Bruce Lehrmann “is not a rapist” – Rule of Law Institute

Andrew L. Urban

Bruce Lehrmann has not been convicted of rape – yet his name and reputation have suffered as if he had been. It was in the civil proceedings that Justice Lee ruled in favour of Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson’s claim that their allegations of Lehrmann raping Brittany Higgins was not defamatory but ‘probably’ true … on the balance of probabilities. All the while Lehrmann maintains his innocence – and has just lodged an application to appeal Lee’s judgement. 

Justin Quill

“Bruce Lehrmann is a rapist! Bruce Lehrmann is a rapist!” twice for good measure, said Justin Quill of the lawfirm Thomson Geer, who had acted for Network Ten, direct to TV cameras after Justice Lee’s judgement. Lee was not pleased and demanded a transcript before the hearing on costs. Lehrmann has been labelled a rapist in a civil proceeding, just as he would have been had his trial completed and a jury found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt. In other words, to all intents and purposes, he is regarded in the same bad light as a criminal – which he is not. The difference has been blurred. Quill re-emphasised the blurring, saying “how can it be unreasonable to publish something that was true?”

Chris Merritt

How does this sit with the rule of law? I asked Chris Merritt, vice president of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia:

The remarks by Justin Quill, who is one of this country’s leading media lawyers, have lessons about the catastrophic consequences of using the law of defamation to deal with accusations that are, in essence, criminal in nature.

It inevitably leads to confusion and undermines public confidence in the justice system’s ability to distinguish between guilt and innocence.

Those who assert that the defamation victory by Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson means Bruce Lehrmann is a rapist can draw support from passages in the judgement of Justice Michael Lee of the Federal Court 

But that is not the full story and to treat it as such is unhelpful. 

Bruce Lehrmann

Lehrmann has not been convicted by Justice Lee or anyone else on a criminal charge of rape. Under the criminal law he is not a rapist.

So while a defamation judgement on the lower civil standard of proof has upheld the truth of the imputation that he is a rapist, that is not the case under criminal law.

This will remain so even if Lehrmann loses his appeal in the defamation case.

The blame for this appalling position rests with the authorities in the ACT who stopped the criminal case against Lehrmann because of what they said was concern for the wellbeing of his accuser, Brittany Higgins.That decision stripped Lehrmann of his right to have the accusation against him tested against the rigours of the criminal law.

Describing Lehrmann as a rapist without explaining the significant differences between defamation and criminal justice – and the failure of the ACT justice system – only adds to confusion and relieves the ACT authorities of the odium that is rightfully theirs.

The negative impact on Lehrmann is the same as a criminal verdict: on getting a job, renting a home, mixing socially, forming relationships … just doing the shopping as a widely publicised, recognisable man. As I write, he is effectively living in hiding at a remote location.

If my experience of responses to Bruce Lehrmann’s name is any guide, there are only two: he’s a rapist, OR he’s been unjustly treated, not only by the court but by the whole coterie standing behind Justin Quill, from Higgins to Ten to Wilkinson.

But what if Lehrmann’s appeal goes ahead (lack of money is an impediment) and the court upholds his appeal? Suddenly, Quill’s question is turned back on his client who published something that was NOT true. What then? Will Lehrmann be entitled to significant damages after all?

DISCLOSURE: Andrew L. Urban has been invited to work with Bruce Lehrmann on his book about his experience, in due course.

 

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11 Responses to Bruce Lehrmann “is not a rapist” – Rule of Law Institute

  1. Don Wakeling says:

    Quite apart from his failure to discharge his obligation to apply to the facts the long accepted and applied standard required by the High Court in Briginshaw, Justice Lee even came up with a finding of fact that Lehmann “was hell bent ” on having sex with Higgins no matter what! Where, in the whole case, is there ANY evidence to support such a finding? That finding, alone, is sufficient to conclude that Lee J ought not sit in judgement of any contested proceeding. It’s the “civil” law equivalent on the Tasmanian creation of the ” wrench” . The wrench, invented by the prosecutor and delivered to the Jury with all malice by the disgraceful Blow J.

  2. Owen Allen says:

    Do we have any Sociologists, Psychologists, Criminalogists regularly reading here.
    So many theses that could be initiated within these subjects in Australia, there is a syndrome in the Justice Systems of the States, of Injustice not Justice. Why.
    I wrote and sent a letter to the Premier of Tasmania at the time, and I pointed out that Society is an Organism. I said Tasmanian Society was largely controlled by Bacteria, the plural of Bacterium. Corruption, not by an individual, by many individuals which in Tasmania and anywhere is Cronyism and Crime.
    They ignore Dr Moles, they ignore Robert Richter QC, ignore evidence presented by Eve Ash Documentary Maker. So what can we do, start sending out Black Dots ie Treasure Island, or Point The Bone at the Criminal Injustice Participants.
    Surely there are Laws in place to prevent crime within the Justice System. Is that not what the Governor General is for, and the ADF to protect citizens from within the borders from corrupt regimes who have their own agenda.
    Thanks, I just had a Cough Syncope, Owen.

