Horace Rumpole and Atticus Finch, You’re No Longer Needed

I woke the same morning as I’m writing this still believing that the world has a core of rationality left. I am no longer sure that there is anything left of rationality but isolated remnants, lurking among Quadrant readers and among those belonging to other conservative outposts. What prompted this funereal reappraisal, you might ask?

Let me quote from my morning newspaper: “MinterEllison chief executive and managing partner Annette Kimmitt … emailed MinterEllison’s staff on Wednesday to apologise for any ‘pain’ they might be experiencing due to the firm’s representation of Mr Porter.” The paper explained that Ms Kimmitt does not have a law degree. Neither do I. But I do know about Atticus Finch and Perry Mason and Horace Rumpole and numbers of others practicing law in the Western tradition. How in the world does anyone in any kind of prominent position within the law manage to miss all of that?

I was already deeply worried as it was. The reasoning of two judges on the Victoria’s Appeal Court in the Pell case confounded all that I thought I knew. ‘Not impossible’, was seemingly in consideration as replacement for that old fashioned standard ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ in determining the fate of those in the dock. Save time and money. Off with his head. Be done with trials.

There are mad things going on in our current age. Let me throw out a few examples: Saving the planet by building ineffective means of keeping the lights on; isolating people for months on end to combat a virus which has no serious effects on over ninety-nine-point-five percent of those who catch it; sowing confusion among children by teaching them that they might just be in the wrong bodies; ruining women’s sports by forcing them to compete against biological males; preaching divisive ‘critical race theory’; cancelling people whose views are out of sync with goodthink; mindlessly tearing down statues and taking the knee; and, idiotically, renaming mothers as gestational parents. And so on, into Dante’s Inferno.

While all of this madness is going on the only comfort for those of sound mind is the (Western) rule of law. The rule of law underpins freedom. Laws must apply and be applied equally to everyone. Those accused of breaking the law must be given due process and presumed innocent unless and until found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a fair trial. If not found guilty then the person concerned is legally innocent. Take away any part of the rule of law and freedom goes out the window. Mob rule follows.

One way the rule of law can be undone is if those administering our system of justice – lawyers, judges and legislators — don’t understand what they’re doing. The evidence is mounting that they don’t. And baying media hacks are complicit in egging on mob rule.

I don’t want to canvass the Christian Porter case to any extent. However, in the new tradition of leaping to conclusions, I believe him. I believe George Pell. I believe Brett Kavanaugh. I used to retain an open mind about such cases, however stretched. No longer. Fire must sometimes be fought with fire.

Christine Blasey Ford concocted a tall tale. Those who jumped on the bandwagon after her concocted even more outlandish tales. The choir boy’s evidence against Pell was simply unbelievable. It was, in fact, in my view, not not-impossible. I read the lurid account of the alleged rape by Porter. Raped anally and then out with him next day. Really? And the lady apparently suffered from mental issues and, according to what I read, had been “referred by her psychologist to the research of Bessel van der Kolk, a devotee of discredited recovered memory therapy.” Of course, none of that or what I believe matters a jot.

What matters is that the rule of law applies. In the Porter case, the rule of law has been applied by the police. There is insufficient evidence (to put it mildly, I would suggest) to bring a charge. Game, set and match. Everyone gets on with their lives.

Demanding some special inquiry, effectively a star chamber designed to single out and persecute Porter, is not getting on with life, it is subverting the rule of law. This isn’t hard. Unless inquiries are going to be set up for each person, who some people think might be guilty, but are not charged for insufficient evidence, then one can’t be set up for Porter. Full stop!

Labor and Greens politicians who are advocating such an inquiry should be ashamed and resign from parliament. Any lawyers similarly minded should do the honourable thing and strike themselves off. They cannot hold positions of authority in our justice system while actively working to undo the rule of law.

25 thoughts on “Horace Rumpole and Atticus Finch, You’re No Longer Needed

  • Stephen Due says:

    They really need to find a living complainant. Maybe the police could advertise for persons raped at any time in the past by current federal government ministers to come forward?

