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Labor Pursues Brough Over Role In Slipper-Ashby Case

The federal government has targeted the Liberal National Party candidate for Fisher, Mal Brough, after today’s Federal Court decision in the James Ashby-Peter Slipper sexual harassment case.

Nicola Roxon

In a range of media appearances this afternoon, the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, the Trade Minister, Craig Emerson, and the Education Minister, Peter Garrett, have called for Brough to stand down over his role in the case. [Read more…]


Brandis Accuses Roxon Of Inappropriate Behaviour

The shadow Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, says Nicola Roxon is behaving inappropriately over the Ashby-Slipper case.

Under attack from government spokespeople for his role in the matter, Brandis issued a brief statement after the Federal Court decision was announced today.

Media statement from Senator George Brandis.

Senator the Hon George Brandis SC – Media Statement

12/12/12

The Opposition is carefully studying the reasons given by Justice Rares this morning.

We note that Mr Ashby has already announced he will appeal the decision.

The Attorney-General has once again behaved inappropriately, and once again shown a misunderstanding of her appropriate constitutional role, in commenting on the case when it remains before the court pending the appeal.

The Attorney-General has also yet to explain why the Commonwealth settled its side of the proceeding in breach of the Commonwealth’s own guidelines.


James Ashby Says He Will Appeal Slipper Judgment

James Ashby, the man who levelled allegations of sexual harassment at former Speaker Peter Slipper, says he will appeal a Federal Court decision that dismissed the case as an abuse of process.

James Ashby

Ashby spoke briefly to media waiting outside the Federal Court this morning. He was said he was “extremely disappointed” with the decision and said it had been a “harrowing time” over the past eight months. [Read more…]


Spigelman Says Human Rights Bill Is A Threat To Free Speech

James Spigelman, the chairman of the ABC and former Chief Justice of the NSW Supreme Court, has criticised the federal government’s proposed Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill as a threat to free speech.

Spigelman says the bill tries to preserve the idea that no one should be offended by hate speech. He expressed concern that causing offence could be enough to break the law, not just on questions of race but in a range of areas such as age, gender and political opinion. [Read more…]


Patrick Keane Appointed To The High Court

The federal government has appointed the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Patrick Keane, to the High Court.

Patrick KeaneThe Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, made the announcement today. Keane will be the 50th person appointed to the High Court.

Keane will replace Justice John Dyson Heydon on March 1 next year. He is the Rudd-Gillard government’s fourth appointment to the seven-member court. He is 60 years old and will serve a maximum ten years on the court. [Read more…]


Conrad Black: “You’re A Priggish, Gullible, British Fool”

Conrad Black is interviewed by the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman.

In 2005, Black faced 17 charges of misconduct and fraud relating to his company, Hollinger International. He was tried and convicted of three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice in an American court in 2007. Legal challenges to some of the charges were subsequently upheld in the US Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. He was released from prison in May 2012.



Craig Thomson And The Golden Thread

In this anodyne age when we’re all so quick to take offence, the hasty presumption of guilt still holds sway.

This is Kieran Gilbert’s interview with Craig Thomson’s lawyer Chris McArdle, on Sky News. McArdle offers an unfashionable defence of some important legal principles.

The interview followed a police raid on the Labor MP’s home this morning.