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Justinian's news stories

Innovations in fee collection ... Barrister lightly spanked for sending disturbing fee threat to former clients ... "See what happens if you don't pay your bills" ... File leverage ... Agreement not to complain in exchange for the file ... NCAT bares its gums ... Read more ... 

Justinian Columnists

Do nothing in the new utopia ... Policy vacuums ... Private sector leaders are filling voids created by sleepwalking politicians ... Voice to parliament and global warming left in the cold - which, somehow, gets us to the casualisation of the workforce, particularly at universities ... Fly-in, fly-out law school lecturers ... Full Federal Court wrestles with a "casual employee" ... Read more ... 

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    "I am really and truly pleased that I have been vindicated and that the court has preserved the presumption of innocence."   

    Tom Domican, "colourful" Sydney identity, who provided security services to a Kings Cross drug dealer, after settling for $100,000 his defamation case against nightclub entrepreneur John Ibrahim and Pan Macmillan. September 13, 2019 ... Read more flatulence ... 

    Justinian Featurettes

    David Hunt remembered ... Former NSW defamation judge and chief judge at common law ...The List with Socratic case management ... Defamation exotica ... Refinement of pleadings, perhaps over-refinement ... Prodigious worker ... International criminal law ... Tributes from Graham Hryce, David Rolph, Justice Mark Ierace and Judge Judith Gibson ... Read more ... 

    Justinian's archive

    Sentencing terror ... Fabulous sentencing transcript from County Court, Victoria ... Judge James Montgomery and counsel wrestle with the dates and the years ... Pythonesque proceedings ... Court reporter struggles to keep up ... Tears to the eyes ... From the archive, June 2012 ... Read more ... 



    « Mother love | Main | The Restoration »


    Academics scramble to peddle influence with High Court judges ... Government seeks new role for s.18C ... Twenty-one years later, the cheque arrives ... Would you eat at a cafe owned by a Cabinet minister? 

    French CJ, no need for accessoriesENOUGH is enough. Robert French CJ on High is fed up to the back teeth and has asked law academics to stop sending unsolicited papers relating to cases pending before the court. 

    It's alarming to realise that academics believe it is perfectly acceptable to interpose their learned analyses into proceedings, behind the backs of the parties. 

    On October 16, Frenchy fired off a missive to Prof Stephen Graw, the chairman of the Council of Australian Law Deans, asking him to pull his rank and file into line: 

    "Communications with the court on matters pending before the court providing materials which are not accessible to the parties, a fortiori after the court has reserved its decision, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the transparency of the judicial process." 

    Some scholars must have missed Law 101 and the class about how the judicial process is supposed to work. 

    Recently a law lecturer, who had written a journal article on a case under consideration, wrote to the High Court librarian seeking to get the precious analysis in PDF form slipped in front of their Hons. 

    The self-promoting lecturer wrote:

    "I am quite keen for the court to be able to read it whilst considering the submissions in this case, so that is why it probably cannot wait until they get their ... law review in the post. Very little has been written on this particular question ... so I think their honours would be interested in getting a copy of the article." 

    Further, the librarian was asked by this urger to provide email confirmation that the article had been distributed to the judges. 


    French pointed out that this sort of persistence by academic lawyers is "inappropriate"

    "The provision to the court of drafts of articles is akin to unsolicited ex parte amicus submissions." 

    Please make sure it stops, French requested the grand fromage of law deans. 

    Here's the CJ's letter ... 

    French CJ letter to law deans 

    Bigot bulletin 

    THE abolition of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act remains a mission for the second term of the Abbott government. 

    In the meantime, every so often Tony Abbott has a brain snap and thinks the dread section should be sooled onto some hapless enemy of the state. 

    Hizb-ut Tahrir is the latest bogey outfit, even though it has been in existence for about 60 years and its main function is to make noises about the coming caliphate and the rotten ways of the west. 

    Abbott didn't like some of the unhelpful language from HuT spokespeople, even though the official line of the organisation is one of non-violence. He mulled the idea of banning it in Australia on the ground that it is full of bigots. 

    As terror expert Clive Williams points out, it is not banned in most western countries, but out of favour in freedom loving places like Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria and so on.  

    According to Polly Peck, our field agent in Canberra, Abbo rang up Soapy Brandis earlier this month and asked him to get the Human Rights Commission into action. He thought HuT should be the subject of s.18C proceedings under the RDA. 

    Soapy rang HRC president Prof Gillian Triggs and said, "what about it"? 

    Triggs went into a bit of a flap - suddenly s.18C was a bright shining star in the government's firmament. She consulted Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, who had to painstakingly point out that 18C isn't much help for government.  

    Criticism of the west is not not racial vilification, the west is not a race, no one is reasonably likely to be offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by anything said by spokespeople for HuT. Section 18C is a non-starter in this situation. 

    Splutterings were heard at Credlin HQ. Useless HRC. Why can't these functionaries do what they're told? If it's no good for government purposes we really must abolish 18C. 

    Coming of age


    The cheque's in the mail

    JUST as well Geoffrey Watson SC has secured a rewarding line of work at ICAC and wasn't hanging out for payment from Turner Freeman. 

    In August 1993 Watson billed the law shop $983 for fees in a matter of Godoy v Komatsu

    He was relieved to receive payment earlier this month - October 9, 2014 - a mere 21 years after the bill was rendered. 

    How time flies. Watson has a son younger than this account, and had to struggle to bring-up the lad while Turner Freeman dragged the chain. 

    One one view, the account has come of age. 

    Barrister' s fee 

    Sunny side up 

    I SEE Trade and Tourism Minister Andrew Robb hit the headlines because Tourism Australia is promoting his Palm Beach café as a global destination for hungry visitors.  

    Robb's trust company Ram Consultancy holds 50 percent of the Boathouse on Sydney's northern peninsula, along with the Boathouse at Balmoral and Moby Dicks at Whale Beach. 

    The Palm Beach outlet has had a nice plug in the government funded $40 million campaign to promote Australia as a foodie destination. 


    Robb's Boathouse: part of the slow food movement I can faithfully report that on Sunday morning when Robb's noshery is crammed with the usual gaggle of investment bankers, real estate salesman and law shop partners, it takes over an hour for a very indifferent plate of ham and eggs to arrive at your table. 

    Maybe, the minister is in the kitchen trying to do the sunny sides up while customers are gnawing on table legs. 

    Foodie destination - forget it. 

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