An Urgent Petition from a Senior Constitutional Human Rights Lawyer and Whistleblower, Seeking Aid and Protection from a Corrupt Government Agency and its Ongoing, Repeating, Criminal Reprisals
THIS IS AN OPEN LETTER to every Victorian parliamentarian asking them to raise the following story of government corruption and whistleblower abuse, and to express their outrage and alarm, both amongst themselves on the floor of the State’s Parliament in sittings this week and by petitioning the bureaucracy, and most notably Victoria’s two Chief Ministers, the Attorney-General Robert Clark and the Premier Ted Bailieu, whom I am convinced are guilty of no wrong-doing, but are being kept blindfolded and oblivious of these corrupt affairs by the lawyers and others in their electoral offices and ministerial offices who ‘mind’ and ‘manage’ them.
Serious questions have to be asked when a lawyer of my seniority and experience raises the alarm about systemic corruption within the legal profession and its interface with government, and directs attention to a massive body of evidence on the government’s own public and hidden semi-public records that prove beyond reasonable doubt and “to Brigginshaw standards” the reality of that corruption – and nothing, and no one within any of the halls or chambers of government, or within the legal profession – dares to do anything about it.
You may view an interactive version of this letter (with embedded links), and download a printer friendly version of this letter, by visiting the following site: http://lawyerocracyontrial.wordpress.com where you will also find additional background information that may help you better understand the urgency and importance for the peace, welfare and good government of all Victorians, that the Parliament heed and act on my following requests.
I am asking that the Victorian Parliament and each parliamentarian jointly and severally, act on the damning indictment of the corrupt and criminal operations and failures of the Legal Services Commissioner and his staff as per the whistleblowing 2009 Annual Report to Parliament from the State Government Ombudsman Victoria; to suspend, to investigate and in due course to abolish the failed “CO-regulation is NO regulation” legal and government nightmare that is the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner; and to prosecute those (lawyers) responsible for its monumental and deliberate failures and engagement in criminal reprisal actions, prosecuting them under all applicable and broken laws (including as just one example of applicable broken laws, the State’s untested Whistleblowers Protection Act of 2001).
As I have asked all branches of government many times over the past 3 years and at many levels, I am asking that the Victorian Parliament, and each parliamentarian jointly and severally act to reintroduce a genuine consumer protecting legal regulatory regime to genuinely protect consumers of legal services in this State, which would be as simple as abolishing the current totally corrupted scheme and reintroducing the former independent (of lawyers) Legal Ombudsman Scheme Victoria, most importantly headed by a competent, skilled, ethical person of the calibre of the last Victorian Legal Ombudsman, Ms Kate Hamond.
I am asking that the Victorian Parliament and the Victorian bureaucracy, and each parliamentarian jointly and severally, give to me the protection and support that I am entitled to as a matter of basic human and political rights, and specifically by virtue of the untested Whistleblowers Protection Act of 2001.
And I am asking that the Victorian Parliament and each parliamentarian jointly and severally intervene to give me protection from the corrupt McCarthyist reprisal proceedings currently manifested by the Legal Services Commissioner and its sister government agency the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal, despite neither government agency having any statutory authority to do these things, and these things that these government agencies are doing are actually crimes under applicable Victorian laws (including the Whistleblowers Protection Act of 2001, to name just one of many such applicable laws).
Background to Petition
Every year the Legal Services Commissioner receives more than 2000 complaints from dissatisfied and mistreated clients of legal services providers. During 2008 and 2009 these included 1 and then 2 and then close to 2 dozen complaints that I lodged as a law firm client.
With most of these 2000 complaints the Legal Services Commissioner bats them away with a letter to the dissatisfied and mistreated members of the public that he is supposed to serve and protect, by telling them that ‘unfortunately’ he does not have the statutory power to investigate their complaints. I twice took the Legal Services Commissioner to the Supreme Court of Victoria (late 2008 and again in late 2009) and obtained Supreme Court rulings confirming (as he represents in the puffery on both his ‘one stop’ websites) he does have the power (as written in black and white in the legislation that is his statutory charter) to investigate and prosecute dodgy providers of legal services, he continued to tell me that he lacked power to investigate my complaints about legal services providers, and he continues to defy both sets of Supreme Court rulings by refusing to open and investigate any of my complaints.
