Federal

Oct 18, 2012

Craig Thomson’s legal bill mounts, clock ticks on case

Craig Thomson faces an enormous legal bill to defend allegations around his time at the Health Services Union. Crikey intern Nicholas McCallum speaks to a legal eagle about the case.

The Gillard government is keeping its distance from besieged independent MP Craig Thomson, raising serious questions about how the crossbencher will pay for his defence in a trial that one industrial law expert expects to continue past the next federal election.

3 comments

Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “Craig Thomson’s legal bill mounts, clock ticks on case

  1. Scott Grant

    A great example of the innate corruption at the heart of our legal system. An MHR with a salary higher than most (90% ?) has “serious questions” about how he will pay for his defence, and that ” . . . legal costs alone could send (him) bankrupt”. What hope would the rest of us have, if we had to defend ourselves in court?

    If we assume that money spent on lawyers is not simply frivolous, and has a genuine bearing on the outcome of court cases, then that means “justice” can be bought. Does anyone else find this worrying?

  2. Edward James

    @ Scott Grant. Defending oneself in court is way beyond the fiscal resources of most taxpayers. That and the fact government has a history of legislating to get around a court ruling. Consider the High Court ruling in favor of the property owners who wanted more money for their commercial properties in Parramatta, when Parramatta council intended to gift the property to GROCON for an enormous PPP development right in the centre of Parramatta. Government regulated the law to permit council to take the land pursuant to the Just Lands Acquisition Act. And the waste compaction plant near Auburn / Clyde. Local ratepayers wont their fight to block a proposal to use the old railway goods adn marshaling yards. Premier Carr famously came out onto the steps of parliament and said to a media scrum it dose not matter what the Land and Environment Court have ruled. We will simply legislate to permit it. Many of us may be defamed and libeled with impunity because effective representation cost money. Often the litigant with the deepest pockets will win. Not always but often enough to frighten most people into silence. Every time I publish an allegation identifying corruption and abuse of due process. I reflect on the fact that the truth is not always a defense should someone resolve to move my political actions from the court public opinion into the law courts. And try to send me broke. I have worried about the cost of pursuing due process for almost fourteen years. Most people looking on do not understand if government disenfranchises one person they disenfranchise us all! Edward James

  3. Warren Joffe

    Does anyone remember Dietrich’s case in which the majority of the High Court said a prosecution for a serious offence like drug trafficking couldn’t proceed without proper legal assistance being provided to the defendant if he couldn’t afford it himself. That was about his getting a “fair trial”. But wouldn’t the same reasoning apply in Thomson’s case, albeit one whose serious consequences don’t appear to include going to gaol? Maybe not, but wouldn’t the taking of the point guarantee that his case might string out for over a year, finally ending up in the High Court?

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...