  • Harry Lee says:

    Yes, but the bigger point to comprehend is that we are in a war, and we are losing, very badly.
    The marxist-inspired forces that have been reducing Australia to Leftist/anti-Westernist mush have just about won their final victory.
    Time for all persons who wish to remain citizens of a decent Western nation to volunteer for The Front.
    And to speed-read some material on what it takes to win a war against an enemy that regards itself as highly virtuous and ethically/morally superior to the Ordinary People (us) it seeks to enslave.
    Accounts of the Polish squadrons in the RAF during the Battle of Britain will not help with overall strategy, but they give excellent flavour of the fighting spirit and skills required.
    Oh and of course, on fighting spirit and skills, there are the successes of the First AIF to learn from.
    On strategy, proper -that is, not leftist or naive journalist- accounts of the British and French on the Western Front, 1915-1918, and the USA against Japan in the Pacific War are very useful.
    And to cut a long story short, to win a war, one must go at it cleverly and ruthlessly -on all dimensions.
    And be prepared to make sacrifices and take losses.
    Otherwise, one loses, badly.

  • Michael says:

    It is the role of the ABC and its ‘investigative reporter’ Louise Milligan in the Pell and the Porter episodes that should be investigated..

  • Peter OBrien says:

    what is most startling about the Minter Ellison affair, and to which you allude, is the fact that, apparently, many younger lawyers in the firm hold the same view as the Minter Ellison managing partner. Conceivably some of these woke warriors will be judges one day. Maybe they will have grown up by then, as we all do, but if their understanding of the very basic tenets of their profession is so dodgy (at a time when they should be full of zeal to practice it properly), I am not confident.

  • Salome says:

    Mr Due–gold! Mr OBrien–it doesn’t say that the young folk who object to the firm’s acting for Mr Porter are lawyers (they could be young members of admin staff), but my message to any of them who are lawyers or ‘graduates’ or ‘trainees’ (‘articled clerk’ was such a noble term in comparison) is that they should look carefully at their firm’s client list, which is likely to contain a lot of large corporations, possibly even the odd mining company (can’t be sure), even the occasional high wealth individual and say that if they don’t feel comfortable acting for such clients, they would be welcome to go and find a job in one of the smaller firms (some of which would regard recruitment from a big firm as a good catch) who act for smaller clients, who have to go out and find clients, or who act for underdog clients. There are many, many such firms, but they don’t pay their junior staff nearly as much money. Go woke, tighten your belt. I do note that the AFR reported on the Kimmitt email leak at 11.27 p.m. on Thursday. On 12.25 p.m. on Friday, it published an article reporting that Ms Kimmitt was under pressure to resign, senior partners were not impressed, clients had been threatening to withdraw their business and that, if you accept the IPA’s comment quoted at the end, the Australian Government is a client.

  • Lewis P Buckingham says:

    It seems easy to tear down a reputation.
    Since ‘The Letter Of Accusation’ is not in the public domain, but parts only quoted, its probably better that the accusations be ventilated and forensically examined.
    Before a coronial enquiry, the ‘court of public opinion ‘,needs more information.
    In the milieu of my world there are many contestable stories.
    Its not only ‘people on the margins’, but those from ‘good families’, that are mentally ill.
    This story so far, seems unlikely.
    The young lady danced that night at the hard Rock Café.
    They went back to Women’s College at Sydney uni where she vomited on her dress and the alleged rapist placed her in a bath.
    So she did not call her friends to have herself cleaned up.
    There were plenty of rooms, up and down the corridors, probably occupied.
    What are some causes of vomiting?
    Bulimia, alcohol, food poisoning, methadone, motion sickness, gastric overload.
    The existence of the Hard Rock Cafe and the actual presence of a bath at women’s college are contestable.
    My brief recollection of Women’s College is that you could not take men in, there was security.
    If so then there would be witnesses if this were to happen.
    The George Pell saga shows how the mentally ill easily fool the press and large parts of the legal fraternity.
    Minter Ellison appears to be the next victim.
    An understanding of the tenants of criminal law would be a useful part of any minimum requirement to successfully carry out the Firm’s job description of managing partner.

