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Source: (consider it) Thread: Justice Lionel Murphy
simontoad
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This is an old Australian political scandal dating back to let's say the 1970's, and ending with Murphy's death in 1986.

I watched the Four Corners show on Murphy last night. I never had a firm grip on the issues involved. I was a boy when Murphy was the prime mover in a gaggle of important and enduring reforms in the mid-70's. They included enacting a root and branch reform of family law in this country and the passage of the Racial Discrimination Act. His record as a legislator is superb, and he was a pretty good High Court Judge too. While I was studying law in 1986, my eyes were really on having a very good time rather than anything else, so the scandal of him being charged with Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice didn't stick in my memory as much as some concerts I went to see at the time.

Last night's show made Murphy seem to be a corrupt man working in a system that was itself corrupt. Certainly NSW at that time and earlier had a reputation for being highly corrupt. It saddened me that a man with such a list of liberal reforms to his credit would also be a lifelong friend of a notorious criminal, Abe Saffron, and seek to influence a Judge and a Magistrate who seemed to be men of integrity.

I wonder if any shipmates who remember the scandals, the trials and the inquires would care to share their impressions of the whole mess. I only ask because I know that Murphy remains one of the most polarising figures in the country, even so long after his death, and I would like to check Four Corners bias.

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Gee D
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We did not see the programme last night, so cannot comment on it directly. I agree about Murphy's performance as a law reformer - it's just very unfortunate that human nature meant that the new Family Law Act did not work as either he or Justice Watson intended. I would not agree with your assessment of his role on the High Court, where he did not live up to his reputation at the Bar.

I don't think we shall ever know what led up to that conversation with Clarrie Briese. It does not take much generosity to see it as a botched expedition application rather than an attempt to sway a judicial officer. The supposed links with Abe Saffron and others have never really been proven.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Kaplan Corday
Shipmate
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
I would like to check Four Corners bias.

One thing you can bet on with 100% certainty is that if an ABC programme shows any bias over a character such as Murphy, ie a former Whitlam minister, it is going to be in favour of him, which suggests that the case against him must be pretty overwhelming.
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Gee D
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Certainly not, if this is the one Wendy Bacon was involved in. She has no pro-Labor bias (nor to any of the other established parties for that matter). More a case of agin them all.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Certainly not, if this is the one Wendy Bacon was involved in. She has no pro-Labor bias (nor to any of the other established parties for that matter). More a case of agin them all.

Wendy Bacon's journalistic research is part of the very strong case against him, and therefore part of the reason why the ABC would have found it hard to get him off the hook even though they might well have wanted to.
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Gee D
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Not having seen the programme, I can't comment on the evidence offered. I know what Ms Bacon has said in the past, and would certainly not say that presented a very strong case against Murphy.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Dark Knight

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I haven't seen the 4 Corners programme, but I can tell you as someone who has experienced "Family" Law in Australia that it is a system that is broken beyond repair.

Needs to be burned to the ground and started from scratch.

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Wronger than a drooling idiot on stupid juice - but I understand his argument.
mousethief (paraphrase)
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Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

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Dark Knight

Super Zero
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st - thanks for this thread.

Careful readers of my last post in this thread will observe that I have strong feelings about the Family Law Act, and therefore it is difficult for to be unbiased about its architect. So, the following requires that context.

I saw the 4 Corners story, and believe Murphy was guilty of corruption. Even if the evidence of this did not satisfy the second jury beyond reasonable doubt, I think there is no way known a High Court judge should have been involved with the people and activities he was involved in. He should have stood down.

What I found particularly frustrating was the rhetoric of the academics interviewed. Hocking in particular, Murphy's biographer and a historian, apparently opposed the recent release of the papers detailing the allegations which were the basis of the story, struck me as strikingly lacking in merit. I am an academic myself, and the idea that someone would oppose free access to this historical record left me shaking my head.

A complicated man, who did some good things, but had no business being a judge, would be final assessment.

ETF grammar and spelling

[ 27. November 2017, 12:55: Message edited by: Dark Knight ]

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Wronger than a drooling idiot on stupid juice - but I understand his argument.
mousethief (paraphrase)
----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Posts: 2882 | From: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged


 
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