Neville Wran's shadow
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Justinian in Bill Waterhouse, Court in the Act, ICAC, Kim Walker, Martin Waterhouse, Neville Wran, University of Sydney

Round 97 of the Waterhouse stoush ... Scion of horse-racing and gambling dynasty makes allegations of judge fixing ... NSW Supreme Court respectfully disagrees ... University of Sydney settles Kim Walker case ... Alex Mitchell at-large 

The dynasty: Tom, Robbie and Bill Waterhouse

SYDNEY solicitor Martin Waterhouse, a member of the Waterhouse gambling dynasty, is, if nothing else, a trier.

Over the years he has gone to the police and the halls of justice to ask for an investigation into his allegations of judge fixing and judicial corruption.

His failure to attract official interest from the police and the courts has simply deepened his conspiracy theory.

His beef with the bench dates back more than two decades when he became entangled in a bitter family legal battle involving his inheritance.

Although he won a partial victory, the case set him on a crusade to shed light on the impenetrable process by which judges are selected for some trials and not others and how they are chosen in the first place.

In 2012 he took his complaint to the Independent Commission Against Corruption asking Commissioner David Ipp QC to hold a public inquiry into his vast array of grievances.

Because he was convinced that a NSW judge could not conduct the inquiry in a fair manner, he asked for an interstate judge to be appointed for the task.

Unsurprisingly, the ICAC rejected Waterhouse's complaint and declined to establish an inquiry into his allegations.

Marty, a longtime foe and nephew of gambling legend (Big) Bill Waterhouse, then approached the Supreme Court asking for an order compelling the ICAC to convene a public inquiry and supported his application with a whopping 900-page affidavit weighing about two kilograms.

In it he alleged a "confederacy" between the Supreme Court, the Attorney General's Department, the NSW Police and others to engage in a "criminal conspiracy" which involved judge-fixing and the perversion of justice.

Waterhouse's pleading spelled out an "alleged common criminal purpose".

This involved ...

"keeping covered-up an alleged Supreme Court judge fixing and perversion of justice by the former Premier of NSW, Neville Kenneth Wran, and the former bookmaker William Stanley Waterhouse and his bookmaker son Robert William Waterhouse and his daughter Louise Waterhouse and also necessarily their own institutions and personnels, many and diverse alleged criminal and corrupts acts in doing so."

Recently, Justice Peter Garling rejected Waterhouse's motion in five-and-a-bit succinct pages and defended the reputation of the court and the independence of its judges. 

See: Waterhouse v Independent Commission Against Corruption 

He noted that Waterhouse had written to the NSW Chief Justice Tom Bathurst on March 21 and on July 31, 2013 asking him to appoint an acting judge from outside NSW to hear the allegations of judicial corruption.

The proposal was rejected and so was the applicant's claim that NSW judges shared "an apprehension of bias" which placed a cloud over their suitability. Garling wrote: 

"There is no reason for a reasonable hypothetical observer to suppose that the interest of the court is in preventing a public inquiry. 

On the contrary, it is just as likely that the reasonable observer would suppose that the reputation of the court would be enhanced by the exposure of any corruption in the administration of justice 20 years ago, if that is in fact what happened.

I am therefore not satisfied that any apprehension of bias arises, and I would not be prepared to uphold the motion on the basis of an apprehension of bias."

Garling's judgment brings to an end Waterhouse's long-running legal campaign.

Sadly, his judge-fixing allegations won't be aired at ICAC whose dance book is filled with party political scandals for the foreseeable future.

However, Marty's 900-page affidavit remains a marvellously obsessional piece of work, which may one day form the basis of a TV mini-series: Rake's Progress?

Con case closed

Conservatorium of Music: Dean's damages case settled

HUGE sighs of relief all round - at top Sydney law firms, in the crusty corridors of the University of Sydney Senate, in the studios of the Conservatorium of Music and the editorial offices of The Sydney Morning Herald.

All of them were dreading the start of Supreme Court proceedings brought by Kim Walker, former director of the Sydney Con and the university's dean of music, against her former employer, Sydney Uni.

Ms Walker's relationship with the university went sour six years ago when her position became the subject of malicious media coverage fomented by lawyers and academic rivals.

On the eve of the start of proceedings, the parties appear to have reached a settlement. As a result, no soiled gowns will be washed in public and no evidence will be aired about the disturbing fate of bequests to the university.

Spectator sport

A June edition of the magazine The American Spectator carries an eye-catching house advertisement.

The US publication has no direct links with the UK or Oz editions of The Speckers, but it is a kindred ultra-conservative spirit.

The advert challenges its readers:

"How much do we really know about Mr Obama? More importantly, how much do we know about his friends – the people who advise him daily, who shaped his political decisions, and helped to get him re-elected?

The American Spectator launched a special investigation into Obama's inner-circle that exposes their ties to communism, corruption and terrorism."

New subscribers are offered a "FREE" copy of the report engagingly entitled, Obama and Friends – Exposing the Inner Circle!

There's every indication that our political discourse is steadily drifting in the same nutty direction. 

Article originally appeared on Justinian: Australian legal magazine. News on lawyers and the law (
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