Features Australia

‘Dot’s a nice bottom!’

We all lose when due process is denied. Even in cases of sexual harrassment

4 July 2020

9:00 AM

4 July 2020

9:00 AM

Sexual attraction, welcome or unwelcome, is part of the human condition and hardly over-represented in the legal profession.

Decades ago in a business faculty office, I felt a hand patting me and heard a husky foreign voice saying, ‘Dot’s a nice bottom.’ It was Ingrid, the blonde Swedish receptionist.

I later thought of complaining to the Dean.

Nothing so flattering had ever happened again, and by then they had let the Viking go.

As to unwelcome advances, these were a not infrequent nuisance during my boyhood, in cinemas, parks, beaches and even public transport. I invariably eluded them. As Oscar Wilde answered under cross-examination as to whether he had kissed a particular young man, ‘Oh no…he was extremely ugly.’

However unwelcome, they were better than the occasional public abuse a Eurasian boy could receive, even from adults, in that distant White Australia. I had thought this was well in the past, until a republican website would occasionally dismiss me as a ‘perma-tanned Indonesian-born blow-in’, a good self-introduction for the occasional after-dinner speech.

Which brings me to our High Court.

Last week I criticised both the US Supreme Court and our High Court for changing the constitution even against the wishes of the people.

Just as I finished it, the Dyson Heydon story broke.

With the exception of James Allan on Flat White and Chris Merritt, formerly but sadly no longer with the Australian, the mainstream media joined the elites’ united front of fulsome outrage, but not about the denial of Heydon’s unalienable right to due process.

And rather than that denial coming from some busybody congregation of overpaid nobodies posing as protectors of human rights, this came from the High Court. Just as a majority in the Victorian Court of Appeal bench did recently, they thus endorsed that fashionable madness from the American Left, guilt by accusation. What next? Abolition of the police? The right for ‘transgender’ women to play women’s sports or use their lavatories?

Such a united front is nothing new. Just think of the severely flawed politicians’ republic, the anti-Brexit and anti-Trump agendas, the infallibility of the polls’ prediction of a Shorten or Clinton victory, and, based on exaggerated modelling, both the global warming myth and the lockdown.

What is surprising is to see the High Court join in.

To those who say the right to due process is foreign to our constitution, the answer is that the federal constitution is but part of our constitutional system. From the American and Glorious Revolutions and through the Magna Carta, a golden thread has emerged which has produced principles at the very heart of the freedom and success of the English-speaking peoples.

The first is that man is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights, one being due process. The other is, as Bolingbroke asserted, that the constitution is that assembly of laws, institutions and customs by which the people have agreed to be governed.

And that agreement depends on trust.

Leaders who forget that invariably lose the people, as they dramatically did over the Wuhan virus. When they applied a double standard to exempt far-left demonstrations, that trust dissolved completely. This confirmed the suspicion among the people that the mantra ‘We’re all in this together’ was entirely fraudulent and they let the politicians know. Immediately backtracking, the politicians obsequiously pleaded with the anarcho-communists and their gullible followers to neither protest nor vandalise public art.

As to the complaints about Heydon, he was never an ‘employee’ of the High Court. Appointed to high constitutional office by no less than the Governor-General in Council, he was still neither above the law nor immune from prosecution.

But as a consequence of the Glorious Revolution, he held office not at the pleasure of the ruler. In raising the courts as the third separate power, judges henceforth held office during good behaviour, removeable only by a resolution of the two houses of parliament. The Lionel Murphy precedent suggests this should only be done after an investigation by respected former judges providing for due process under legislation similar to the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry Act, 1986.

There is certainly no need for a judicial commission of the usual suspects to invite an endless stream of complaints against each and every judge thus gumming up the judicial process of the nation.

The complaints about Heydon are, as they say, ‘historic’. Like ‘gender’ this is yet another word purloined by the Left. It just means the complaints are old. In addition, some complainants contemplated legal action. All this is not to say they should not be considered by the relevant authorities.

But it was surely obvious then that no complaint could ever be considered, much less accepted by the High Court, until it was clear that its appellate jurisdiction could not be invoked by any party.

Instead, the High Court set up an investigation which would draw conclusions based on unsworn material untested by cross-examination, that is where due process would not apply.

Having established a private investigation which not only thus denied Heydon due process, the report was not kept away from the judges’ eyes until all potential legal proceedings were exhausted. Instead, the investigator’s opinion was not only endorsed but an apology issued to the alleged victims.

The mainstream media then rushed to relay the conclusion to the nation that Dyson Heydon is guilty.

Just as mobs are everywhere breaking the law with impunity as in the French Revolution, so an eminent man has been judged guilty without the benefit of that crucial attainment of our civilisation, a fair trial.

The High Court has thus compromised not only any appeal, but any civil action and however unlikely, any criminal action.

The result? Dyson Heydon can never have a fair trial.

Something surely obvious to any competent undergraduate law student.

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