All of this makes the Legal Services Commissioner the number one client, year in and year out, of the regulators’ regulator, the State Government Ombudsman of Victoria, racking up on average a 100 complaints by those of his constitutents, dissatisfied and mistreated clients of legal services providers, that he point blank refuses, and pretends he even lacks the power, to serve.
Add to this, since 2004 Australia became the only country in the world where its litigation lawyers have created laws that make it illegal for dissatisfied and mistreated clients of litigation lawyers to sue those lawyers for compensation for harm and damage suffered. In 2004, the most senior litigation lawyers in the land, the heads of the judicial branch of the government in Australia ruled 6:1 to extend an ancient and much criticised limited immunity from suit for litigation barristers that had been abolished by the House of Lords 4 years earlier (by a margin of 15 Law Lords to nil) and to increase that ancient, bad law, ten or twenty-fold by extending the unlimited common law licence to commit professional negligence in the workplace (court room) to all Australian litigation solicitors as well. A great day out for the 50,000 litigation lawyers of Australia and a massive lose of rule of law and constitutional rule and human rights for 22 million ordinary Australians (including 50,000 non-litigation lawyers.
At the same time as that 2004 triumph in the High Court ( smacking of one law for litigation lawyers, another set of laws for everybody else – as heroic lone dissenter High Court justice Michael Kirby pointed, more or less, from his judgement delivered from his double, double-heart-bypass hospital beds) the Victorian legal profession was in the process of pulling off another stunning political coup. That was the year that the Victorian lawyerocracy persuaded the Victorian parliamentarians (an unhealthy near unanimity of them being lawyers) to pass legislation scrapping the fledgling but successful, consumer orientated Victorian Legal Ombudsman Scheme, and introducing the frightful “co-regulation is no-regulation” Jekyll-Hyde Frankenstein monstrous successor, the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner and undoing (and then some) all of the brave legal industry reforms of the former Kennett-Stockdale Liberal State Government.
Few rulers have caused as much harm and suffering to their subjects, with no direct consequences for themselves, as in the 12 years of sustained corruption and misrule unleashed on long-suffering Victorians during those 12 years of crooked Brumby-Bracks-Hulls reign (whose failures exceeded those of even the previous ALP, Kirner-Jolly government).
So the most senior litigation lawyers cum Judges take away your right to sue your dodgy lawyer and at the same moment in history introduce a new legal regulatory scheme with a regulator that goes out of his way to protect not regulate litigation lawyers, especially those of the “family law” litigator variety that account for nearly half of the more than 2000 a year’s worth of customer complaints every year.
Just whom is looking after the public? And just whose is looking after the dodgy lawyers?
In one fowl swoop, effective early 2005, as the regulator’s regulator, the State Government Ombudsman Victoria reported in its damning 2009 Annual Report to Parliament, the new lawyer-built-owned-operated-dominated Victorian legal regulator (The new Legal Services Commissioner scheme) began taking public funds and government powers intended by parliament for it to protect members of the public from dodgy and unscrupulous (and occasionally evil) lawyers and started using those funds and powers and an army of in-house lawyers to protect those dodgy and unscrupulous (evil) lawyers from criticism or prosecution. The last Victorian Legal Ombudsman bravely whisteblew the same tune as her 2004 swan song, pointing out to the Melbourne press and Victorian public in a damning criticism of the anti-reforms the “evil, dumb … almost sociopathic” cowboy lawyers she had been progressively weeding out of the industry (including a former President of the Law Institute of Victoria) who would now get safety and protection from prosecution under the new lawyer-built-owned-operated-dominated but still publicly-funded regime.
Even prior to the kick-off of the scheme change scam, and with increasing alarm ever since then, many Law School ethics professors, retired State and Federal Judges, former State and Federal Attorney-Generals, Parliamentarians have whistle blown the same tune. To that extent, my epic whistleblowing efforts of the past three years, whistling to all three branches and both State and Federal levels of government, could hardly be called original literary works for copyright purposes.
