From the QUT judgement

40. The real issue for determination is whether Ms Prior has reasonable prospects of prosecuting her claim that the impugned words were reasonably likely to have the proscribed effect contended for by her. The submissions made by senior counsel for Mr Powell emphasise the point that Ms Prior has not filed any evidence to the effect that anyone was actually offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by Mr Powell’s words. In that circumstance, Mr Powell argues that the absence of evidence that anyone was actually offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated is “a compelling reason to assume that this was not a “reasonably likely” outcome”.


41. But when considering whether the impugned conduct might be regarded as reasonably likely to contravene the prescription of s.18C(1)(a), what the applicant felt, in response to the conduct, is not relevant: Creek v Cairns Post at [12]. Indeed, evidence that someone was offended, insulted, humiliated, or intimidated by the relevant conduct is entirely unnecessary: Eatock v Bolt (above) at [241] and authorities there cited. In my view, the absence of evidence to that effect cannot be, either as a matter of law, “a compelling reason to assume that [the proscribed effect] was not a “reasonably likely” outcome”.

49. In my view, it is not reasonably likely that a hypothetical person in the position of the applicant, or a hypothetical member of the groups identified by Ms Prior who is a reasonable and ordinary member of either of the groups who exhibits characteristics consistent with what might be expected of a member of a free and tolerant society and who is not at the margins of those groups would feel offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by Mr Woods words. This is so because:
a) Mr Wood’s words were directed to QUT and its actions; and
b) Mr Wood’s words were rallying against racial discrimination.

Full judgement here.

So it seems to me that the facts were on the QUT students side – the evil that is 18c remains.

… Indeed, evidence that someone was offended, insulted, humiliated, or intimidated by the relevant conduct is entirely unnecessary.

That is the basis of David Leyonhjelm’s case against Mark Kenny. Unless, of course, the Fairfax media can find a judge who will argue that David Leyonhjelm is not a reasonable and ordinary member of a group who exhibits characteristics consistent with what might be expected of a member of a free and tolerant society and who is not at the margins of that group. (I don’t recall seeing that formulation before – is it new?)

Anyway I’m sure the lefty and anti-free speech apologists will be running around saying “nothing to see here” and the “system works”, but the fact is the system does not work. 18C must go.

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48 Responses to From the QUT judgement

  1. Zulu Kilo Die Onuitspreeklike

    Skimming through the judgement, I can’t see any order as to costs? Has anything been said about them?

  2. Sinclair Davidson

    No – I didn’t see that either. I’m not sure how this works. The students lawyers were acting pro bono so I’m not sure they can go after Prior for costs anyway.

  3. Carpe Jugulum

    It may be just me but was he having a sly dig at mordy in paras 30 & 32?

  4. Frank Carter

    This is a tragic day for racial tolerance in this country. Miss Prior has been very hard done by. I do hope that she can be given adequate treatment.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    I do hope that she can be given adequate treatment.

    The $450 a week in welfare she receives is more than adequate.

  6. Carpe Jugulum

    This is a tragic day for racial tolerance in this country

    No it isn’t stop being a bufoon.

    . Miss Prior has been very hard done by.

    Cry me a river, she put kids through 3.5 years of stress whilst shewallowed in a puddle of her own deluded victimhood.

    I do hope that she can be given adequate treatment.

    I doubt she has the insight to realise she needs treatment for a victimhood disorder.

  7. jupes

    Seriously, what a load of wank.

    How many thousands of dollars have the legal profession made treating this ridiculous law as if it’s important*?

    * I know it is important to those who are copping it, nevertheless it is a legal construct designed (among other things) to keep lawyers rolling in it.

    Pricks.

  8. .

    A great decision. He called bullshit on Mx Pryor.

  9. Leigh Lowe

    This is a tragic day for racial tolerance in this country. Miss Prior has been very hard done by. I do hope that she can be given adequate treatment.

    Fear not, Frankie.
    There will be ample sit-down money opportunities for Prior to fill her pockets without leaving the humpy.
    By the way, I think it would be Ms, not Miss (although I doubt she has snagged a bloke).

  10. stackja

    Zulu Kilo Die Onuitspreeklike
    #2193099, posted on November 4, 2016 at 8:36 pm
    Skimming through the judgement, I can’t see any order as to costs? Has anything been said about them?

    Sinclair Davidson

    #2193107, posted on November 4, 2016 at 8:42 pm
    No – I didn’t see that either. I’m not sure how this works. The students lawyers were acting pro bono so I’m not sure they can go after Prior for costs anyway.

    ORDERS
    (4) The application be otherwise adjourned to 21 November, 2016 at 9.30am for further directions.

    Maybe we will know more: 21 November, 2016 at 9.30am.

  11. Sinclair Davidson

    stackja – thanks for that.

  12. Splatacrobat

    Another couple of these and they will be thrown out as vexatious litigants.

