Brandis – mugged by reality

Update II: I have just returned from a function where the Liberal Party response to the Bolt case was set out. To use the words ‘disappointing’ and ‘piss weak’ would be appropriate. It was made very clear that the response was designed by Brandis (who was there).

Update I: The luvvies are very cross. Here is the ABC Religion show retweeting Julian Burnside’s response.

***+++***

Shadow attorney-general George Brandis has questioned the decision to award a Human Rights Medal to a lawyer who ran a race discrimination case against newspaper columnist Andrew Bolt.

“The celebration of an outcome in a piece of litigation which was I think on any view a setback of freedom of speech and freedom of the press is not something that human rights advocates ought to be celebrating or to be given awards for,” he said.

Good – it has been my impression that Senator Brandis has been soft on the Bolt case. He needs to get away from making excuses for bad legislation and activist judges and rein in this sort of thing. As a future Attorney-General he needs to get out of the habit of thinking like a lawyer and more like a reformer who will fix a serious issue in our legal system.

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83 Responses to Brandis – mugged by reality

  1. JamesK

    I guess they’re afraid of the Aborigine victim industry getting overwheming play on the ABC and so giving Gillard breathing space.

    I’d like to see lotsa anti-progressive thug and defence of true liberty rhetoric when they pass the bill to dismantle it thru’ the House of Reps in the first 6 months of the Coalition government.

    Ted actually needs to more about the judicary in Victoria than Abbott needs to do federally.

  2. JamesK

    Good to see the vile Burnside immediately proving my point.

  3. James of the Glen

    How wonderful.

    The Human Rights Medal joins the list of other ratbag awards which decent Australians spurn.

    To imagine it was not given to its recipient because of his recent activities is more ratbaggery.

    No doubt the use of “Nazi” etc clinched the deal. What a damnable disgrace.

  4. Jumpnmcar

    Hey has there ever been a” Catallaxy Awards”?

    I’d love to here the categories and winners.( or losers I assume )

  5. Samuel J

    Surely the award is deserved – after all it is about making lawyers more valuable?

  6. JC

    Hey has there ever been a” Catallaxy Awards”?

    I’d love to here the categories and winners.( or losers I assume )

    There should be. There should be asshat of the week and then from that group the asshat of the year is chosen.

  7. Rafe

    Well I was thinking about a “leftoid of the week” with the first one awarded to Peter Craven but I can’t be bothered doing it every week.

  8. Token

    If there is a Catallaxy awards, we’ve got to have the dishonest troll & moronic troll awards. As it stands SoB would own one award & be duelling with M0nty for the other.

  9. H B Bear

    Has somebody upset God?

  10. “activist judges”

    Don’t blame the judges blame the law.

  11. Jumpnmcar

    I was thinking more of , best and worst predictions in the fields of economics, climate, political, foreign affairs, sport …setra…

  12. John Comnenus

    How about the weekly wackjob?

  13. John Comnenus

    How about the bench bimbo or bozo for the stupidest decision from a judge?

  14. John Comnenus

    Or the Less Ron to complement the moron?

  15. Jump car

    Can’t do like that otherwise someone like me will just do the climate change/economist trick and just offer so many predictions that one will be right and one wrong and maybe i can pick up both prizes.

  16. John Comnenus

    For the most pompous, stuck up, arrogant, condescending, pseudo intellectual, authoritarian, lefty Nanny, cranial microsis of the week, I present the inaugural ‘Julian’ award to Ron Merkel.

  17. Jumpnmcar

    Is’t Peter Beattie getting a motsa of our cash to promote something for Gillard?

    I nominate him for a “Flannery”

    I realize ” PNG gold Garnaut” will be stiff opposition.

  18. TJW

    A better response would have been “who gives a damn who wins it, it’s a meaningless award.”

  19. Nathan

    How about the JuLiar Award for those really big porkers!

