“…each of the offences of perjury and perverting the course of justice strike at the heart of the administration of justice…”
The above statement comes from Justice Bruce James’s judgment in the case of former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld.
In 2009, Einfeld was sentenced to three years’ jail, with a non-parole period of two years, after pleading guilty to false statements over a $77 driving fine.
He admitted he had lied in court when he claimed the driver of his speeding car was a woman, who later turned out to be dead.
“Did you say Joey Gallo? He’s dead! I said that I was listed as Joey Callo, with a C!”
A judge lying to a magistrate is serious business. Some form of legal action must follow; this is what the ‘rule of law’ mandates. Still, one transgression by an old man in a moment of weakness would have probably been held lightly against him, or at least mitigated by his long, long, distinguished career. What Marcus Einfeld did next is inexplicable, unless he had just finished watching the classic comedy, My Cousin Vinny. Remember when Vinny, who has told the imposing Southern judge challenging his legal credentials that he was admitted to the New York Bar under the name “Joey Gallo”, is confronted by the judge who announces that according to bar records, Joey Gallo is dead? Vinny relies, “Did you say Joey Gallo? He’s dead! I said that I was listed as Joey Callo, with a C!” In the movie, this brazen tactic works. Inspired by Vinny or not, the judge took a similar route. He said that he didn’t mean Professor Theresa Brennan. She was dead! He meant another Theresa Brennan! And when the mysterious second Theresa Brennan couldn’t be found, the judge claimed that he couldn’t have been at the wheel of his silver Lexus that day, because he had been driving his mother’s Toyota Corolla. Einfield was confident that Mum, aged 94, would back his alibi. Unfortunately, security camera footage proved that his mother’s Toyota Corolla had not emerged from the garage of her apartment block on the day in question. The judge was out of lies and he was busted.
That is all in the past now and Einfield has publically stated that:
“Subject to recovering my health I propose to return to my public work to which I have devoted so much of my life.”
Einfield’s plans are laudable and in fairness, when he was interviewed by Seven News on his release, he showed what can only be described as genuine contrition.
Goose and Ganders
What is good for the goose is good for the gander is an interesting idiom. The gander is the male goose, so it means that the rules that apply for one person in a relationship apply for both.
In 1762, Jean-Jacques Rousseau published his famous treaties Du contrat social ou Principes du droit politique (Of The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right). The notion of the social contract is that individuals unite into a society by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by certain rules and to accept duties to protect one another from violence, fraud, or negligence. Implicit in the social contract is the notion that the rules that apply to one person apply equally to all people, otherwise there is no contract.
In the case of Einfield the New South Wales legal system appears to have operated in keeping with the ‘rule of law’ and the social contract. This is the way it should be.
The ACT, bastard child of NSW
The problem we have in Australia is the tiny and corrupt jurisdiction known as the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The artificial creation of the Federal Government at the time of Federation, the ACT is the bastard child of NSW, out of whose territory it was carved.
In the ACT the ‘rule of law’ has ceased to operate. This situation has come about through the machinations of a cadre of corrupt and racist ‘white’ politicians and public servants, who have at their disposal a corrupt police service, the Australian Federal Police and a prosecutorial service possessed of questionable ethics. Regular readers will recall that I have previously written about comments made by a member of the ACT Department of Public Prosecutions regarding Indigenous Australians:
You don’t have to worry about your little boong mate Marky suing you for fitting him up. When I’m finished with him he’ll be in the gutter where he belongs with all his other boong mates. You will be able to piss on him as you step over him on your way to work”
(Excerpt from a verbal exchange between an ACT DPP Prosecutor and an ACT Department of Treasury official in 2007)
This statement is hardly in keeping with what most people would understand by the terms ‘rule of law’ and social contract. My mind boggles when I think about how many innocent Indigenous Australians may have been unfairly convicted through the machinations of a corrupt and racist ACT body politic!
Lying to a magistrate is serious business
In 2005 a series of complaints were made by the former Commissioner for ACT Revenue, a statutory position, to the Commonwealth Ombudsman alleging, in essence, that there had been a breakdown in the ‘rule of law’ in the ACT. The former Commissioner for ACT Revenue is a Wiradjuri Man and a stolen child. He was marginalised, bullied and racially vilified by some in ACT Treasury because of his Aboriginality. It was this bullying and marginalisation that set in train a series of events that, when made public, should stamp the ACT Government and the Australian Federal Police as racist bullies and preventers of the ‘rule of law’ for all time.
Return readers might recall that I had previously referred to a letter from Mr. Chris Roberts, Director of Investigations with the ACT and Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office. In that letter Mr. Roberts made the following comment:
The Department advised me that you made an oblique reference to a PID in a letter of 27 June 2003 to the Chief Minister and that the Chief Executive indicated to you in a letter of 4 July 2003 that the matters you raised were subject to a separate investigation and does not intend to separately investigate them under the PID Act but referred you to the Ombudsman if you so preferred.
A PID is a Public Interest Disclosure and is the mechanism provided for in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994 (ACT) for reporting a “… wrongdoing in the ACT public sector”. It is also worth noting at this juncture that the correspondence referred to by Mr. Roberts was between the then Commissioner for ACT Revenue, the Chief Executive of ACT Treasury and the Chief Minister for the ACT. People at the very top of the bureaucracy and the parliament in the ACT and by default Australia; the very people tasked with defending the ‘rule of law’ and protecting the interests of all citizens.
The letter was written by the then Commissioner for ACT Revenue to the Chief Minister of the ACT, Mr. Jon Stanhope, advising him that there had been a systematic break down in accountability within the ACT Public Service resulting in the theft and transfer of one hundred and thirty million dollars ($130,000,000) from the ACT Home Loan Portfolio to the Australian Labor Party (ALP). The letter further advised the Chief Minister that the writer had been subjected to a sustained campaign of racial hatred and vilification from within the ACT Public Service resulting from his investigation into the missing money.
The correspondence referred to by Mr Roberts of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office was subpoenaed by the former Commissioner for ACT Revenue in 2006. The documents were not provided by ACT Treasury. A subpoena is a direction by a court to provide evidence in your possession that is relevant to a court in performing its primary task of dispensing justice. Refusal by a government department to comply with a subpoena amounts to nothing less than perverting the course of justice, which is what former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld spent two years in jail for.
“…each of the offences of perjury and perverting the course of justice strike at the heart of the administration of justice…” Justice Bruce James
Why is it acceptable for ACT Government Officials to pervert the course of justice and not face criminal sanction when it is not acceptable anywhere else?
In fairness to all parties, the Commonwealth Government needs to immediately call a Royal Commission into the actions of the ACT Government in this affair and into the actions of the Australian Federal Police generally.