Monday, 9 April 2012

Peter Phelps MLC: when pollies talk through an orifice far from their mouth


Over the weekend this nonsense caught my eye in The Telegraph on 8th April 2012:
“ATTORNEY-GENERAL Greg Smith has come under fire from within his own party for appointing judges with a history of defending accused terrorists.
Peter Phelps MLC said Mr Smith needed to explain why he believed his last three judicial appointments were appropriate for "a conservative government", given their records as barristers.
The Sunday Telegraph has been told Mr Phelps' concerns - raised in the government's closed party room before Parliament met on Monday - echo growing fears within the party about Mr Smith's alleged "Left leanings" and "soft on crime" stance on judicial issues.
While Mr Phelps refused to comment on the altercation, saying his "one rule in politics is not to discuss party room in public", a number of other MPs have confirmed his attack on the Attorney-General…….
Mr Smith, a former member of the Labor Party, responded to Mr Phelps' concerns by saying he had worked with at least one of the men during his time as a prosecutor.
Mr Smith also said he had great faith in their judgment and ability and his spokesman defended the decision to appoint the three barristers and lashed out at Mr Phelps.
"Is he [Mr Phelps] going to suggest that everyone who acted as a public defender is unsuitable? That would rule out a lot of judges," he said.
"Advocates are sometimes required to represent unpopular clients and it is part of the strength of our justice system that leading silks take on this duty. It's called the cab-rank principle."

Robert Beech-Jones SC, Peter Maiden SC, and Chris Hoy SC, were all recently sworn as judges in the Supreme Court of NSW (RB-J) and District Court of NSW (PM &CH). Apparently these appointments occurred in the face of Troll Phelps personal objections – a Liberal Party pollie who obviously sees them as the terrorist’s friend at court. Because these three gentlemen have long legal histories which could take up pages to recap, I’ve decided to look at only the first contender for the charge of dangerous, leftist leanings leading to love of all things terrorist.

So how does a potted public history of Robert Beech-Jones' professional activity stack up?
1995 Counsel representing Australian Trade Commission - litigation
1996 Counsel representing Australian Trade Commission - litigation
1997 Counsel representing Comcare – litigation
1998 Counsel representing the Minister For Immigration And Multicultural Affairs – litigation
1999 Counsel representing a Tongan citizen – litigation involving request for visa application review
2000 Counsel representing the Minister For Immigration And Multicultural Affairs – litigation
2001 Counsel for a former migration agent – litigation seeking review of decision of the Migration Agents Registration Authority
2002 Counsel assisting the HIH Royal Commission – investigation of the collapse of an insurance company
2003 Counsel assisting the HIH Royal Commission – investigation of the collapse of an insurance company
2004 Counsel representing the Minister For Immigration And Multicultural Affairs – litigation
2005 Counsel assisting the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption - investigation
2006 Counsel representing the Minister For Immigration And Multicultural Affairs – litigation
2007 Counsel representing former female partner with Price Waterhouse Cooper – sexual harassment litigation
2008 Representing 1st and 2nd respondents - appeal and application for leave to appeal from a decision of a costs review panel upholding a costs assessment
2009 Counsel representing the Australian Securities and Investments Commission – matter concerning CSR and James Hardie compensation obligations
2009 Counsel representing Mamdouh Habib – litigation involving compensation/damages claim
2010 Counsel representing the Australian Securities and Investments Commission – litigation involving James Hardy asbestos compensation fund
2011 Counsel representing Hanlong Mining's vice-president  - litigation
2011 Counsel acting on behalf of Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions – litigation
2011 Acting for the Crown – litigation  involving former finance director of the Fincorp Group
2012  Acting on behalf of ACT Super Management – litigation

Fair dinkum! Robert Beech-Jones SC would have to be the epitome of legal middle-of-the-road in a conservative legal system which leans towards those who are white, wealthy, educated or powerful. Once more Peter Phelps MLC is talking from the southern-most orifice of his body.

# Thanks to Clarencegirl for finding some of the court cases mentioned

1 comment:

Peter Tombee said...

Peter,
Re: You, Price, Bolt, 2GB, The Queen's Corgi Monty, Orangutans
I understand your frustration with motions taken in the parliament that have nothing to do with the state's administration - but I am truly saddened by your mocking tone used when mentioning 'my favourite', Sumatran and Bornean orangutans.
Yes, they're irrelevant to the state, but even more than the constraints we place on 'inciting evil thought', the meme, the vibe, the empathy the human species needs to afford animals of the wild is extremely fragile.
I really would like you to rescind your mocking reference to this very endangered, very wonderful, species - but refraining from disrespecting them in the future would be welcome, at least.

There's a number of orangutan survival groups around the country, and a hell of a challenge it is, too. Corruption in government, in Indonesia in particular, is the bane of salvation efforts. Jungles are razed to allow palm oil plantations to be planted, and bounties are paid on isolated orangutans who are in despair at the loss of their families and habitat.
Wild beasts, Peter, are precious.
http://www.orangutans.com.au/
http://www.sumatranorangutan.org
http://www.orangutan.org.au/

Regards,