  20. John Comnenus

    After the 7:30 footage the police have finally been dragged, kicking and screaming, into investigating the Australia Day imbroglio. The noose is tightening around Gillard’s deceits and lies. I suspect she will be snared in the tangled web of her own making. When was the last time the PMO was subject to a criminal investigation? This despicable liar has thoroughly trashed the Office of PM. Don’t anyone ever tell me again that women bring a gentler, kinder and more inclusive politics. This PM has been the nastiest, dirtiest PM in living memory. Her bastadry will take some beating. I suspect I won’t see another PM this disgusting in my lifetime. She truly is disgracing herself, the office and the nation. She should do the decent thing: resign and take a very long holiday to South America.

  21. 2dogs

    Judging by the past recipients of such things, a human rights award should not be considered an honour.

  22. JC

    She should do the decent thing: resign and take a very long holiday to South America

    Or go back to the UK as she’s perfectly entitled to a passport. If this has legs and she goes because of this she should do the right thing and leave the country and never come back.

  23. John Comnenus

    I agree JC. If she was behind stirring up racial strife to try and paint Abbott as a racist then she should go into self imposed exile to give the country a chance to get over her. The fact that the police are now investigating suggests to me that the political winds ate shifting in Canberra. I believe she will eventually get tripped up by her lies and deceits.

  24. wreckage

    Don’t anyone ever tell me again that women bring a gentler, kinder and more inclusive politics.

    The women I admire most consider this to be a bloody funny characterisation of feminine social dynamics and wish to know whether its proponents have ever met any women?

  25. JC

    The inclusive schtick comes from the fact that they are infernal chatterboxes.

  26. JamesK

    The women I admire most consider this to be a bloody funny characterisation of feminine social dynamics and wish to know whether its proponents have ever met any women?

    No and they haven’t been their adversary in a Victorian court either.

  27. .

    Ron Merkel got an award for stroking the egos of some 99% of the community would consider white, he made it legally so they could consider themselves black.

    A large proportion of the 99% don’t even care what colour you are.

    Ron Merkel has serially assaulted civil liberties in Australia. He is a serious threat to freedom of speech.

  28. blogstrop

    Don’t blame the judges blame the law.

    Oh, really. So Pat O’Shane was right and the appeals courts wrong; Judge Mordy could have come to no other conclusions, and there are never in any superior court dissenting judgements that appeal to uni students but not to the remainder of the bench.

  29. .

    Pat O Shane is a disgrace, as is s 18 (d) of the RDA.

  30. Peter Patton

    dot

    Actually this is quite wrong. Merkel achieved the opposite. Judge Maudy did not conclude that the White Nine were ‘black’. To get around the obviously silliness of doing so, he created a whole new racial legal personality/identity; the ‘White Aborigine’. Oh, imagine the fun lawyers will have if that Referendum gets up!

  31. Peter Patton

    Given the latest proof of what happened at the Tent Embassy on Australia Day, how can Barbara Shaw, Kim Sattler, and Mike Anderson not be charged with inciting racial hatred?

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/video-implicates-union-boss-in-australia-day-fracas-20120215-1t4r2.html

  32. C.L.

    Well, what was the Liberal Party response??

  33. Rabz

    ‘piss weak’ and ‘disappointing’

    Apparently.

    Softcocks.

  34. John Comnenus

    The Libs want to win the culture war without fighting. It wont happen. What was it that Albanese said today, ‘I like fighting Tories, that’s what I do…’ Can you imagine anyone in the Liberal Party saying I like fighting Labor thats what I do? No, nor can I.

  35. Oh come on

    You may be right, John, but I don’t think blowhard Albanese’s fightin’ words amount to much.

  36. 2dogs

    The Libs might still come good. They may look favourably at a potential saving of $20m from the federal budget.

  37. If Victoria is a guide then expect nothing from the Libs if they get power. Ballieu is just keeping the seat warm for Labor. They have done nothing, NOTHING at all since taking government. Massive disappointment.

  38. johno

    Said it before and I’ll say it again. Tony Abbott will be a big disappointment as PM.