  • PT says:

    I wonder if Milligan will investigate good ol’ Bill’s allegations? Of course not. I remember the deafening silence from most of the media (certainly in comparison to this) and nothing from the Greens or Penny Wong! And Shorten was a senior Minister in the former Labor Government and Opposition Leader – more senior politically than Porter. Oh but he was “interviewed” so no “independent inquiry” is needed! Presumably the police found even less substance to the allegations against Porter as compared to those against Shorten. It’s pathetic, no matter what you think of Porter personally. As far as I’m aware, Shorten’s accuser never backed down on her claim, nor did she not want to pursue the matter. So why is he given the “innocent unless proven guilty” routine and Porter (and of course Pell) are not? His politics are the only difference in these cases.
    I think the media, and Wong and the Greens have disgraced themselves in this – how can they possibly determine if the claimed crime occurred any better than the police given the accuser can’t be questioned? But at least in the case of Wong and the Greens, it’s an expected double standard, which exposes their true natures. The media has exposed its heavy leaning to the left (to my mind, and product of making “journalism” a degree course rather than on the job training), and Turncoat has, once again, shown the sort of “character” he truly is!

  • J Vernau says:

    Re Stephen Due:
    “They really need to find a living complainant.”
    Yes, and the present furore about nothing much is excellent advertising. It may well kindle long dormant “memories” and grievances, especially with professional psychological help.
    I don’t know whether the Attorney-General has spent much, or any, time in Victoria. If he has, and a Victorian “survivor” emerges, he could find himself in even deeper water—and I don’t expect he will be in the next parliament either way.

    In Victoria we have progressed well beyond the patriarchal construct that there is an “objective truth” floating about, waiting to be discovered. Here, the science is settled: truth is a matter of consensus.

  • Salome says:

    Just went to MinterEllison’s website. It includes links to the following: ‘The risky business of ignoring diversity and inclusion’, ‘Start managing sexual harassment in the workplace differently’, ‘What is key to managing workplace sexual harassment?’, ‘Climate risk governance’ and ‘Tapping the potential of Hydrogen in Australia’. Nuff said.

  • Lewis P Buckingham says:

    S Often wondered who was pushing the ‘hydrogen economy’.
    A senate enquiry about 6 months ago had the answer that ‘it’ was not expected to ‘mature’ for 15 years.
    So ME are taking the long view, unless we poor taxpayers are paying.
    There does not seem to be any industrial or domestic use that is actually economic, as H2 is virtually impossible to compress/liquefy, or safely transport, using everyday materials.
    The goal would appear to be electrolysis from intermittent solar power and conversion to stored power, eg battery.
    Can’t see any case for this unless we pay.
    Hope ME explains this to investors, because even the UN now is going against roof top solar , because of environmental damage.
    However SCRAM jets are fuelled by hydrogen, presumably liquid.
    We need a local industry to make rocket fuel for our ICBM continental defense.
    A niche area.
    It appears that the ‘adults in the room’ at ME need to speak up about ‘future directions’.
    The alternative may be a failure to ‘connect’ with the practice of criminal law and the backing of doomed technology.

  • Harry Lee says:

    Many people complaining about the effects of post-modernist neo-marxism.
    Hardly anyone asking:
    What strategy, if implemented, would save us from The Final Abyss?
    The personal sacrifices required by a successful war to destroy the anti-empirical leftist hordes are too high.

  • Simon says:

    Harry Lee is right – we are in the fight of our lives now, but only our enemies are actually doing the fighting.

    You’d think, after the Porter affair, our government would finally come to recognize that the ABC is beyond all hope. But no, Morrison and Co., soldier on taking the slings and arrows on an almost daily basis.

    Why is this godawful Marxist organization permitted to spew its propaganda day in and day out? A Fascist one would be closed down before it even broadcast a single word, would it not?

    We need to get people that have a backbone to lead out of the swamp we up to our necks in, Mr. Morrison. And you clearly do not have what it takes.

    Please just go.

  • Salome says:

    Mr Buckingham–I would expect that ME does only the smallest amount of criminal law, and that white collar. Mr Porter was instructing them on investigation of defamation claims. That said, we all had to do it at law school, and some of us were at least awake most of the time. Excellent interview of Ian Plimer by Cory Bernardi on SkyNews on Friday (you can find it on YouTube) about hydrogen–energy required to make it, leaks, not very efficient at generating energy, and when (when–the Graf von Hindenburg factor) it explodes, fills the air with the most powerful greenhouse gas of all.

