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Whistleblowing lawyer ~ exposing corruption

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An article produced by an "independent" legal expert which stated that not one lawyer has ever lodged a professional misconduct complaint against a fellow lawyer --lest they be ostracised:

Whistleblocked! Whistleblowing lawyer faces lifetime ban for exposing legal, judicial and government corruption...prominent Australian journalist, lawyer and political activist Mr James Johnson will be sentenced on two charges of “professional misconduct” and faces being banned from practising law for at least 5 years (possibly for life) as payback for blowing the whistle on widespread corruption and misconduct in Australia’s legal system.


Earlier this month, the Victorian government (in its Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal) ruled that despite a distinguished two decade career amongst the elite of the legal profession, Mr Johnson’s crime? Making comprehensive whistleblower complaints about corruption and misconduct by a number of Australian barristers, solicitors and judges – complaints that, despite their seriousness and the weight of evidence behind them, the relevant government authorities have not and will not investigate to determine whether they are true or not.

The Victorian Legal Services Commissioner, Mr Michael McGarvie, who is prosecuting Mr Johnson has asked Victoria’s VCAT Tribunal Senior Member Mr Jonathan Smithers impose a lifetime ban on Mr Johnson.

Mr Johnson has responded by filing a 500 page submission proving the truth of his allegations, including draft orders for the VCAT Member to sign, and by demanding the resignations the Legal Services Commissioner, along with Mr Jonathan Smithers of VCAT and Mr John Bowman of VCAT. In May of this year VCAT Deputy President Bowman ruled at a secret all-Government hearing “a day [and a half” before the “trial” against Mr Johnson began on 21 May, that Mr Johnson would not be allowed to produce any government evidence to defend himself to against the charges and to prove his status and rights to legal protections as a “whistleblower”. VCAT struck out 57 summonses calling for the production of substantial government records and testimony from 57 hostile witnesses, most of them prominent public servants.

Australia is the only country in the world where, and only since 2005, it is against the law to sue lawyers who are negligent in the court room.” Mr Johnson said, “On top of this, we have a lame legal regulator who refuses to investigate more than 90% of the 2,000 complaints about lawyers that the Legal Services Commissioner receives every year. The complaints he refuses to hear include complaints about family lawyers (over 40% of complaints), lawyers executing wills and estates (nearly 30% of complaints) and litigation lawyers generally (another 20% of complaints). The stories, and the statistics, are chilling.”

Mr Johnson has not said anything more about the state of corruption in the legal system than has been said by dozens of other prominent legal figures including parliamentarians, cabinet ministers and judges).

The bureaucrats have a hard time ahead, explaining why they have repeatedly gone after me for whistleblowing, while not going after any of those dozens of high profile legal and political figures who have said the same things as me over the years, including recently.” Mr Johnson said.

Mr Johnson has campaigned for years to the Victorian Premier and Attorney-General on the need to heed the calls of a damning2009 Annual Report to Parliament by Victorian State Government Ombudsman George Brouwer on widespread corruption and failure in the office of the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner.

The Baillieu Clark government needs to turn the clock back on the legal profession, only as far back as 2004, when lawyers were regulated by an independent non-lawyer regulator, Ms Kate Hamond the former Victorian Legal Ombudsman. The Baillieu Clark government needs to launch an in-depth investigation into widespread abuse of the courts system by the solicitors, barristers, judges and bureaucrats that run them. We can’t wait for an ‘Independent Broad Based Commission Against Corruption’ – especially one that looks like it will not be independent of the legal profession, and will not be broad based either. The government has to act now.”

Mr Johnson is philosophical and continues to work to change the system. “What the Victorian bureaucrats have done is to declare that notwithstanding glorious Acts of Parliament like Victoria’s Whistleblowers Protection Act of 2001 and Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2004, the day to day reality is that it is illegal to be a whistleblower and to speak out against government corruption in Australia.”

As Christine Assange said, ‘we live in an age where whistleblowers are criminals, and journalists are enemy combatants. And I am a whistleblower and a journalist, as well as being a lawyer and a political activist,” he said.

Our elected members of parliament, whom we elect to govern and protect us from excessive misuse of powers by bureaucrats and judges, should all hang their heads in shame. They are failing us too.”

This is not just James Johnson’s personal battle for justice, freedom of speech and the right to speak out against corruption in government – a “lawyerocracy” as Mr Johnson famously calls it, “This is a personal and political battle for the 99.99% of us Australians.”

The stage is set for an epic battle between the forces of good versus evil, on Friday morning in VCAT (“William Cooper Justice Centre”, 223 William Street at 10:00 am).

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  1. James, agree with you 100%. I will be praying for good men to wake up and stand with you on this!

  2. Strangely enough all things legal are not that dissimilar in the UK. A timely website “lawyers from hell” naming and shaming the worst excessess of the profession was shutdown by the Law Society who grandly told the media that the correct avenue of complaints was either the Legal services Ombudsman or the Soicitors Regulatin Authority. My own experience in dealing with both bodies is that while the LSO is ok the SRA seem pretty hopeless and the Data Protection Act and its stipulation on how files are named works to prevent you accessing SRAs findings – if any – and discovering anything about about the handling of your complaint!
    The legal Mafia in the UK are probably slightly less corrupt than their counterparts in Aus but,sadly, not a lot!

  3. What a disgusting, open display of corruption within this foreign owned government ‘legal system’ we have here in Australia, spear-headed by Julia Gillard’s (ill)legal fraternity (some 85%+ of parliamentarian “bodies” (aka people), as I am lead to believe)). When you tell the TRUTH you are victimized, yet when THEY lie & deceive THEY think it’s OK as well as legal. NO – it is not! We, the People, see what is going on James. Hold your head high my fellow Australian & THANK YOU for standing up for what is True & Just in the real world. You are a good man. THEY, on the other hand, are NOT! THEY are nothing more than, bought & paid for, SCUM, as far as I am concerned.

    POSTED BY NOTALONE | OCTOBER 4, 2012, 12:28 AM
  4. james -I fully support your struggle-the legal fraternity of Victoria are being shown up completely by your courage principles integrity -I have experienced the same level of corruption in the NSW judicial system -in my case that corruption protection public officials who had abused assaulted and maltreated severely disabled residents in a state govt institution. If I was in melbourne I would personally attend the kangaroo court hearing to offer my moral support.

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  • doyla66
    doyla66 Saturday, 03 November 2012

    Thanks for the tip off, Andy and James. No point complaining - no one's home, no one cares.
    Lawyers are the root of our corporate evils and our regulatory fear.
    Even the so called independent arbitrators like VCAT are corrupted according to this report.
    There would be more to this story, apart from the corrupt regulatory system.
    The politics of law is a special kind of hell, especially in such an "establishment" town as Melbourne.
    When a lawyer can't succeed against that system what hope is there for the rest of us?
    When are we going to insist that this is cleaned up in the national interest?
    Or do we have to put up with this protected species for ever and a day out of fear of reprisals by all and sundry, right to the top of the tree?
    Must we all walk in lock step, not looking left or right, having no opinions of our own nor speaking them sometime in the future out of fear of these home grown blue blood bullies?
    Isn't it time we created a way to deal with their misconduct appropriately and fairly?
    What will it take to get this happening?
    It's about time more people pulled the pin on those who are acting corruptly in all positions of influence and responsibility, especially where those in power have abused it and used it to carelessly destroy the lives of others through their insouciant disregard for all but maintaining the Game of Law and their exorbitant fees.

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