    He will at least provide competent government, something this country has lacked since 2007, but what he does will be disappointing.

    Red Ted and New Labor in Victoria show that we shouldn’t get too excited by a change of government.

    I suspect the new LNP government in Qld will be equally disappointing.

  39. Les Majesty

    I don’t really understand why a lawyer would get a medal for doing his job i.e. being a zealous advocate for his client.

    It was like when the luvvies wanted to give all sorts of awards to the Marine major (Mori?) who represented Hicks aggressively (a lawyerly soldier of the sea).

    The luvvies couldn’t believe that this guy really went in to bat for his client. Frankly, only someone who didn’t understand Marines or American lawyers would be the least bit surprised that this guy went in guns blazing, take nor prisoners, after getting his brief.

    He was just doing his job. He did it very well by all accounts, but not quite deserving of a medal, methinks.

  40. Les Majesty

    Is this “Human Rights Commission” that gave Merkel the medal a govt body?

    Why is a govt body giving medals to barristers for their conduct in litigation (whether it’s for one particular litigation or for his life’s work)?

    Is it ethically proper for a barrister to accept a medal given to honour the briefs he chose? What happened to the cab rank rule?

    Is the HRC saying that barristers who accept briefs loved by the luvvie community to be held in higher regard than the barrister who accepts unpopular briefs?

    Is Merkel saying that if Bolt had asked him to defend him, he would have refused in violation of the cab rank rule?

    Very strange.

  41. .

    Clearly the cab rank rule is a crock of shit and any pretences to it must be abandoned at once.

  42. .

    He was just doing his job. He did it very well by all accounts, but not quite deserving of a medal, methinks.

    When I was a kid I thought “Captain Bacon” was a prick in “A Few Good Men”.

    Luuvies have the same childish view of the legal system, despite the desire of 70% of them to be “human rights” lawyers.

  43. Sinclair Davidson

    Bacon’s character was Captain Jack Ross. He was a prick because he knew something dodgy was up but didn’t investigate.

  44. Les Majesty

    From hreoc.gov.au:

    Ron Merkel takes on cases that many others would avoid…

    http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about/media/news/2011/131_11.html

    You could say the same about Alan Myers QC representing the tobacco companies. Where’s his medal?

  45. Les Majesty

    Actually Myers does have an AO so I guess he’s already got his medal.

  46. whyisitso

    “activist judges”

    Don’t blame the judges blame the law.

    Don’t know about the law, but can any of you legal experts explain to me why it takes six months from the end of hearings to the delivery of a judgement. I’m referring in particular to the Bolt case and the Gordon Woods case.

  47. Jasbo

    The Libs want to win the culture war without fighting

    Precisely. The current generation of Liberal leaders are quasi-institutionalised hacks desperate to gain the approval of media and NGO types who’ll never vote for them.
    They have no idea of the depth of desire for transformational change in the centre-right and swinging-vote electorate.
    But the next generation of Liberals is a different bunch [at least, some of them are]. Look to internal ructions if Ted, Barry and Campbell don’t start delivering something.

  48. Sinclair Davidson

    If the federal Libs think that the rubbish they served up last night is good enough then we’re headed for a Baillieu government at the Federal level.

  49. kevin

    activist judges”

    Don’t blame the judges blame the law.

    Not so, kelly.
    the law is there and available, it is just [how] the present crop of magistrates chose to interpret it .

    [Slight edit to maintain meaning without being in contempt or defamatory. Sinc]

  50. Cyril of Gladstone

    “Activist judges”. This is only true to the extent that we have a piss weak parliament. Legislation in the parliament always over rides case law or judge made law. When the activist judge makes a case to suit his political view all it takes is for the parliament to do their job and over ride this with appropeiate legislation. They should then go in all guns blazing to get ride of these political legal hacks.

    [Slight edit to avoid contempt and/or defamation. Sinc]

  51. Cyril of Gladstone

    The dissapointing and piss weak applies to all of the so called conservative governments since Mal (socialist in disguise) Fraser. Big Mal had 8 years to wind back the socialist reforms of Whitlam but did nothing.

