You know you are Australian … when they try to tell us that elected members of parliament are answerable to unelected public servants and unelected judges – NOT the other way around. It is supposed to be the otherway around. Well it is the other way around in a genuine democracy.
Below is the text of my letter today to embattled Victorian State MP Geoff Shaw (cc his senior legal advisor Robert Richter QC), pointing out what should be pretty obvious, namely that this illegal combined unconstitutional forces of the state police / prosecution agency and judiciary currently playing out in the Melbourne Magistrates Court is a blatant contempt of parliament.
Where is the parliamentary, media and academic, state, national and international uproar against this brazen attack on the central pillar of parliamentary democracies the world-wide – namely the sovereignty of one elected branch of state (the parliament) over the two “standing” (ie unelected and, non-coincidentally lawyer dominated) branches of state (the public service and the judiciary)?
This is a sad and alarming (perhaps ultimate) indictment of how lawyers do government in Australia, with lashes of contempt for such obstructive ideals as democracy, human rights or due process (rule of law). Just the latest in a long line of demonstrations just how far off the path to democracy that Australia has fallen.
James Johnson CHR
Founder of “Operation Law Restore” and “Vote Marginal” Campaigns
Former Columnist with @theLIJ 1998 – 2002
B.Ec (Hons) LL.B. Journalist + Law Reformer + Whistleblowe
GPO Box ###### #### #### #####
The Honorable Mr. Geoff Shaw Friday 22 November, 2013
MLA for Frankston
By Facsimile: 9783 5930 (4 pages)
CC: Mr. Robert Richter QC – Facsimile 9078 2670
Dear Mr. Shaw, MLA
Melbourne Magistrates Court Proceedings / Police Action against you – Lacking Due Authority, Lacking Due Process and Blatant Contempts of Parliament
1. I have in recent days observed from afar several media reports concerning Melbourne Magistrates Court proceedings affecting you. It is my sketchy understanding that you are embroiled in these purported judicial proceedings as a purported ordinary defendant (contemptuous of your relevant status as an elected parliamentarian) on purported “off-again, on-again” charges arraigned against you by at least one State government agency, namely Victoria Police. Of course, as these things are set-up, there is no doubt a whole coalition of state paid officers and officials (agents and entire agencies) of which Victoria Police (or, query, be it the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions?) is something of an autobotted figurehead agency that conveniently masks those truly behind this extraordinary process of multi-million dollar wasting misuse of public powers and unelected official positions for improper political agendas against an elected official.
2. I know next to nothing of your politics. I know very little of your present circumstances or events leading up to these purported Magistrates Court hearings. Indeed, as a whistleblower and forced interstate exile, my knowledge of current political events in my former home State of Victoria is unavoidably circumscribed these days. Through corrupt circumstances I have the misfortune of being a one time $11,000 a day constitutional human rights lawyer, currently an internally displaced person, an exiled whistleblower, victim of fraudulent legal proceedings, and victim of a mountain of human rights violations, crimes of violence, and survivor of mounting whistleblower reprisals – waves of crimes and injustices that cartels of lawyer-dominated government and judicial agencies continue to waged against me (now for a sixth successive year) enriching themselves along the way with millions of dollars from the public purse.
3. I write to you because I am abhorred by what, to me at least, are obvious unconstitutional injustices being (successfully, so far) attempted against you, in your capacity as an elected member of the parliamentary branch of the State of Victoria by the joint unconstitutional (and therefore illicit) forces of the unelected bureaucratic agency/ies and the unelected judiciary.
4. Clearly you have powerful enemies – maybe even as powerful and selfishly driven as those who have come against me – for whom law abiding might be a preference, but a highly dispensable one it would seem.
5. It is appalling that there is no unanimous protest by every state MLA and every State MLC at this blatant attempt by this combination of unconstitutional force of the states’ unelected bureaucrats and unelected judiciary to stamp ascendancy over the States elected parliamentarians? Do they not recognise the dangers to themselves and to democracy as we know it, if elected parliamentarians and parliaments are to be made subservient to control of unelected bureaucrats and judges (and other “publicly salaried and perked for life”) lawyers? Where are the protests from the fourth and fifth estates (the media and the academia) at this usurpation of parliament and this inversion of the natural democratic order of state powers?
6. I know nothing of the merits of the claims made against you. But meritorious or not, the issue here is lack / abuse of power by both the prosecutors and the adjudicator – a total lack of due process. I see the current attempts against you not as an isolated instance, but as part of a wholesale pattern of abuse, a veritable wholesale assault on democracy, human rights and rule of law that seems to typify “how” and “why” much of what is passed-off as “governing” is done in Australian these days (without regard, by officials or other lawyers, not even media awareness as to the blatant illicitness of such activities). In a properly fledged democracy, even one with respect for only the most weakling Westminster form of separation of powers that we have (separation of judicial functions from parliamentary ones), allegations of misconduct by an elected parliamentarian would be a matter solely and exclusively for the jurisdiction of (the upper house of) the elected parliament. That is certainly how the Westminster system in Westminster operates today. That is how the Westminster system at Westminster has operated for many centuries. There have been a number of instances in recent years (all easily findable by online searches) where the House of Lords has sat as a court of parliament to hear charges of contempt against law firms and corporations who have committed contempts against elected parliamentary office holders. It is inconceivable, strange as our political system of government may be, that alone of all Commonwealth nations that have inherited and foolishly (or cunningly) kept Westminster style governments, the Australian version of Westminster might be so different to the Westminster version of Westminster that our state parliaments could have lost to the state judiciary and state police agencies the power to regulate the conduct of parliamentarians.
