Here is except concerning Tony Morris ( ex Dr. Death inquiry in QLD) and his antics.

Lord Eldon goes Nuttall

Lord Eldon’s caustic opinion for a former Queensland government
minister is the talk of the town. The adjectives flow thick and fast as
the great silk compares the relative positions and status of those on
the Bar n’ Grill’s pecking order.

Lord Eldon, trading as Anthony J.H. Morris QC, was on the verge of
relevance deprivation when, in the nick of time, he has emerged as
meaningful as ever with a caustic opinion for his client Gordon
Nuttall, the former minister for health in the Bjelke-Beattie
government.

Eldon’s advice on the beastly way the Crime and Misconduct Commission
treated the former minister was tabled last week in the Queensland
parliament and has been the talk of the town ever since.

Those who doubted Eldon’s mastery of the adjective can rest easy, as this sentence shows:

“I cannot leave this aspect without expressing the
emphatic view that, at least in this respect, the CMC’s report is a
disgrace – an absolute, positive, stark, unequivocal, clear,
unqualified, categorical, decided, unmistakable, unconditional and
unmitigated disgrace.”

Nuttall (seen here), a former union official with a penchant for
sporting a red rose in his lapel, presided over the Dr Death debacle
and gave evidence before a parliamentary budget estimates committee
about the Bundaberg hospital mess.

He told gob-smacked committee members that problems about the
competency of overseas trained doctors had never been brought to his
attention.

His flow of denials was rudely interrupted by a senior bureaucrat
sitting next to him, who told the hearing that the minister had been
briefed well before the misadventures of Dr Jayant Patel emerged in
public.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission was called in to investigate
whether the Nut had committed any offence by telling pork pies to the
parliamentary committee.

The CMC thought there might have been a breach of s.57 of the
Queensland Criminal Code, which says you can get seven years for giving
a false answer to the Legislative Assembly or to one of its committees.

However, the police commissioner found that there was insufficient
evidence to charge him with “knowingly giving a false answer”.
Nonetheless, the Nut resigned from cabinet, insisting he had been
“careless” with his words but not “deliberately or knowingly false or
misleading”.

To whom does one turn if an injustice chafes? Why, Lord Eldon – the
very man who was sent packing from conducting the Bundaberg inquiry on
the ground of “ostensible bias”.

Justice Marty Moynihan found that during the inquiry Eldon had been
“aggressive … sarcastic and belittling … unfair and hostile [and]
unfair and accusatory” towards witnesses from Bundaberg hospital.

In any event, the magnificent silk declared his opinion for Gordon
Nuttall MP “represents the views of just one person – albeit views
based on his “many years’ education, training and experience as a
barrister and a Queen’s Counsel”.

The entire documents reeks of Eldon’s trademark modesty.

His Lordship found it “remarkable” that the CMC accepted the advice of
John Logan SC and Stephen Gageler SC (who advised the commission) in
preference to that of Hugh Fraser QC and Bob Gotterson QC (who provided
an opinion to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly).

After all, either Fraser or Gotterson would make it into the list of the “top 10 barristers in Queensland”.

Eldon went on to say that Fraser was “an undisputed expert in issues of
parliamentary privilege … without doubt, nobody in Queensland could
claim to have greater expertise in this field”.

A footnote to this sentence adds an important rider: “Except possibly (and with all due modesty) the present writer.”

imageLord Eldon (pictured) analysed the careers of the relevant barristers on either side of the question.

“Comparisons are odious and I certainly do not wish
to belittle the professional standing of Mr Logan SC. But statistics
speak for themselves. Mr Logan is currently number 86 on the Bar
Association’s list of seniority, compared with 44 in the case of Mr
Fraser and 28 in the case of Mr Gotterson.”

Furthermore, Logan has only been a silk for six years while Fraser has
had silk for 13 years and Gotterson for 17 years. More devastating
statistics.

“One indication of a senior barrister’s professional
standing is the rapidity with which he or she was allowed to ‘take
silk’ after commencing practice at the junior bar.”

It is noted that Fraser and Gotterson were “elevated” to the senior bar
after 13 years practice as juniors but it took Logan 19 years to make
the charmed inner circle.

Again, there were further priceless footnotes:

“For comparative purposes, the present writer’s
position on the list of seniority is just below Mr Fraser’s at number
45. Again for comparative purposes, the present writer has (like Mr
Fraser) been a QC for 13 years (since 1992). Again for comparative
purposes, the present writer ‘took silk’ after nine years as a junior
barrister.”

Poor old Gageler comes in for an awfully dismissive time in the advice:

“As to Mr Gageler SC, I have to confess that I had
not heard of him prior to this, although my subsequent enquiries
suggest that he is held in high regard in Sydney, where he has his
chambers. It seems that he has never been admitted in Queensland or at
any rate does not hold a practising certificate in this state. He
appears to have been a senior counsel in NSW since 2000.”

Rotten southern cockroach.

In any event, according to Eldon, Gageler and Logan were wrong. Even if
the Nut did give false answers, as a matter of law that could not
constitute an offence.

The prohibition in the criminal code against telling lies to parliament
only applies to non-members. How on earth could it apply to MPs? The
whole system of parliamentary democracy would collapse if members were
criminally liable for telling untruths.

Further, Eldon declared that the CMC had no jurisdiction to entertain
the complaint, ought never to have considered it and ought not to have
published its report.

We Queenslanders are fortunate to have a barrister of such flair at
45th in the pecking order. Just imagine how brilliant the other 44 must
be.

Peter Fray

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