  13. Phill

    I am hoping Ms Prior appeals. I would like to see this ludicrous legislation go to the high court. The wording in para 41 may be intended to create the basis for appeal. (Disclaimer..Not a lawyer. However, I can read english proper)

  14. Zulu Kilo Die Onuitspreeklike

    Maybe we will know more: 21 November, 2016 at 9.30am.

    stackja – thank you. I’m left with the nasty suspicious feeling that, somehow, the mug taxpayer will pick up the tab.

  15. None

    Sue Prior and AHRC for vexatious litigation. Sue the stupid woman who lodged the stupid claim against Leak.

  16. Zatara

    The $450 a week in welfare she receives is more than adequate.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong but understanding is that she has been on paid sick leave ever since the event.

  17. None

    No – I didn’t see that either. I’m not sure how this works. The students lawyers were acting pro bono so I’m not sure they can go after Prior for costs anyway.

    Unfortunately pro bono usually does not immunise someone against paying lawyer’s costs at least in part. And the costs here would be in the tens if not hundreds of thousands. Pryor of course had to fork out nothing. Nor did the AHRC etc. They got all their legal counsel courtesy of us mugs, the taxpayers. We are paying people to sue us. FFS.

    We should be out on the streets bearing arms. Where the hell is the GG. We don’t pay him to be an ornament to fascism either.

  18. JohnA

    None #2193282, posted on November 4, 2016, at 11:12 pm

    Sue Prior and AHRC for vexatious litigation. Sue the stupid woman who lodged the stupid claim against Leak.

    AND I would suggest lodging a claim for compensation against her and AHRC. I know it would eventually come out of the long-suffering and badly-battered pocket of humble taxpayers (via QUT and AHRC budgets, I presume), but in this case it would be worth it.

  19. BorisG

    Sanity has prevailed in this case, which is great news, notwithstanding appalling nature of 18C

  20. Heretic

    @Zulu Kilo Die Onuitspreeklike: Costa are going to be determined by the Court at a later date.

  21. Jannie

    I understood some other students had been previously facing the same sort of charges at QUT, possibly through Prior, and paid the sum of $5000 to compensate for the offence, and the prosecution was canned. It’s seems a bit of a scam, even if not true.

  22. Ian

    I’m sure those fearless free speech defenders at Liberty Victoria have already engraved their 2017 Voltaire award with these 3 brave young lads’ names.

  23. Notafan

    Jannie iirc other parties to the case, who paid $5000 to make it go away.

  24. Gab

    Go-away money AKA blackmail.

  25. struth

    It’s all an absolutely disgrace.
    A freak show of totalitarian parasites,
    we pay for.
    Bend over a bit further ,Australia, these pricks have only stuck the head in.

    Whatever you do, don’t fight them.
    Just let the very few who are brave, struggle by themselves against this.
    Or else, you may stand out from the crowd.

    Welcome to 1930’s Germany.

  26. struth

    By that I mean, there should never have been any court case, any “indigenous computer room” tolerated for a second.
    That any of this make work for lawyers is tolerated in a free country proves of course, calling Australia a free country is ridiculous.
    We are, by definition a socialist shithole.

    Australians all let us rejoice,
    for we are young and free?

  27. Wozzup

    Of course the process is the punishment as others have pointed out. This law, which is unjust on so many grounds, is by design set up to punish people who are not being politically correct and hence enforce compliance with leftist norms without necessarily any intent to harm, real guilt or anything so quaint as evidence that people were offended or humiliated.

    Suppose a hypothetical law said an accused could have their freedom taken away, be locked up, vilified and physically tortured until they confessed. Suppose at the end of that process a hypothetical accused did not confess and so was released. Would the Left then say “see the system works”. No of course not they would rail against it for unfairness and cruelty. Well Section 18C is that system. Just the style of torture is different.

  28. Lorraine

    I have to wonder if those students who paid $$$ not be sued will be able to get a refund?

  29. Lem

    Fantastic reporting in The Oz today about the complainants in the Leak case.

  30. Old School Conservative

    Lem
    #2193437, posted on November 5, 2016 at 8:48 am
    Fantastic reporting in The Oz today about the complainants in the Leak case.

    Between Hedley Thomas and Bill Leak, the dangerous left are being skewered.

  31. None

    Mr Morris said the case was a tragedy for the students and Ms Prior, who will be pursued for costs. He said that if Prof Triggs had any decency she would hand her resignation to the federal attorney general George Brandis on Monday.

    I am sure Mr Morris QC will hit her with a great big bill which we mugs have to pay. But if it leads to the end of 18C….

    Yes Lem, I am so glad the Oz finally exposed that charlatan. FFS notice how so many of these fascists are women? A disgrace to my gender.

  32. BrettW

    Time for Triggs to retire for bringing her organisation into disrepute. Although Sinc’s comment about continuing to stuff up the organisation has merit.

