General Immediate Media Release 5 July, 2012
Australians denied right to sue negligent lawyers – lone lawyer fights to reverse law
Australia is the only country in the world where, since 2004, it is against the law to sue lawyers who are negligent in the court room: D’Orta-Ekenaike v Victoria Legal Aid (2004)– contrast Delahunty v Howell and Mann (1993).
A lawyer’s lone crusade for the past three years advocating to overturn an unjust law, where citizens in every country worldwide, except Australia, can sue both solicitors and barristers who are negligent in court proceedings, has landed him in strife with the law fraternity.
James Johnson a top flight practicing solicitor and barrister for the past 22 years, constitutional lawyer and human rights campaigner, James has championed for smaller open governments, more efficient government and taking on corruption within the legal fraternity and judicial system.
James has endured repeated burglaries, death threats, a car bombing, his movements shadowed.
James efforts have earned him all sorts of reprisals from within the legal fraternity and more than half a dozen lawyer dominated Victorian Government agencies.
In its latest reprisal, the Victorian Government’s Legal Services Commissioner has commenced a highly contrived prosecution against James – court martialling him on false charges of “professional misconduct” as payback for his whistleblowing – while defying Supreme Court orders to investigate dozens of dodgy solicitors and barristers that James has whistle blown about.
Meanwhile James continues to call for an inquiry into the absence of professional standards in the Australian (including Victorian) legal profession – after solicitors legal duties of care towards litigants were abolished by the High Court of Australia in 2004. And James continues to call for an investigation into Victoria’s failed Legal Services Comissioner and the establishment of an independent regulatory scheme for Victorian lawyers that will act in the interests of the public, instead of acting to protect dodgy lawyers, including by going after whistleblowers such as James.
This unprecedented and history making stand off between a courageous lone lawyer and the might of the legal fraternity (dozens of publicly funded lawyers) resumed in VCAT, at 10.00 am – 12.00 pm on Friday 6 July 2012 at 55 King Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and now stands adjourned until 3 – 5 September 2012.
James has issued an open invitation to the media and to the public to attend the hearing “To come and look, listen, laugh and learn as leading Australian lawyers, lawmakers, government (the Australian lawyerocracy elite) are put on trial and compelled to answer questions that they have been avoiding, for generations”.
“An important procedural hearing, potentially a dangerous one if the LSC and the VCAT are in the mind to commit more procedural injustice – such as they did in the secret, all-Government VCAT hearing held behind my back on 17 May 2012, “a day [and a half]” before the trial started, where VCAT (criminally) ruled out 57 important sources of evidence exposing the corruption and failures within government” James said.
According to James, “The government officials who orchestrated and participated in that illegal secret VCAT hearing are under investigation and I expect that they will be charged with serious crimes (eg under section 320 of the Victorian Crimes Act) some of which carry potential jail terms of up to 15 years.”
But those criminal prosecutions are separate to these flawed, improper, administrative proceedings in VCAT that resume on Friday 6 July from 10.00 am – 12.00 pm midday”. Case No: J134/2011 Michael McGarvie – The Legal Services Commissioner v Harold James Johnson