In an alarming development this failed government agency, the Legal Services Commissioner this protection racketeer masquerading as consumer protection regulator, the Legal Services Commissioner, is even wielding his powers to engage in reprisal attacks against members of the legal profession who come forward as whistleblowers, reporting to government and warning the public of the corruption and failings not just of the Legal Services Commissioner but of a cartel of publicly-funded and lawyer-dominated government agencies that wield excessive undue power and influence throughout the upper benches of all three branches of government in Victoria and at the Federal level as well.
This week, in an unprecedented abuse of his regulatory powers and purpose, the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner is seeking to have me, a solicitor and barrister of more than 20 years good standing, with an impressive list of career achievements and contributions back to the profession (through monthly columns in the Victorian Law Institute Journal, presenting hundreds of legal education seminars and chairing hundreds of important Law Institute of Victoria committee meetings), achievements far in excess of his own, why is he seeking to have me struck out of the legal profession of false, overcooked charges of professional misconduct.
If, as undoubtedly it will, the Legal Services Commissioner’s sister Victorian government agency the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal rubber stamps the Legal Services Commissioner’s unauthorised and illegal application, I will become the first lawyer from any Top 30 (let alone Top 10) Australian, international law firms, to be struck out of the profession.
Not just the first lawyer ever from a Top 10 international law firm, a lawyer from two of Australia’s Top 10 law firms. Specifically, 6 years a member of the law firm that has been the Number 1, Top law firm in Australia for more than the past decade, and prior to that, 6 years as a member of a law firm that has been a Top 10 Australian law firm for more than a century.
I should point out that I have never stolen a penny of clients monies. Nor have I ever cheated on my taxes. Nor has the legal regulator ever, in 20 years, received a single complaint against me from any of my many prestigious clients or former clients. Nor have I ever committed or been charged or been prosecuted for any serious (or even trivial) criminal offence.
A malicious attack in the form of an anonymous false complaint to the Law Institute that I had been stealing client trust monies to buy properties in my own name was comprehensively dismissed, on account of my never having handled any trust monies for clients. Two malicious attacks in the form of anonymous false complaints to the Australian Taxation Office that I had been cheating on my taxes were both, eventually, comprehensively dismissed, including a significant positive correction to my tax affairs. All three anonymous attacks were of course contemporaneous with fraudulent legal proceedings initiated against me, designed to ‘take me down’ (as they did) if I didn’t cave in to the outrageous extortion demands (so outrageous, that I simply couldn’t).
I can also point out that the “complaint materials” against me are entirely vindictive and false and were laid by a scandalous and corrupt “family law” Barrister and a scandalous and corrupt “family law” judge, by way of reprisals for my firstly reporting their professional misconduct to relevant government agencies (just like the scandalously absenting itself then Legal Services Commissioner, bizarrely, told me in writing to do) and secondly issuing a $50 million Supreme Court counterclaim against them. I can also point out that at the time I was being wrongly pursued by family lawyers anxious to cash in on the fraudulent legal claim they were promoting against me, and I was wrongly left stranded in two sets of legal proceedings (double jeopardised in both State and Federal Courts on exactly the same issues at exactly the same times). I was no more than a mistreated and abused client of my own “family lawyer” who after causing all sorts of incompetent and self-serving mischief presented me with a $30,000 legal bill (as against the millions of dollars of harm she contributed to) telling me late in the piece “and besides, I don’t do Supreme Court anyway.” I am an abused consumer of legal services, not and never and abused supplier of legal services. The key point being that this is Legal Services Commissioner who goes to illegal lengths to refuse to investigate suppliers of legal services. In my case, he is even prepared to violate two sets of Supreme Court judicial rulings to the effect that he does have the powers to investigate that are written down in his statutory charter, and he should be investigating complaints made by a lawyer of over 20 years good standing against other 20 other lawyers even the one or two of greater years in the profession, but all of them of much lesser standing having regard to relative merits and achievements.