    John Howard had 11 years to get rid of all sorts of laws brought in by the socialists in the Hawke and Keating government to degrade individual freedom and property right such as all of the anti racial and villification laws that got Bolt. They, instead, did nothing and even launched their own assualt on the property rights of farmers with the vegetation management laws. All done at the behest of the envionmental fanatics in order to save the planet of course.

    I have absolutely not faith in any of them to wind back the creeping socialism that we have been subjected to over the past few decades.

  52. No Fixed Address

    Perhaps its ‘time’ for a WA takeover!

    Colin Barnett for PM.

    Ken Michael for GG.

  53. John Mc

    Cyril of Gladstone absolutely nails it at 11:08am. Great summary of our recent Liberal history.

  54. Peter Patton

    Albanese said today, ‘I like fighting Tories, that’s what I do…’

    So, nowadays a “Tory” is somebody who believes in removing race from our constitution and legal system?

  55. Peter Patton

    I don’t really understand why a lawyer would get a medal for doing his job i.e. being a zealous advocate for his client.

    Even worse was Anglo-German academic lawyer and luviie, Larissa Behrendt, being awarded the NSW Australian of the Year. Never mind she is paid nearly $300,000 all from the taxpayer for these alleged “services to her community”. It’s just criminal.

  56. Peter Patton

    Frankly, only someone who didn’t understand Marines or American lawyers would be the least bit surprised that this guy went in guns blazing, take nor prisoners, after getting his brief.

    Or even worse, they haven’t seen A Few Good Men!

  57. jupes

    John Howard had 11 years to get rid of all sorts of laws…

    Governments seem more concerned with making laws than getting rid of them, thus making every aspect of life more difficult.

    I would like to see an election promise from Abbott that for every law passed, two will be repealed.

  58. KC

    I agree the incoming DLP (sic) Government will probably be like the current Victorian Government, and thus disappointing. However, what was the ‘disappointing and piss weak’ response?

    Hard to pressure them if you don’t know

  59. Carpe Jugulum

    Never mind she is paid nearly $300,000 all from the taxpayer for these alleged “services to her community”.

    $300K – please tell me you are shitting me.

  60. Peter Patton

    She is a life-tenured full Professor of law, serves on government committees (such as the current one to create more jobs for White Aborigines in academia), and is on the boards of several government race committees. ALL fully paid.

  61. Peter Patton

    Oh and she is married to Michael Lavarch, who earns maybe more than she does in the same kind of jobs.

  62. Sinclair Davidson

    PP – I don’t know that they are married as opposed to being partnered.

  63. Peter Patton

    No Sinc, I am pretty sure – if not positive – that they are married.

  64. daddy dave

    Governments seem more concerned with making laws than getting rid of them, thus making every aspect of life more difficult.

    If they repealed a law, and didn’t replace it with anything, what do they think would happen? People would just wander the streets in a collective daze? What do they think happened before those laws?

    For example, I’d like them to repeal things like Fair Work Australia – and not feel any guilt about the fact that they haven’t replaced it with a different law. There are plenty of laws that this could be a applied to.

    But they’re caught in the Canberra trap of thinking that if a law doesn’t exist, society will cease to function properly… even if things were fine before the law ever came into being.

  65. C.L.

    Costello used to refer to Crean, Ferguson and Beazley as the “Life Peers” occupying family seats.

    They’re the only Tories in the place.

  66. michaelc58

    I guess as in Europe, political parties here all have to become centre democrat to catch the swinging voters in the middle. Compare Cameron to Blair – hard to tell the difference. Remember Rudd saying he is Howard Lite?

    Despite this, it’s frustrating to hear Rudd frighten Australia that Abbott will sweep like Attila the Hun through Australian gentility on one hand and read Cyril’s implied contempt for him, being lily-livered socialist-lite. What is one to think?

    Can a more right wing party win?

