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Christian Porter loses appeal from restraint on Sue Chrysanthou SC

Former Attorney General Christian Porter has lost his appeal of a restraint against Defamation specialist Sue Chrysanthou SC representing him in his claim against the ABC.

Justice Thawley had ruled that there was a potential conflict of interest and the integrity of the judicial process and the due administration of justice required Ms Chrysanthou to be restrained. Furthermore, whilst Ms Chrysanthou had given evidence she did not recall any confidential information and that she no longer had emails received in connection with the meeting, Justice Thawley held that:

“However recollections are liable to being revived and there is nevertheless a risk of subconscious use of confidential information”

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/christian-porter-loses-appeal-from-restraint-on-sue-chrysanthou-sc/

Lisa Wilkinson lawyers up after Logies speech

On Sunday, 19 June 2022, Lisa Wilkinson gave a speech about former Parliamentary staffer Brittany Higgins at The Logie Awards.

At that speech, Wilkinson suggested Higgins was a political problem for the government at the time, and praised and thanked Higgins effusively.

The issue was that Higgins was being praised for raising allegations of rape against Bruce Lehrmann, the man who is standing trial in relation to those same allegations in the ACT Supreme Court.

Furthermore, Wilkinson will be a witness at that trial.

Subsequent commentary, including remarks made on the popular morning radio program, “Jonesy and Amanda” also assumed Lehrmann’s guilt.

Compounding things, days before the Logie awards, Ms Wilkinson participated in a conference with the Director of Public Prosecutions and those appearing with him and was warned that her speech may cause the trial to be further delayed.

McCallum CJ was scathing about the effect of the speech and recent commentary on the case:

“What can be known is that, somewhere in this debate, the distinction between an untested allegation and the fact of guilt has been lost. The Crown accepted that the Logie awards acceptance speech was unfortunate for that reason. He also accepted that Ms Wilkinson’s status as a respected journalist is such as to lend credence to the representation of the complainant as a woman of courage whose story must be believed.

The prejudice of such representations so widely reported so close to the date of empanelment of the jury cannot be overstated. The trial of the allegation against the accused has occurred, not in the constitutionally established forum in which it must, as a matter of law, but in the media. The law of contempt, which has as its object the protection of the integrity of the court but which, incidentally, operates to protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press, has proved ineffective in this case. The public at large has been given to believe that guilt is established. The importance of the rule of law has been set at nil…

The irony in all of this is that the important debate as to whether there are shortcomings in the way in which the courts are able to deliver justice in sexual assault cases, to complainants and accused persons alike, has evolved into a form of discussion which, at this moment in time, is the single biggest impediment to achieving just that.

The delay of the present trial will not serve the interests of anyone. Contrary to popular assumption, it does not serve the interests of the accused, for whom the prospect of conviction and sentence must weigh heavily as an immobilising force in his life. He has said through his lawyer in the present application that he has no interest in delaying the trial but he wants it to be a fair trial, and I accept that that is the case.”

McCallum CJ

As a result, the trial date of 27 June was vacated.


Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/lisa-wilkinson-lawyers-up-after-logies-speech/

UK tribunal holds calling a man bald is sex harassment

The facts

Tony Finn was employed by beer barrel stopper maker British Bung Company as an electrician between 22 September 1997 and 25 May 2021.

In late July 2019 an altercation between Finn and Jamie King occurred. Finn alleged of that incident that:


“I was working on a machine that I had to cover awaiting specialist repair. The covers were taken off, and it was apparent that Jamie King had done this. When I spoke to him about it, he began to call me a stupid old bald cunt and threatened to ‘deck me.’ Fearful for my personal safety I retreated to the nearby office of Ady Hudson, supervisor. Jamie continued his tirade of threats and abuse at the office door.”

Later, Finn claimed he had been called a “fat bald old cunt” by King in that incident.

A further incident on 25 March 2021 occurred in which King again threatened Finn.

Because a subsequent statement by Finn was prepared on West Yorkshire Police letterhead paper, Finn was dismissed on the grounds that he had “deliberately provided a witness statement which falsely suggested on its face and by its content, that it had been made to, and taken by, West Yorkshire Police in connection with the investigation of an alleged crime”.

In dismissing Finn with immediate effect, British Bung Company wrote to him that:

“We do not accept your explanation, or that you acted in good faith, or that there was merely an oversight. You did not apologise. On the contrary, you said that you did not think that you had done anything wrong… We are satisfied that your actions amount to gross misconduct justifying your immediate dismissal. In light of your failure to apologise, and insistence that you have done nothing wrong, we are satisfied that it would be impossible to have trust and confidence in you as our employee.”

British Bung Company letter to Finn

Finn was dismissed from his employment without notice despite until March 2021 having an unblemished disciplinary record over nearly 24 years of service.

Tribunal’s decision

The Tribunal panel, headed by Employment Judge Brain, found that Mr King did call Finn a “bald cunt” and that the word “old” did not feature. The Tribunal also found that King did threaten Finn with physical violence, rejecting King’s denials:

“We can attach no significant weight to Mr King’s version of events. Having received a warning from the respondent about the July 2019 incident it is unsurprising that he gives an account in which effectively he denies the use of threatening words or behaviour towards the claimant.”

Employment Judge Brain

The Tribunal found that the reason for the dismissal was the Finn’s conduct in presenting British Bung Co with a witness statement on West Yorkshire Police headed notepaper and which gave the appearance of matters having become a police matter. The Tribunal was satisfied that the health and safety reason and the protected disclosures were not the reasons for the dismissal.