The Legal Services Commissioner is seeking to deny my status as a whistleblower, despite years of petitions and reports to all branches and at all levels of government – even to senior members of his own staffs and sibling agencies. And the Legal Services Commissioner is hiding from his sister government agency, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal, more than 99% of the story. This includes the source of these malicious complaints. This includes the fact that the Legal Services Commissioner has twice already dismissed these complaints, a Victorian Supreme Court Trial Judge has dismissed the complaints, the crooked Federal Magistrate originally refused the overtures of the crooked Barrister, refused “to engage in a process, already underway, to undermine Mr Johnson” before changing his mind 6 months later (the day after the Victorian Supreme Court Judge refused the same crooked overtures, and declaring that “Mr Johnson is a very intelligent man, and you could put it more highly than that, with an impressive natural ability as an advocate for someone who has never argued a case in court before”). The reason for the Federal “family law” Magistrate to change his mind and put his name to the crooked designs of the crooked “family law” barrister? They had both found themselves, along with the Legal Services Commissioner as co-defendants 8, 9 and 10 out of 14 in a $50 million Supreme Court damages (holding) counterclaim I had filed against them for negligence, fraud and (criminal) defamation. All of these facts the Legal Services Commissioner and his army of a dozen in-house lawyers are deliberately hiding from the Tribunal. The Legal Services Commissioner and his staff are even making more illegal applications, engaging in more criminal violations of the State’s untested Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001, to seduce the Tribunal into refusing to let me show the Tribunal the 99% of the story that the Legal Services Commissioner and his team are anxious to keep concealed from the decision maker. And on top of this, the Legal Services Commissioner has never opened and never investigated my genuine allegations against my false accusers or the false allegations of my false accusers (which would achieve the same positive outcome if investigations could be trusted to be done properly). Any investigation (which has never happened for obvious reasons), no matter how badly done, no matter how deliberately badly done (as per the typical ‘case study’ described in the whistleblowing 2009 Annual Report to Parliament from the State Government Ombudsman Victoria) could not fail to discover the truth of my allegations (all provable ‘to Brigginshaw standards’, ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, ‘let alone balance of probabilities’) and the manifest absurdity, malice and criminality in those false allegations made against me.
If there were any truth to these false accusations then, even without consideration of my sterling, impressive, past record, the false allegations are of such a trivial, first time, and humanly excusable and understandable nature that the appropriate response from a genuine legal regulator would be to provide counselling and financial support, not to seek to permanently separate me from my professional status and reputation, and my means of earning my living.
As the New South Wales Legal Services Commissioner recently remarked (in a newspaper interview intended to cover up his own near two decades of protection racketeering for dodgy lawyers, especially the “frequent flyers” as he calls them) the Australian legal profession welcomes back into its bosom paedophiles and incestophiles who have been charged, convicted according to proper criminal proceedings and, after serving their time behind iron bars seek readmission to the legal profession – even while facing fresh charges.
So why is a Legal Services Commissioner who point blank refuses to regulate providers of legal services, even when the Supreme Court rules twice on my specific case that he can and should do so, going after me for complaining as is my right and in my capacity as a consumer of legal services and being on the receiving end of legal services faultily provided and consumed by others?
Why does he think he has power to regulate the behaviours of consumers of legal services while pretending (as I and the Supreme Court of Victoria have clarified for him) that he does not have the power to regulate the behaviours of persons who are actually engaged in the provision of legal services at the time of their misbehaviours?
Why does the Legal Services Commissioner think he is a Litigant Commissioner and think he is not a Legal Services Commissioner?
Why is the Legal Services Commissioner throwing a disproportionate dozen of his in-house lawyers onto prosecuting me whilst neglecting 2000 genuine consumer complaints about genuine unprofessional lawyers, every year?
Why is the Legal Services Commissioner seeking a disproportionate punishment for a crime that even if I had genuinely committed it and he genuinely had statutory authority to police (and hand not already dismissed it two times) would not warrant any penalty, would not warrant any prosecution, might at most but probably not warrant counselling?
Why is the Legal Services Commissioner deliberately hiding 99% of the story from the decision-making Tribunal?
And why is the Legal Services Commissioner and his team of a dozen in-house lawyers breaking more laws (and Ministerial directives), committing more desperate crimes, seeking to get the Tribunal to cooperate in the wool pulling over the Tribunal’s eyes by preventing me from putting the hidden 99% of the story before the Tribunal?
