Should we lower the bar to get ‘justice’?

Andrew L. Urban.

Well now, the Law Reform Commission, which has never looked at reforms that might minimise wrongful convictions, is conducting a probe into the nation’s sexual assault laws to examine whether civil ­remedies, with lower standards of proof, can “bring justice for complainants”. And presiding is Australian Law Reform Commission president Mordecai Bromberg, who in Employment/Industrial Relations cases (2018-2020) found in favour of the union 10 out of 11 times, according to a 2021 Menzies Research Centre (MRC) report on Judicial Impartiality. 

Justice Bromberg, once a factional member of the ALP and a one time candidate, is perhaps best remembered as the judge who found against Andrew Bolt in a case involving Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act. The late Labor Senator Kimberly Kitching was “very surprised” when Bromberg decided to hear Herald Sun columnist Bolt’s racial discrimination case, given Bromberg’s close relationship with the Labor Party … She told Bolt, according to the MRC report: “He was an active ALP person, he was active enough that he was in a faction, he ran for pre-selection,” she said. “Obviously he would have had some views about you (Bolt), and perhaps he was not the best person to hear your case.” (For readers in faraway countries, Andrew Bolt is well known as a Conservative, and frequent target of Labor vitriol.)

Justice Mordecai Bromberg

In another example examined in the MRC report, the ‘evidence’ of a single researcher from Australian National University was sought by Justice Bromberg, in the case of Sharma & ORS v Minister for the Environment [2021], in which eight 16-year-old Victorian residents brought a case to prevent the approval of the Vickery coal mine extension in northern NSW. The plaintiffs alleged that the Minister owed them a duty of care not to cause them harm by granting the mine exemption.

Justice Mordecai Bromberg’s judgement included the following sections:

  • The effects of Greenhouse Gases upon the Earth’s Surface Temperature;
  • The Earth System, Carbon Sinks, Feedbacks, The Tipping Cascade and ‘Hothouse Earth’;
  • Effects to Date of Human Emissions of C02;
  • Future Effects – The Future World Scenarios;
  • Effects of a 2°C Future World;
  • Effects of a 3°C Future World;
  • Effects of a 4°C Future World;
  • What Needs to be done to Achieve a 2°C Future World

Quite the climate specialist!

I mention these facts about Justice Bromberg in the context of my discomfort at this probe which seems to be looking for a way to lower standards of proof in sexual assault cases. Just what we need in this #MeToo infected legal world.

Bromberg and part-time commissioner Marcia Neave said on Monday (24/6/24) the ­inquiry would investigate the “non-engagement” of rape victims with criminal solutions, and examine whether there were alternative civil remedies that could bring them justice. The commission’s review was announced earlier this year by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, and will investigate evidence frameworks, court processes, jury directions and consent laws.

The commissioners are required to consult a hand-picked “lived-experience advisory group” of sexual-assault survivors who will provide insights on how to achieve better outcomes for those who report attacks.

Noel Greenaway

Perhaps the Commission should interview Noel Greenaway, currently serving a 20 year sentence for multiple instances of sexual assault, convicted solely on the say-so of half a dozen women claimants (all inmates at an institution for troublesome girls) who accused him of historical crimes nearly half a century prior. The judge told the jury that their testimony was the evidence.

How much further can we lower the standard of proof?




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6 Responses to Should we lower the bar to get ‘justice’?

  1. Roscoe says:

    If “lowering the bar” to achieve justice, such as in the Lehrmann Vs Chanel 10 case, et al, then a Judge should be in a position to award costs and penalties for perjury (at least) in the wrongful evidence claims of so-called participants “trying on” the Court processes.
    Such penalties existed in the Family Court prior to the then PM, Julia Gillard, absolving claimants of dubious and demonstrably false claims not meeting the standard of Perjury, as it formerly existed prior. The annulment of Perjury in that Court has open up a hornets nest to the delight of litigants, their Attorneys, and those otherwise unemployed.
    Once that sorry saga is addressed then false sexual assault cases should be dealt with and any funds recovered by the false claimants should be added to a fund that properly supports the “real” victims of sexual assault.

  2. owen allen says:

    6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. (This was for a personal reason)
    The Judge obviously can not comprehend the difference between testimonials and evidence. One lie is a lie. 2 lies the same is still a lie. Even witnesses lie is still a lie but, to accept individual testimonials as evidence is Perversion of Justice. In the Law Books there must be statutes of what is evidence in court and what is not.
    That Judge is as bad as Blow in Tasmania.
    I still have the false statements to police by the perjurers, coerced cronyism, and my only hope of sanity is not give up go away and hide, but stay in the fight and support and help if I can to others. Owen.

    • andrew says:

      Sadly, Owen, the judge was applying the law as it now stands. That’s the problem.

      • owen allen says:

        Andrew, back in the 80’s in Victoria the ‘Verbal’ was the big thing used by Police, also at that time Police shootings were common. Somehow it was brought into line; and if verbal is law, then it is no law at all. Owen.

        • Heinrich says:

          Lower the Bar – Ray Bailey was murdered by a South Australian Judge using a government rope – his head came off . Convicted using a verbal confession extracted by a Queensland Police “Rat Pack” hero Hallahan – an upmarket brothel keeper and pimp- tortured poor Rays pregnant wife until she miscarried and nearly died ! So Ray Confessed so the other Queensland police heroes would leave her alone . Queensland Police murderer several other women in the trade – where they extorted money and free jiggy jigs . Darryl Beamish was sentenced to death using a tortured confession extracted by future Western Australian police Commissioner Leitch . That dear police hero got 4 confessions from the poor deaf mute innocent citizen . 6 appeals to the halfwits failed – not surprising- this would be an admission that Letcher was a chvnt . Did you know that these verbal confessions had to be reworked several times – enough to fool a moronic judge . Please don’t suggest that other police present and helping didn’t know and approve of this verbalising torture skill ? As the lefty prime minister (QC) said – the police forces are a necessary evil . Did you know that RAF interrogation experts did not torture Luftwaffe crew for information. Maybe because they weren’t boofhead police thugs ? The boofhead torturers knew quite quickly that poor Ray and Darryl were innocent . Talk about
          LOWER THE BAR

          • Heinrich says:

            Andrew – as a contributor and reader of the Menzies Research Centre ” water cooler” news letter, I’m having great difficulty locating the names of the Wrongfully Convicted and damaged poor citizens- accused of the scurrilous crime of being Communists ! (under parliamentary privilege). A close relative – an electrical engineer- worked on the fabulously (later) successful British Centurian Tank from 1943 to 1945 in blighty. Was then employed on returning to Australia at wars end- on the Tasmanian Hydro as an electrical engineer- His true calling and international expertise Was sacked (with his wife and children’s futures damaged) at the instigation of, and accusation from the right -that he was too far left for the right wing wrongful convictors (no crime- no trial) Had to leave Australia- worked world wide on giant Hydro Electric projects . But not in Australia- home of the free and the brave . No way ! With his brothers killed over Germany (Lancaster) and in North Africa (artillery) against far right Hitler. Maybe some readers could discover the names of these Wrongfully Convicted under Parliamentary privilege. What was their fate – suicide, ruin , poverty ? All part of Australian history of the fair go – Sue Neill-Fraser etc. etc. The power to destroy and Wrongfully Convict – not just in the kangaroo courts – but on the floor of parliament ! Charlie Chaplin was accused by the right of being a Jew and a Communist – he found that amusing- so he left the country – The right didn’t like the way he rubbished Hitler ! Hitler found the movie hilarious !

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