3 July 2006

Telecom leak: no charges

I'm somewhat astounded by this release. Police: No criminal offending in messenger's actions
4:06pm 30 June 2006 Police today announced that criminal proceedings will not be advanced in relation to the disclosure of a confidential cabinet document by Mr Michael Ryan - a messenger in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. "The circumstances surrounding the disclosure of the cabinet document do not amount to criminal offending," a police spokesman said. Police are not commenting further on this matter. ENDS
I have previously noted some possible charges: "Leaks - some possible offences". And the more I've heard about the facts, the more it looks like an open and shut case for a charge under s105A, either as a complete offence or an attempt. I've made an OIA request today for more information from the Police about why.

Course Outline

Lord Justice Lawton in Maxwell v Department of Trade and Industry [1974] 2 All ER 122 said:

"From time to time ... lawyers and judges have tried to define what constitutes fairness. Like defining an elephant, it is not easy to do, although fairness in practice has the elephantine quality of being easy to recognise. As a result of these efforts a word in common usage has acquired the trappings of legalism: 'acting fairly' has become 'acting in accordance with the rules of natural justice', and on occasion has been dressed up with Latin tags. This phrase in my opinion serves no useful purpose and in recent years it has encouraged lawyers to try to put those who hold inquiries into legal straitjackets.... For the purposes of my judgment I intend to ask myself this simple question: did the [decision-maker] act fairly towards the plaintiff?"

This course examines the elephantine concept of fairness in the law, along with other contemporary legal issues.

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