  • ianl says:

    One of the persistent assumptions in both the above article and some of the ensuing comments is that Annette Kimmitt, not being a lawyer, is simply ignorant of the conventions that people are presumed innocent unless found guilty through normal process and everyone deserves (is entitled to) legal representation.

    I don’t think she’s ignorant of these conventions at all, neither her nor the ABC nor the tweetie pie hysterics. They simply do not care about these conventions and want them changed. It’s as blunt as that.

    As commented on about Wiki editors, how do these people gain such positions of influence ? It is so widespread now that there is very little point in principled objection. That is just another example of impotent virtue signalling.

    What can really be done ? Practical, useful, effective ? Truthful – I dunno.

  • talldad says:

    Unless inquiries are going to be set up for each person, who some people think might be guilty, but are not charged for insufficient evidence, then one can’t be set up for Porter. Full stop!

    Sorry, but the Royal Commission to Get George Pell has already set a bad precedent. Fortunately the vestiges of the common law eventually (at great cost) saw justice prevail in the highest court in the nation.

    There is almost nothing left of a “justice system” – all we have is a “legal system.”

  • Harry Lee says:

    Simon, it seems the answer to your question:
    “Why does the Lib-Nat govt permit the ABC to do what it does?”
    There is nothing within the law that can be done to stop the ABC, or any group, tax-payer funded or otherwise, from channeling destructive neo-marxist, anti-Westernist ideology.
    This includes the state school systems and the universities, and even the law industry itself.
    The Australian Constitution does not provide for the defence of Australia against internal anti-Westernist insurrection.
    Finis. The End. Kaput.

  • Ceres says:

    Love your articles Peter and this is one of your best. Your list of the daily absurdities that pass as worthy of our undivided attention, approval and money, is spot on. Meanwhile Rome burns.
    As for the Annette Kimmitts, they seem to be proliferating, ticking the right boxes until such appointments come back to bite the hand that feeds them.

  • Peter Smith says:

    Thanks Ceres – too kind.

  • Harry Lee says:

    In times past, the civic order was always under attack by persons of violence and other criminals.
    And yes, there was corruption in all quarters -schemers who scooped up other people’s money -happened in all institutions.
    All of that is still with us and is ever-escalating.
    Now added to that age-old mix is the utter idiocy and consequent corruption of all human effort that arises from marxist-inspired post-modernist BS, of which this article gives good example.
    And there’s No Exit.

  • John C Carrick says:

    The name “Reclaim” is and excellent way to describe cancelled UK actor Laurence Fox’s turning on the baying hounds who want to tear him to pieces. Could we have an equivalent of the Reclaim Party in Australia please? Where do I join and donate? What do we want? The rule of law. When do we need it? Now!

  • Sindri says:

    Peter, what is completely incomprehensible is the belief that to refuse to act for someone who is accused of a serious crime is to take the moral high ground.

  • D J McNeice says:

    It would likely be well known to readers of Quadrant that a defence lawyer acts partly for the accused but just as importantly acts for society. The system of justice we have been fortunate enough to inherit in Australia, innocent until proven guilty, entitled to legal defence, was being served by the relevant senior partner in ME. Clearly, the CEO of ME is ignorant of a fundamental principle of law. That’s unfortunate.

  • Greg Williams says:

    This headline appeared in today’s (10 Mar) Australian

    MinterEllison CEO Annette Kimmitt to step down over Christian Porter email.

    The article hints that she was told her gig was up.

  • Phillip says:

    Suck eggs to both Minter Ellison and Annette Kimmitt.
    Corporations playing to the gender identity politics game deserve to fail. Why wasn’t Kimmitt praised and promoted in last weeks sexist international womens’ day blab fest? She ticks all the boxes for promotion;… female, socialist, outspoken, nil qualifications for the job position, brain dead, never worked in a legal firm before being seated as the CEO of Minters…perfect fit !?!
    One day, I live in hope, but maybe one day in the future the corporate world may start to recognise that putting gender (remembering there are only two genders, male & female, as proven by God and Science) as a priority before talent, merit and accountability in staff resourcing.

  • Phillip says:

    …..One day, I live in hope, but maybe one day in the future the corporate world may start to recognise that putting gender (remembering there are only two genders, male & female, as proven by God and Science) as a priority before talent, merit and accountability in staff resourcing is simply inequitable and bad policy.

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