7. It is my recollection that there are no impeachment or recall procedures written into any of our shamefully under-fledged and woefully (some say deliberately sabotaged) unsynchronised Victorian or other Australian constitutional instruments. (Dare I flag these omissions as an “all of government” contempt of we the people, given that the omissions are almost certainly lawyer-elitist and deliberate.) The same is true for the Houses of Commons and the House of Lords at Westminster. Presumably the Legislative Council has longstanding standing orders governing such proceedings. If not, there is nothing to stop the Legislative Council, as the sole proper forum, to belatedly get about writing up the rules for such a process. Certainly the parliament cannot, by Act or other instrument, let alone by constitutional and other omissions, delegate to any judicial forum such primary parliamentary powers as the oversight of parliamentarians’ conduct. And nor can any judicial forum accept or presume such basic parliamentary functions or powers. Lastly, should there be any lingering delusion that this weakling Westminster separation of powers we have operates by constitutional convention at federal level without also operating at state level – there is recent unanimous Full High Court of Australia authority out of New South Wales, that at last and at least puts this one of our many “Alice in Wonderland” constitutional absurdities to rest.
8. It seems to me that these current purported proceedings against you in the Melbourne Magistrates Court constitute in legal and constitutional terms a clear set of contempts of parliament by those agencies and agents of the bureaucracy branch of state promoting them. Not only is it contempt for these state agencies to bring these charges against you outside of parliament, but it is separately and discretely contemptuous for a judicial forum or judicial officer to hear them. [How embarrassing, not to mention alarmingly absurd, to have to inform a Magistrate of this. But, while lawyers, but most Magistrates are former state prosecutors. They are not known for their constitutional kudos.] Not only are these agencies and agents committing actionable torts against you (misconduct in public office, etc etc). Ignorance of the law is no excuse (though it may have a bearing in sentencing), and they and those standing behind them are committing crimes of the kind laid out in sections 320 and 321 of the Crimes Act. You will see that the maximum statutory penalties in a court of law for “contempts” include up to 15 years imprisonment. In the context of a parliamentary forum, it is my understanding that even higher penalties can be applied.
9. In an Australian context, I could list a number of such abhorrent political actions, actions that fall into the category of contempts of parliament, at Federal and State levels, because of the non-parliamentary forums employed. These all suggest that, as in pre-Tudor times, the elected parliamentary branch of state is in practice the most subordinate rather than the primary branch.
10. I trust that your legal advisors have advised you along the above lines – including the appropriateness and timing of an application to the appropriate courts to have this Magistrates Court abomination quashed on constitutional grounds, so that the matter can be properly dealt with within parliament which, after all, is one of the key things for which parliaments are elected.
11. I cannot conceive of circumstances where one would allow this circus to continue a moment longer, rather than seek to have the abomination curtailed on the double-double grounds of lacks of parliamentary powers to prosecute and to adjudicate, and collary multiple contempts.
12. I also trust that your political advisers have no doubt advised you that these very real though very nonsense illicit proceedings against you are politically driven for the twin collateral purposes of dashing your political appeal to your electors as a non-political party / independent candidate at next year’s (?, 2014?) state elections, and plain sport and Orwellian pleasure of harassing and exhausting you of your financial and political energies. Your constituents should be livid that you are thus prevented from doing your work for them. On both fronts, I hope that you find the strength and support to defeat both these anti-democratic and thoroughly immoral and even criminal motivations for which there would seem to be no legal, political or media avenue for address – other than via a successful return through the ballot box.
13. Please note that I am not seeking any form of professional engagement or anything else from you. Indeed, present circumstances prevent me from even providing you with contact details, let alone the civility of engaging in further correspondence on any of these issues. I also recognise that the chance of this communication even being passed on to you at your end – at all, let alone on a timely basis – is small to non-existent. But, if it is, I hope that the above leads are sufficient for you and your advisers to follow, as may be appropriate to your situation. I simply wish to do the best that I presently can to be satisfied that you are aware of these points.
14. It would be in the public good for these illicit assaults by lawyers within these government agencies and judiciary to be brought to an end – before the toll of victims mounts higher, and before any prospects we have for one day becoming a nation of democracy, human rights and rule of law are fully snuffed out altogether. There have been far too many of these sorts of misuses and abuses of powers, public funds siphoned through government agencies and judicial forums to protect obvious elected and unelected miscreants, while getting after others on fabrications. That both sorts of abuses are increasing in frequency is grossly disturbing, post-modern totalitarianism. I deplore that today’s media seems incapable, within the constraints of current televisual, print and online practices, to get across what is at stake, what is really going on, here.
Wishing you prompt termination to this judicial / bureaucratic looking-glass farce and for the claims against you to be properly dealt with in and by parliamentary fiat alone, as should always have been the case (if there is a case, at all, for you to answer).
James Johnson, B.Ec (Hons) LLB
Journalist + Law Reformer + Whistleblower