Sep 28, 2011

Bolt decision: guilty of discrimination, judge declares

Federal Court judge Mordy Bromberg has found right-wing scribe Andrew Bolt and his publisher Herald & Weekly Times guilty of a serious breach of the Racial Discrimination Act in Melbourne this morning.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

Federal Court judge Mordy Bromberg has found right-wing scribe Andrew Bolt and his publisher Herald & Weekly Times guilty of a serious breach of the Racial Discrimination Act in Melbourne this morning.

Before a public gallery packed with supporters of Pat Eatock, who brought the case on behalf of nine fair-skinned members of the Aboriginal community and top Herald Sun brass Phil Gardner and Simon Pristel, Bromberg delivered a blunt assessment of both the racial offence called by Bolt and his professionalism as a journalist.

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76 thoughts on “Bolt decision: guilty of discrimination, judge declares

  1. Lawyercat

    pedantic but important point any appeal will be to the full court of the Federal court not the High Court.

  2. Son of foro

    Ten Hail Mary’s and a couple of Our Fathers should do the trick, lad. Now off you go and stop writing that crap, it can’t be that hard.

  3. Jim Reiher

    They are bound to appeal it, and then if and when they lose again, they will go on with their misinformed erroneous nonesense in more subtle ways. Mr Bolt is a tragic embarrasment to this nation.

  4. drmick

    Justice from the legal system for a change. It was never about free speech. It never is with him. It is about what he can say and get away with.
    He tried it on, he knew what he was doing, he even “planned” it by “researching” it.
    He asked for it and he got it. I hope his owners leave him in the pound.

  5. Leigh Bentley

    But will this shut the Bolter up? One can only hope…

  6. botswana bob

    I note the description of Bolt as a journalist. This recalls the British Profumo scandal of some years back in which the tell all call girls described themselves as models. This prompted the Professional Models Association to issue a statement indicating its membership regarded the aforesaid call girls as journalists.

  7. Liz45

    I’m on the side of the appellants and am delighted by this decision. This is not about free speech, it’s about the ‘free for all’ behaviour of a so-called journalist who used his prejudices to print lies and distortions that caused harm and distress to those involved.

    I hope that any appeal gives the same response. It’s interesting that the Murdoch rags rant on about ‘abiding by the law’ but Andrew Bolt has refused to apologise as ordered by the Judge! Typical! He thinks he’s above the Law! Gross arrogance!

  8. Andrew Crook

    @Lawyercat first yes, but our info was that it is expected to go all the way to the High Court. Have added “all the way” to be clear.

  9. Mark Duffett

    Of course “people should be free to fully identify with their race without fear of public disdain or loss of esteem for so identifying…”. But should they be free to do so without reference to objective reality? Bolt was clearly wrong in this instance with regard to the people that he mentioned (para 10 of the judgment). But is J Bromhead effectively saying that

    fair-skinned people in Australia with essentially European ancestry but some Aboriginal descent…who are not genuinely Aboriginal persons but who, motivated by career opportunities available to Aboriginal people or by political activism, have chosen to falsely identify as Aboriginal

    cannot exist, or if they do, that they cannot be publicly identified as such?

  10. Stiofan

    * “the watertight 15-minute summary of judgement” – what on earth does that mean?

    * “Bolt was also a sloppy journalist, Bromberg said” – no, he didn’t

    * “had cynically penned the pieces in a bald-faced attempt ” – again, the judge didn’t say this

    * “a torturous 10-minute delay” – did you really mean “torturous”, and torturous to whom?

    * “popular Melbourne University lecturer” – popular among whom?

    * “a full-scale assault to the decision ” – I’m open to correction, but I think that one launches an assault “on”, rather than “to”

    * “his legal team, lead by News Limited lawyer ” – that’s “led”, not “lead”

    * “compound the career carnage” – one would have thought that this decision would have precisely the opposite effect, given Bolt’s target audience

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