of liberty” shouldn’t the judge be jailed themselves?
Judge Salvatore Vasta, who is based in Brisbane, is a federal judge and it is up to the federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to take the appropriate action.
But given Salvatore Vasta has a track record of dodgy judgments and is facing a second claim by another man he jailed for an alleged contempt of court the only appropriate action is for Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to have him sacked which is provided for under Section 72 (ii) of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act.
Former High Court of Australia judge Geoffrey Nettle wrote a paper on the issue of removing judges which starts off:
Section 72(ii) of the Constitution provides that Justices of the High Court and other courts created by the Commonwealth Parliament shall not be removed from office ‘except by the Governor-General in Council, on an address from both Houses of the Parliament in the same session, praying for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity’. The provision affords a level of protection of judicial tenure by requiring the involvement of both Houses of Parliament and, thus, in effect, preventing the executive from ‘sacking the umpire’.
But it is not without its difficulties, most notably the lack of any definition of ‘misbehaviour’. So far in this nation’s history, it has not been necessary for the High Court to construe the conditions for removal prescribed by s 72(ii). It is, however, conceivable that the need to do so may one day arise, and so it is worth considering what ‘proved misbehaviour’ entails. (Click here to read more)
Like father like son
The AFR reported in 2019:
Vasta comes from a family that has made its mark on the public life of Queensland, and the Liberal Party. His brother, Ross, is the federal MP for the Brisbane suburban seat of Bonner. His wife, Deb, is a well-regarded magistrate. His father, Angelo, is the only judge to have been dismissed from office on a vote of Parliament.
Vasta senior was removed in 1989 over findings of misconduct related to his tax affairs. It cut the family deeply and that hurt was behind a move by federal MP Bob Katter in 2017 to reverse the decision. Katter said that as a state MP he had been part of a “lynch mob”, but the Labor government rejected a bill that would have cleared Vasta’s name.
Young Sal served as an associate to his father on the Queensland Supreme Court after gaining an Arts degree and qualifying to practice via the Barristers Admission Board.
And like his father, there was talk that his elevation had more to do with Liberal Party connections than legal ability. (Click here to read more)
In 2020 The Guardian wrote about some of Justice Salvatore Vasta’s handiwork:
Orders made by the controversial federal circuit court judge Salvatore Vasta have been overturned by superior courts on more than 20 occasions, a review of court records shows.
The most recent decision to be struck out on appeal – Vasta’s finding that James Cook University unfairly sacked the contrarian academic Peter Ridd – is probably the most high-profile one to be voided under scrutiny.
However, it followed a number of cases where appeal judges were critical of Vasta, finding he had displayed “open hostility” to a witness, made threats to imprison parties in family law cases, denied litigants procedural fairness and made basic errors of law.
In 2018 Vasta made an order in a family law case that a child be “baptised as a Catholic”, despite neither parent seeking such an order, and the matter of baptism not being raised in substance during the hearing. (Click here to read more)
The is more than enough evidence that Salvatore Vasta is unfit to be a judge and the only real question is how has he lasted so long?
It is one thing for one judge, Salvatore Vasta, to be exposed for being incompetent or corrupt but at the moment there is also former Queensland Supreme Court judge Walter Sofronoff who is potently facing criminal charges for leaking the ACT Inquiry Report which I have been covering in detail.
Former judge Walter Sofronoff
As I wrote in the previous article:
Former ACT DPP Shane Drumgold has instituted proceedings against the ACT Government in a matter known as “SC/0347/23 – Drumgold v Board of Inquiry – Criminal Justice System & Ors” which is set down for a directions hearing on the 14th of September 2023.
I would expect the Shane Drumgold matter to expand to other courts cases and claims such as compensation and possible defamation especially if he wins the first matter to have the Board of Inquiry findings by Walter Sofronoff quashed. (Click here to read more)
The big issue for Walter Sofronoff regarding Shane Drumgold instituting his proceedings is that Sofronoff will likely be called to give evidence and then he will either have to admit his crime of leaking the report, and the details behind the leaking, or refuse to answer on the grounds it might incriminate himself.
Since it was announced that Shane Drumgold had filed his case Walter Sofronoff sent material to the media which is an attempt to justify his crimes and I suspect hopefully avoid giving evidence in the Shane Drumgold matter.
I published the below video on YouTube regarding Sofronoff’s leaking of his lawyer’s letter to the ACT government etc:
Both Salvatore Vasta and Walter Sofronoff need investigating and charged with criminal offences because the days of one rule for them and another for everyone else needs to stop.
But at least we have, and control, the court of public opinion which is getting louder and more powerful by the day.
Please use Twitter, Facebook, email and the other buttons below and help promote this article.
Kangaroo Court of Australia is an independent website and is reliant on donations to keep publishing so please click on the Patreon button below and support independent journalism.
If you would like to support via PayPal use the button below or for other donation options click here to go to the Donations page.
Thank you for your support.
For the KCA t-shirt shop click here.