    If yes, then is a single person here a Liberal member to push the hard conservative agenda? I know I am not – can’t stand the politics of it. But should conservatives be joining? Or do we just sit on the side and criticise?

    Because, I figure now’s probably the best time to exert influence, while they’re in opposition. Remember, it was the Liberal ‘constituency’ power that toppled Turnbull on the ETS and gave Abbott a chance.

  67. daddy dave

    I guess as in Europe, political parties here all have to become centre democrat to catch the swinging voters in the middle.

    No, that’s not true.
    A party can’t straddle both sides of the stream and call it centrist. Compromises are all well and good but to capture the public’s attention it has to have policies and ideas about how to lead.

  68. I too was at the same event last night and agree with what Sinclair said

  69. Peter Patton

    Michael

    I guess as in Europe, political parties here all have to become centre democrat to catch the swinging voters in the middle. Compare Cameron to Blair – hard to tell the difference. Remember Rudd saying he is Howard Lite?

    Ah, it was the British who copied Australia, not the other way around. Blair implemented Hawkeatingism to Britain.

    Australians have not mimicked British civic institutions or policies since 1788, with one exception. Hawkeating’s admiration for Thatcherism.

  70. What if all laws that have statute as the victim have an initial life of five years at the end of which they have to be ratified again by parliament, and again at the end of another five years. If the laws are ratified three times then they would become permanent. This process would have two benefits. The first is that many laws would lapse after the first five years and the second is that the whole process would slow the parliament down and reduce their ability to make new laws. This slowing down would cause the parliament to concentrate on ‘important’ laws and neglect the crap ones. I think they should stop laws by regulation and all laws should pass through parliament.

  71. Alphonse

    Tired of reading everyone taking everyone else’s word for it to confirn their pre-existing ideologies, I went and read the court decision (at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2011/1103.html)

    I’m not sure that Part 2A of the Racial Discrimination Act is a desirable law but I do know that you have to be objectively despicable to infringe it. Bolt was, objectively, despicable. He had a case to make and could have made it with a modicum of fairness and truthfulness but he fell way short.

  72. daddy dave

    Bolt was, objectively, despicable.

    ‘Despicable’ is a subjective word, so your statement quite literally makes no sense.

    He had a case to make and could have made it with a modicum of fairness and truthfulness

    Aside from whether he ‘fell short’, the racial discrimination act wasn’t intended to be used to police ‘truthfulness’ in journalism.

  73. Sinclair Davidson

    DD – you’re feeding the troll

  74. JC

    Hey Dads, welcome back. Where have you been.

  75. daddy dave

    Thanks JC. Been busy. Plus, no internet. I’ll tell you all about it if I ever get to one of these top-secret Melbourne Catallaxy meetings.

  76. Peter Patton

    Stephen

    I think it would be a good idea to constitutionalize a sunset clause for ALL legislation of, say, 15-20 years. So, when that 15/20 is up, the Parliament could simply re-pass the exact same legislation, OR, if things have changed, Parliament could amend the law, or choose not to re-affirm it, thus revoking it.

  77. JC

    Dad, you said you’d be here last Nov but became a no show.

    Frankly I’m all “polticked” out at the moment.

    I’m hoping both morons lose tomorrow.

  78. entropy

    One of the advantages of sunset clauses for existing legislation is they get too busy reviewing to waste everyone’s time dreaming up new stuff.

  79. daddy dave

    Dad, you said you’d be here last Nov but became a no show.

    True, but I didn’t think it was set in concrete yet (and therefore not too late to bail).

  80. Peter Patton

    entropy

    That might be a plus, but is there any evidence that would likely happen? Personally, I was horrified when Albo actually bragged they has passed over 200 pieces of legislation!!! FMD, imagine how appallingly drafted they must be.

  81. JC

    hahahah Just kidding. Let us know next time.

  82. Rabz

    Dad, you said you’d be here last Nov but became a no show.

    I for one, am glad he’s back – a voice of reason among teh ‘cacophony’…

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