  3. Rob Porter says:

    Dear Countess,
    I take your point, “the Law is an ass”, and it has been for a very long time, just ask Charles Dickens (in Oliver Twist). There was, as you say, no direct evidence of the rape other than that of the, so called victim, Higgins. On her own admissions, Higgins is an abject liar, which has had the effect of attempting pervert the course of justice, a very serious crime indeed.

    It is not so much that the Law is an ass, but rather, the heard of asses that administer it!
    One such ass, Justice Michael Lee, is hopefully going to be exposed by his peers in Lehrman’s appeal as not properly applying the requirements of the Law (vis Briginshaw v Briginshaw) which requires that in making a finding of criminal conduct in a civil proceeding, the judge has to apply a far higher standard of proof than mere balance of probabilities. Briginshaw is a 1938 decision of the High Court. What if Lee J was biased? I think he is. Properly presented, the appeal will be successful, at least, it should be. Lee J’s judgment will be tested as to his application of Briginshaw against his judgment in Lehrmann v Ch 10 and Wilkinson.

    Lehrman got immediately fired for entering Parliament House, Higgins followed Lehrman into Parlaiment and did not. She got rewarded $2.4m of taxpayer’s money for her lies and deception at all levels. Lehrman, again as you say, is ruined.

    This whole controversy, assessed on the balance of probabilities, is plainly a Labour Party scam, cooked up by Shiraz and Higgins, executed by ministers Gallagher and Dreyfus. Labour’s involvement in all this is far deeper and far worse than is publicly known. The alleged separation of powers, judiciary, church and parliament is an illusion, always has been. Justice Lee is a God fearing Labour man; so what would you expect.

    Having said all that, praise be to those judges, magistrates and registrars who remain objective, impartial and true. The rule of law is not negotiable.

    I know, Lehrmann. He’s no rapist, and I’m convinced about that, beyond reasonable doubt!

    • pv says:

      Thanks for pointing that out Robert . Yes the burden of proof in a civil proceeding in relation to a criminal matter is expected to be higher than the low bar civil standard . Declaration of probable rape , with no forensic support makes Lee a fool . Can we afford Judges who are fools .? Yes but only if you are not the accused. As you know Briginshaw case is undeniable precedent PV

  4. Owen Allen says:

    I lived at my sons place, who is now deceased over 1 year. Ex ADF, ex Iraq Security. Single vehicle accident, lost control wet night, thrown out. He was probably driving like they did in Iraq, when they had passengers to protect from roadside attack. I had previously years ago stayed for 3 months on my own, and practised darts. I love darts. Its cheap. I got a job with tree planters for 18 months, and lived in town, driving out to the bush daily which was great for my head. Wedgetail eagles and F111 Fighter Bombers over our worksites.
    Unitl it all folded up and I changed vocation for survival, driving tankers.
    Which leads me to The Point of Conversation. 6 years after I fled from Tasmania, I was still so traumatised it is beyond my belief, but I experienced it. The time frame is absolute because I was going to a Christian Church and a bloke their put me on to a job. And, I was so traumatised then, if I started to tell him about Tasmania, within a couple of minutes I was overdosing on cortisol. I now all about it, and so do the mind controllers like Tavistock and it has been used for years, psychological warfare and that is what is happening in Tasmania, Australia, and throughout the world. I have won, I am not a victim, I am not a survivor I am a victor, as is Bruce Lehrmann, he has no case to answer like Sue Neill-Fraser and all the other sufferers supported by Wrongful Convictions. Owen.

  5. Owen Allen says:

    I have a proposal, for Bruce. I own a bush block, he can stay there as long as he likes rent free. I will help him set up camp. Its easy living in the bush these days, its not far from civilisation or metropolis by vehicle. The block is a haven of last resort to, heal and consolidate. It is designed for Outlaws, designated by The Sheriff. This might sound comical, ridiculous, but I am serious and true.
    Owen.

    • PV says:

      Hi Owen PV here . I went through a similar thing to Bruce but in spite of impossible forensic anomalies i was found guilty !
      We have evidence of perjury and police and DPP collusion with witnesses . Perversion of the Course of Justice . A wonderful man by the name of David Jackson QC now deceased said to my wife ” its extraordinary. There is no case here. Leave to appeal nonetheless was refused. Shame on our legal fraternity who seek a win and not the truth. Back to your point ! A woman with 2 kids was living in a caravan on her own land on acres out of sight of any neighbour . She was ordered out because there was no approval sought . I gather she is now a homeless mother of two. PV

      • Owen Allen says:

        I can not believe the mindset in Australia today, an old bloke in a bus on private property same thing. Ordered off by council. Some States or Councils may be different, I am not sure. Wind back the clock to 1915, the Coo-ee March from Gilgandra to Sydney; these people, the authoritarians we are reading about, none would have volunteered, they are not Australian. They may have been born here, but have no connection to the Nation. They are traitorous scum to general society, and all I can say is they must have fried their brains with illicit drug use, they have no commonsense or decency. Owen.

  6. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich says:

    How can Bruce be a “rapist “when a criminal court has not declared him a rapist ?This is an injustice which shows ” the Law is an Ass “which condemns and has ruined his life without a shred of proof .

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