Lawyers like to compare themselves with doctors, for some inexplicable reason. Doctors tend to save and prolong lives. Lawyers, very rarely, can do that too. But lawyers are far more regularly and profitably (and routinely) likely to do quite the opposites. This criminally malicious prosecution the Legal Services Commissioner has launched against me, in medical equivalent terms, is the equivalent of an eminent doctor, an eminent research scientist who has never spent a day operating in a surgical theatre in his life, going under the surgeons scalpel (relying on absolutely foolhardy ‘accredited specialist’ advice) for an operation on his little finger, only to wake up mid operation, to find that the surgeons have amputated both his legs. He screams, escapes and, against all the odds, survives. When he complains to the relevant regulatory authorities (which are chuffed full of surgeon mates of the dodgy surgeons) they refuse to investigate the dodgy surgeons and instead initiate malpractice proceedings against the patient on grounds his screams and his whistleblowing (query ‘couldn’t possibly be true, so would be a complete waste of time to investigate’?) were unprofessional misbehaviour in the course of the patient behaving as a surgeon rather than behaving, trussed and prepped, as a patient.
What a desperately crooked, corrupt and illegal thing for this failed (legal) regulator to do.
I am an outstanding member of the legal profession, forced out of practising my profession more than 3 years ago (and indeed forced to take physical refuge asylum outside of my birth State of Victoria for more than 2 years) on account of unpoliced crimes committed against me (including criminal reprisals by genuinely crooked lawyers – including government officials who are lawyers). I am an outstanding member of the legal profession about whom no client has every made a regulatory complaint. So why, in the eyes of this supposed protector of consumers of legal services, am I so much more dangerous to the public than any of the 2000 consumer complaints that he refuses to investigate, or the convicted paedophiles that the profession welcomes back into its bosom?
Why is Legal Services Commissioner Michael McGarvie, the privileged son of a former (now deceased) Barrister, Supreme Court Judge and Governor of Victoria, and a dozen of his in-house lawyers, doing their utmost to be the first government officials to be investigated, prosecuted and jailed (for up to two years on each of a multiple and growing number of offences) under his State’s untested 2001 Whistleblower Protection Act?
Clearly whistleblowing lawyers, brave lawyers who never spend a day in court, who sit in offices drawing up the contracts, advices and legislation on which commerce and good government depend, who never do any evil towards their clients, but who stay true to their oaths of admission and office (as is their / my absolute personal and professional and constitutional rights of freedom of thought and freedom of expression and freedom from corruption and tyranny within government) and blow the whistle on corruption in the ranks of government and the law, we are gross menace to society that must be stopped using any government means possible.
We who blow the whistle on corruption and professional and criminal misconduct within the legal profession, including misconduct and corruption at the broad intersection of the legal profession and the upper benches of all three branches of government, are much greater menaces to the public than the continuing protection of continuing corrupt elements within the legal profession / lawyers rule of government in this State, we must be brutalised and snuffed out by any (barely) legal-looking or any outright legal and even criminal means, possible.
I realised years ago that if government officials such as Legal Services Commissioner Michael McGarvie and his dozen in-house lawyers refuse to obey the law and refuse to apply the law, and insist instead on defying the law and breaking the law, there is nothing I can do except (try not to scream,) survive the consequences and make sure that as much of the corruption and misconduct as possible is captured on public records.
There is no statute of limitations to shut out future prosecutions for this betrayals of public trust and public power. Following a regime change (such as occurred when the insipid Bracks-Brumby-Hulls government was toppled in late 2010) the opportunity will eventually arise for a proper government to take the proper steps to investigate, prosecute and punish them for their crimes.
If claiming my whistleblowing scalp this week is what it takes to be the last will and testament of this corrupt and failed legal regulator, if this is what it takes to finally trigger Spring Street to spring into action, well in the scheme of things that is a small (and repairable) personal and political sacrifice for me to make.
Independent Federal Candidate for Lalor
(in the) Australian House of Representatives
Constitutional Human Rights Advocate
Solicitor and Barrister of the High Court of Australia
(Celebrating 20 Years of Legal Practice 1990 – 2010)
mail: PO Box 6137 Point Cook Victoria Australia 3030
sms: +61 (0)401 865 914 (text only)