Dear NACC, tell us about the $2.44m Higgins payout probe

In this open letter to the NACC, ANDREW L. URBAN, explains why the NACC must publish the terms of its investigation into the hurried and secretive payout of $2.44 million to Brittany Higgins, based on what are now revealed to be false claims.  Continue reading

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The Lehrmann/Higgins “omnishambles” and the omniquestions

Andrew L. Urban.

Justice Lee called the Lehrmann/Higgins drama an omnishambles, finding that Lehrmann effectively raped Higgins by not getting consent while she lay in a drunken stupor. It is “an outcome that must be respected but one that is necessarily diminished by circumstance,” as the Editorial in The Australian put it, (16/4/24).  Continue reading

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Lehrmann ‘probably’ recklessly disregarded absence of consent

Andrew L. Urban.

Justice Lee filled 332 pages detailing his judgement in the defamation case of Lehrmann v Network Ten and Wilkinson, with all but three of the multitude of individuals involved subject to criticism in the matter. But only one aspect will be worthy of headlines: he found that sex took place and Lehrmann, on the balance of probabilities, didn’t care whether the heavily intoxicated Brittany Higgins consented to sexual intercourse or not. That’s rape. Continue reading

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Presumption of Innocence conference under attack

Andrew L. Urban.

A petition to cancel the upcoming Restoring the Presumption of Innocence Conference inadvertently makes the very point of the conference: the need to protect the presumption of innocence. The Conference, organised by Bettina Arndt and hosted by the Australians for Science and Freedom and sponsored by Mothers of Sons, is scheduled for June 1, 2024, in Sydney’s Rushcutters Bay (venue TBA.)  Continue reading

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The law as manhunt

Andrew L. Urban.

I visited Noel Greenaway in maximum security last year. As he came out to greet me, I made a mental note that he was wearing spotless white overalls; prison issue. How ironic, I thought, yet how fitting. The man convicted of egregious sexual and physical abuse of troublesome teenage girls nearly half a century ago – wrongfully, I maintain – is issued a white garment symbolic of innocence by the very system that destroyed the presumption of his innocence.

In my book, Presumption of Evil, I shine the written spotlight on his case,  drawing on court transcripts, diaries, personal reflections and painful family recollections. His guilt was not established beyond reasonable doubt. Indeed, it was not established to any level.

By relying on untested claims, the court reversed the onus of proof. His innocence is not something he should have had to try and prove in our criminal justice system.

His accusers, referred to as victims from the time they made their complaints, had no corroborative evidence to present nor were they required to. Many people don’t know that. As the judge told the jury, the evidence is what the complainants said in court. She said, he said…and what she said goes.

That’s how the law currently stands in such cases, with the furious agreement of the #MeToo movement.

As I detail in my book, the court was provided with dozens of glowing character references for the law-abiding, morally upright Noel Greenaway for the purposes of sentencing (little good did they do him). But the characters of his accusers were never examined. Of course, the jury didn’t get to see Noel’s character references, but my point is how the presumption of innocence is lost in such cases.

Another case I studied involving sexual abuse, also historic, resulted in a conviction which is so obviously wrongful it doesn’t need a lawyer to see it. The man was convicted and jailed, satisfying the desire of the complainant who had alerted him before she even made the complaint that she set out to destroy his happy family – of which she had been a well treated member. But like Oliver, she wanted more …

When unscrupulous women take advantage of the new mantra that we should ‘believe all women’, they attack the presumption of innocence and become the unrestrained hunters of men. Their reasons are varied and do not really matter. Revenge, politics, fame or monetary reward, justice is abused, with help from a deformed new legal privilege.

Innocent men have become collateral damage. Teen Vogue columnist and outspoken feminist Emily Lindin came under fire on social media in November 2017 after tweeting that she was “not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs” over false allegations of sexual assault or harassment. Perhaps karma might change her mind …

As I explain in the book, child sex abuse is today’s crimen exceptum – a crime so exceptional that the established rules of justice need not be applied to it. And adult sex abuse is not far behind. Misusing allegations of sexual assault for an ulterior purpose is a uniquely female weapon.

But that is wrong. If society exempts one category of crime from the established rules of justice which set guidelines for the protection of the accused, we are back in the dark ages where justice was an aspiration not a reality and every citizen at risk of the massive powers of the state disabling the presumption of innocence.

At the start of my book I quote an observation from the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato: The worst form of injustice is pretended justice.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Case 06 'Paul', Case 22 Noel Greenaway | 14 Comments

Milat in hint he did not act alone

Serial killer Ivan Milat hinted other people may been involved in his backpacker murder spree during a jailhouse conversation, it has emerged, reports MARK BUTTLER in The Daily Telegraph (2/4/24).  Continue reading

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Respect is earned; so is disrespect, Your Honour

Andrew L. Urban.

In a timely warning to his fellow judges, High Court Chief Justice Stephen Gageler has raised concerns that increasing media “attacks” made on individual judges may reflect on the judiciary as a whole, saying judges need to be seen upholding ethical and professional standards. Couldn’t agree more, Your Honour. Respect has to be earned.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 01 Sue Neill-Fraser, Case 05 Derek Bromley, Case 06 'Paul', Case 07 George Pell, Case 11 Robert Xie | 9 Comments

Why … ?

Andrew L. Urban.

In a criminal legal system that relies for legitimacy on uniformity of application and consistency of outcomes, apparent anomalies stand out.  Continue reading

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Derek Bromley granted parole after 40 years

Andrew L. Urban

 Granting Derek Bromley’s bail application on March 27, 2024, 40 years after his 1984 murder conviction, parole board chair Frances Nelson KC commented: “He continues to maintain his innocence. He’s entitled to do that, it’s not for us to retry the issue.” Nor was it for South Australia’s appeal court to do to retry the issue, but they did in June 2018 – flouting the law, according to legal academics.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 05 Derek Bromley | 29 Comments

Here come the judge … was Lehrmann defamed?

Two weeks from today, at 10.15 am, April 4, 2024, Justice Lee of the Federal Court will hand down his judgement in one of the most consequential cases in contemporary Australia: the defamation case brought by Bruce Lehrmann against Network TEN and Lisa Wilkinson, in the carnage known as the Brittany Higgins case.  Continue reading

Posted in Case 18 Bruce Lehrmann | 1 Comment