Because Finn was led to believe that no decision would be made by British Bung Co pending hearing from the West Yorkshire Police with the outcome of their enquiries, only for his employer British Bung to dismiss him only two working days later, it was held good faith was lacking in British Bung’s disciplinary hearing which was not cured on its internal appeal.

The reason why this decision made headlines was due to the Tribunal’s finding that Mr King‘s comment amounted to harassment under the Equality Act 2010 because it targeted a protected characteristic, namely his sex:

“Plainly, some words or phrases would clearly be related to a protected characteristic. Where the link is less obvious then Tribunals may need to analyse the precise words used, together with the context, in order to establish whether there is any negative association between the two.

In our judgment, there is a connection between the word “bald” on the one hand and the protected characteristic of sex on the other. Miss Churchhouse was right to submit that women as well as men may be bald. However, as all three members of the Tribunal will vouchsafe, baldness is much more prevalent in men than women. We find it to be inherently related to sex. (In contrast, we accept that baldness affects (predominantly) adult males of all ages so is inherently not a characteristic of age)…

it is much more likely that a person on the receiving end of a remark such as that made by Mr King would be male. Mr King made the remark with a view to hurting the claimant by commenting on his appearance which is often found amongst men. The Tribunal therefore determines that by referring to the claimant as a “bald cunt” on 24 July 2019 Mr King’s conduct was unwanted, it was a violation of the claimant’s dignity, it created an intimidating etc environment for him, it was done for that purpose, and it related to the claimant’s sex.”

The complaint of harassment relating to sex arising out of the incident of 24 July 2019 therefore succeeded.

The claims that Finn was unfairly dismissed upon the grounds that he made the disclosures of the incidents of July 2019 or 25 March 2021, or for the health and safety reason, failed. However, the claim that Finn was unfairly dismissed pursuant to sections 94 to 98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 succeeded because of the lack of good faith by British Bung Co in respect of the manner in which Finn was dismissed.

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/uk-tribunal-holds-calling-a-man-bald-is-sex-harassment

Supreme Court banishes Satan from Queensland classrooms

The Queensland Supreme Court has effectively refused to allow the Noosa Temple of Satan to provide religious instruction to children.

The Noosa Temple of Satan is an unincorporated association preaching Satanism in Queensland.

The applicant, Trevor Bell, is a member of the Noosa Temple of Satan.

In March 2021, Bell and Robin Bristow, a fellow member of the Temple, applied for approval to deliver Satanic religious instruction at four Queensland State schools. Their application was refused on the ground that the Temple “has no entitlement to provide religious instruction” because it “is not a religious denomination or society for the purposes of” s 76(1) of the Education Act.

Bell sought a statutory order of review in relation to that “decision” under Part 3 of the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld) and, further, orders setting the “decision” aside along with a declaration to the effect that the Noosa Temple of Satan is a religious denomination or society for the purposes of s 76 of the Education Act.

Read more: https://sterlinglawqld.com/supreme-court-banishes-satan-from-queensland-classrooms/

Chris Dawson refused High Court leave to appeal for a permanent stay

Former high school teacher and rugby league player Chris Dawson is accused of having murdered his wife Lynette Dawson 40 years ago.

Lynette, 33, disappeared from their Bayview home on Sydney’s northern beaches in January 1982, leaving behind their two young daughters Shanelle and Sherryn, then aged four and two.

In a brief judgment, High Court judges Stephen Gageler and Michelle Gordon upheld the rulings made by the NSW ­Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeal, which had previously rejected his application to strike the case out.

Justice Gageler said there was no sufficient reason to doubt the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Full story:

Jussie Smollett sentenced to 150 days in jail for fake hate crime hoax

Last year, American actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty by a jury of faking a hate crime against himself.

But many in the media had believed him. His tale was simply too good to be false.

Brainless Brooke Baldwin of CNN lamented that “And this is America in 2019“.

She was correct, but not quite in the way she meant it.

America in 2019 was a country whose ruling class was obsessed with race and identity politics, and desperate to find instances of racism in order to justify their obsessions.

That remained the case the following year, when a white kid who shot some violent rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin in self-defence was immediately characterized as a white supremist, even though all three rioters he shot were white.

Jussie Smollett understood this and figured that being the victim of a violent racist attack would spectacularly boost his profile.

He was proven right. Soon after, America’s ruling class unconditionally accepted his tale, and used it to condemn the entire country.

Full story:

Peter Dutton wins defamation case

On 25 February 2021 at 11.51 pm, refugee activist Shane Bazzi published a tweet on Twitter containing the words:

“Peter Dutton is a rape apologist.”

refugee activist Shane Bazzi on Twitter

This tweet contained a link to an article published online in The Guardian Newspaper on 20 June 2019. The link in that tweet showed a large photograph of Mr Dutton, the name “The Guardian” and the following words:

“Peter Dutton says women using rape and abortion claims as ploy to ge…
Home Affairs minister says ‘some people are trying it on’ in an attempt to get to Australia from refugee centres on Nauru.”

The Guardian Newspaper on 20 June 2019

The first of these lines comprised part of the headline to The Guardian article. The second constituted the whole of the first sentence in the article.

Dutton sued, and Bazzi denied the tweet was defamatory, and in the alternative also relied on the statutory defence of honest opinion  and the common law defence of fair comment.

Full story: https://sterlinglawqld.com/peter-dutton-wins-defamation-case/

Of cabbages, kings and a meeting of Blog war protagonists

AnimatedCatsLitterRollerCoasterRide

Leon Bertrand and I have   a face to face meet up with Scott Bridges planned for today which should be quite interesting to say the least, because how often do you get a chance to meet up with your online “enemy ” after a decade long blog war?

Hold on comrades this could be an interesting ride

 

 

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