No Kangaroo Courts

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Well, isn’t this precious:

 

MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Director of Public Prosecutions for the Australian territory of Victoria is threatening Church Militant with prosecution if we don’t remove our article on Cdl. George Pell’s conviction for sex abuse.

Thursday, Kerri Judd, a member of the Queen’s Council, sent a letter to Church Militant informing us we are in breach of a suppression order issued by Chief Judge Peter Kidd, which prohibits publication of any information related to Pell’s conviction in Australia. The reason for the gag order is ostensibly to prevent influencing the jury in a forthcoming trial on a separate set of charges.

“The prohibition on publication in that order applies within all States and Territories of Australia and on any website or other electronic or broadcast format accessible within Australia,” Judd’s letter reads.

She requests that Church Militant “immediately remove the article from publication” — even though Church Militant is a U.S.-based corporation outside of Australia’s jurisdiction — going on to write, “I am currently considering my options with regard to sub judice contempt and breach of suppression order proceedings.”

Unlike in the United States, Australia has no constitutional right to free speech or freedom of the press. Such suppression orders are thus legal in Australia, and a media organization in Australia found in breach of such orders may be fined or even imprisoned. An Australian court has no jurisdiction, however, over foreign media organizations.

In fact, Chief Judge Peter Kidd of the County Court of Victoria, who presided over Pell’s trial, said during a meeting Thursday with Judd and Pell’s attorney that he was seriously considering punishing media organizations with up to five years’ imprisonment for what he deems “egregious and flagrant” breaches of his suppression order.

[G]iven how potentially egregious and flagrant these breaches are, a number of very important people in the media are facing, if found guilty, the prospect of imprisonment and indeed substantial imprisonment, and it may well be that many significant members of the media community are in that potential position. That being the case, that should inform us as to how the matter ought to be dealt with.

At one point, Judd also discusses the possibility of “extradition” of offenders. Such an order would involve a request that members of the media accused of violating the order and who are citizens of foreign countries be extradited to Australia for prosecution.

Go here to read the rest.  Let me explain a few things to Judge Kidd:

  1. The Queen’s writ hasn’t run here since 1776.
  2. We have this pesky thing here called the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech and of the press.  An annoyance to power mad judges I know, but that is the way life is in these United States.
  3.  The US-Australia extradition treaty, go here to read it, specifies the offenses under which extradition may occur, and  defying a gag order by an Aussie judge with a very bad case of black robitis is not on that list.

 

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11 Comments

  1. Hhhmmm. Isn’t the threat to imprison an innocent man possible slanderous behavior since Voris is a free US citizen? Put a hold on all kangaroo meat coming from down under till we add up the cost to settle the defamation suit…..

  2. The Judiciary in the state of Victoria in Oz is very left wing and anti Christian. Australia has descended into the morass of PCism, pro homo and LGBTQ+ism and muslim hugging – you just need to check out the way Bernard Gaynor has been being persecuted by the Leftocracy of the NSW govt.

  3. Morenowthanever wrote, “something about all of this really stinks.”

    Not really. When the charges against an accused are split into two or more trials, it is usual to place reporting restrictions on the first. Obviously, it is highly prejudicial to the accused for jurors in the 2nd trial to know of his conviction in the first, something that would be inadmissible in evidence. Likewise, knowledge of an acquittal in the first trial could cast doubt on the credibility of witnesses testifying in both.

    In Scotland, no order would be necessary. Publication in such circumstances could be dealt with summarily as a contempt of court or instruct an indictment for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

    I recall one case, many years age, where a man was due to be tried for the alleged murder of his wife on the Monday and a Sunday paper reported his trial and acquittal for a previous wife in England some four years previously. The prejudice was deemed so great that the diet was deserted.

    NB “Kerri Judd, a member of the Queen’s Council” QC stands for Queen’s Counsel or, more formally, “One of Her Majesty’s counsel learned in the law.” The abbreviation for a member of the Queen’s Council is PC – Privy Counsellor.

  4. “NB “Kerri Judd, a member of the Queen’s Council” QC stands for Queen’s Counsel or, more formally, “One of Her Majesty’s counsel learned in the law.””

    Also known as Queer Customer, per Horace Rumpole, Esq., NQC.

    In Scotland, no order would be necessary. Publication in such circumstances could be dealt with summarily as a contempt of court or instruct an indictment for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

    Sad MPS that you do not reside in a free country.

  5. Donald R McClarey wrote, “Sad MPS that you do not reside in a free country.”

    Freedom of speech is guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights. So is the right to a fair trail

    ARTICLE 10 FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

    1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

    2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

  6. “…and defying a gag order by an Aussie judge with a very bad case of black robitis is not on that list.”
    ““extradition” must be of criminal cases. This appears to be a civil case.

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