After publicly criticising the Victorian court of appeals and refusing to apologise to the court for doing so, the three gov ministers involved have about faced and issued a public and groveling apology to the court. Albeit a very late one.
The court has accepted the unreserved apology and will no longer proceed with contempt of court charges. However the court is anything but impressed with the three:
"We have realised we should have offered an unconditional apology to the court.WTF were they thinking? All three are qualified lawyers FFS They could have bought down their own gov by their stupidity, arrogance, and stubbornness. The fact that it took two court hearings and the serious threat to the gov to get them to apologise says volumes about their character. They honestly seemed to think they were above the law.
"We offer that apology now and unreservedly withdraw all comments.
"It's clear just how inaccurate our understanding was."
The court accepted their apology and will not refer the ministers for contempt of court, but Chief Justice Marilyn Warren said the comments were "fundamentally wrong" and that the delay in apologising was "regrettable and aggravated the contempt".
Chief Justice Warren said the court was "gravely concerned" there was a prima facie case that the ministers and The Australian had committed contempt. She described the hearing last week as "stern", noted that the ministers had sent the comments to the journalist who wrote the article unsolicited, and that they had publicly confirmed they stood by the comments within 48 hours of the first hearing.
"There is one matter we emphasise," she said.
"The court has accepted in this instance the apologies and retractions proffered. It should not have come to this, namely two court hearings.
"But for the apologies and retractions we would have referred the groups, namely the ministers and The Australian ... for prosecution for contempt of Court." The Age
And WTF was Turnbull thinking in supporting his ministers in their public criticism of the court? Did he too think him and his gov were above the law?
We all know of course Tudge's view of the law with Centrelink, leaking private information about Centrelink clients to the media to support robodebt, under very questionable circumstances of the legality of doing so.
Probably for the first time ever, I find myself in 100% agreement with @GregHuntMP. #auspol pic.twitter.com/39L8YMVTle— John Wren (@JohnWren1950) June 23, 2017