  33. Pickles

    AJH Morris QC stands like a Colossus between the citizen and the untrammelled power and unlimited resources of an out of control apparatus of the State. All the while smashing durries into him as if he were smoking for Australia.

    After a few bottles of red, a celebratory carton of B&H and a weekend at Straddie, he will be in chambers, perched on the plinth, reloading for the appeal and the argument on costs.

  34. mundi

    Can someone explain who on earth is funding Prior? So the HRC funds her case and does all the legal work for her?

  35. wozzup

    In relation to the QUT case: Of course the process is the punishment as Andrew Bolt has pointed out.

    This law, which is unjust on so many grounds, is by design set up to arbitrarily punish people who are not being politically correct and hence to enforce compliance with leftist norms even where there is no intent to harm, where there is no real guilt and certainly nothing so quaint as evidence that people were actually offended or humiliated. (Leaving aside the non trivial issue of whether someone should be punished for merely offending someone).

    Suppose a hypothetical system was established under a law said an accused could have their freedom taken away, be vilified and physically tortured until they confessed to the alleged “crime”. Suppose at the end of that process a hypothetical accused did not confess and so was then released. Would the Left then say “see the system works”, nothing to see here. No of course not. They would (or more accurately they should) rail against it for unfairness and cruelty. Well Section 18C is that system – just the style of torture is different. And ask the ones who have suffered under the law how free they have been for the past 3 years.

    And all of this is made all the more egregious by the fact that this law punishes……………….. thought crimes.

  36. .

    All the while smashing durries into him as if he were smoking for Australia.

    I believe he is.

  37. johanna

    mundi
    #2193509, posted on November 5, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Can someone explain who on earth is funding Prior? So the HRC funds her case and does all the legal work for her?

    Yup. Making a complaint is risk free and cost free (to the complainant.) OTOH, having a complaint levied against you is very far from either.

  38. Dr Fred Lenin

    The idiots who initiated this racist anti democratic nonsense should be in tunbrills heading for a meer with Missus Shazza for terminal punshment , All laws related to u.n.communist globalist fascisms aims shpuld be repealed ,and all persons involved in the implementation of these foul fascist attacks shoul be punished severely . that includes any career polliewankers who voted for them ,and all the lawtradespersons who implementsd them .clean out this nest of fascist excrement .

  39. alexnoaholdmate

    It’s worth pointing out too that the judge accepted that the statement (originally on Facebook) of one of the defendants that he found it absurd that QUT would fight racism with segregation was not racist.

    Yet the Human Rights Commission encouraged Mrs Prior to sue him for taking racial offence.

    Triggs and the commission are out of control. Not only is 18C a terrible law that must be repealed, but Triggs’ own interpretation of it is beyond what the (ridiculous) law even appears to countenance anyhow.

    And as all the 18C complaints go through her and her team first – only going to court if a settlement cannot be reached, or with the encouragement of the Commission – how many decisions have been reached regarding situations that would have been dismissed in a court? That is, compromises or encouragements that are adverse to the law?

    Unelected, unaccountable, out of control – yet this martinet presumes to lecture our democratically elected representatives about democracy.

  40. Pat Warnock

    Zatara, surely QUT haven’t been paying her sick leave?

  41. stackja

    'There is one person to blame for this' Courier Mail
    Outside court, Anthony Morris QC, counsel for two of the students, strongly criticised Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs, for letting the case get this far.
    “There is one person to blame for that, one person, and that’s Professor Triggs, the head of the Australian Human Rights Commission,’’ Mr Morris said.

  42. johanna

    Anthony Morris for AOTY!

  43. LGS

    I’m sure those fearless free speech defenders at Liberty Victoria have already engraved their 2017 Voltaire award with these 3 brave young lads’ names.

    Not bloody likely, Ian!

  44. LGS

    If sooky-bubbas like Cindy Prior want to take this ridiculous sort of action in future, let them or their lefty mates fund it entirely themselves!
    Not one cent of taxpayer’s money (whether via the HRC) to support them whatsoever!

  45. Pat Warnock
    #2193655, posted on November 5, 2016 at 11:59 am
    Zatara, surely QUT haven’t been paying her sick leave?

    She’ll be on worker’s comp. Coz “workplace injury”.

  46. Habib

    18c is merely the most egrerious section of a vile, discriminatory and utterly unnecessary piece of legislation (and one of many). The entire act needs to be repealed, the commission closed, and all employees sacked and subjected to harsh repercussions for their infamy. Given what’s in office and their likely replacement, not even 18c will be croaked, and Triggsie and her muckers will continue to fuck peoples lives with impunity on a large stipend, and retire with further largesse from those they persecute and the adulation of feeble-minded fascists.

  47. Crossie

    b) Mr Wood’s words were rallying against racial discrimination.

    This is the crux of the matter in this situation, racial discrimination was perpetrated against all non-aboriginal students and anyone who noticed must be punished.

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