EXTRACT: “There is a very fine line between an elite police force and an elitist police force and that line is the bottomless crevasse of corruption. Whilst elite police forces do not step over that line, for elitist police forces, doing so is Standard Operating Procedure.”
Either we believe in and practice “Equality before the law” or we have an 12th century elitist justice system that only penalized those not favoured with the protection of the police when laws are broken. Elitist justice is, in law, not justice but rather Ultra Vires justice, i.e. the undermining of the law!
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Below is the text of yet another email to the Australian Federal police Commissioner in which additional case-law decisions are added to those previously submitted, for the purpose of either ensuring that politicians are treated before the law in the same manner, or conversely, welfare recipients receive the same treatment that federal politicians receive.
Federal Parliament is back in session, complete with a new Speaker. As far as 226 politicians are concerned, it is a case of “case closed” so lets move on. However, unless politicians who may have rorted the system are held accountable in the same manner as everyone else, then it is not a case of “case closed”.
10th August 2015
Attention Commissioner Colvin,
RE: Complaint to the request by Andrew Wilkie MP for an investigation by the Federal Police into the extent to which members of the Federal parliament may be making unlawful Entitlements claims.
As I mentioned in a previous email transmitted on 8th August 2015, it is my contention that any inquiry into such unlawful conduct should extend back at least as far as 1st July 1996. This update of that email looks at addition case studies which I believe you should factor into your decision-making processes on this issue, especially given that this is a public complaint that may be used by any person seeking to rebut any prosecution brought against them by the Federal Government.
Therefore, I recommend that this request for an investigation into the issues outlined below be given very careful consideration.
- The Australian National Audit Office 1997 Report of Performance Audit of Ministerial Travel Claims (Report #27, 22 December 1997) indicates that a review of ALL claims by federal politicians as far back as the Howard Government coming to power in 1996 is necessary. The situation by mid-1997 was so bad that the above audit was deemed necessary.
- Auditor-General’s Report No.3 2009-10. Audit Report – Administration of Parliamentarians’ Entitlements by the Department of Finance and Regulation. This report of 144 Members of the Parliament revealed that by “double-dipping”, Members had wrongly claimed a massive $4.64 million.
- On page 12 of the above report, the Auditor-General deemed it appropriate to quote from a report into rorting by British MPs, i.e. that “…members of parliament should act with the integrity expected of them”
- Current issues surrounding the resignation of the (former) Speaker in the House of Representatives and comments by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and other members of the Federal Parliament raise serious questions about the integrity and probity of some of the current members of the federal parliament when it comes to claiming “entitlements”, e.g. Bronwyn Bishop chartering of aircraft, and Tony Abbott reportedly flying 1st class, at tax-payers expense, to his own book launch.
The difference between “elite” and “elitist.”
There is a very fine line between an elite police force and an elitist police force and that line is the bottomless crevasse of corruption. Whilst elite police forces do not step over that line, for elitist police forces, doing so is Standard Operating Procedure. When dealing with complaints or community concerns raised with the Australian Federal Police, the official function of the Federal Police is to uphold the law and base decisions, in each case, upon statute law. It is an abuse of power to presume that the political “gravity/sensitivity” of any complaints against federal politicians can simply be set aside because of political flow-on implications that may be implicit in any complaint or concern expressed about the alleged or perceived crimes.
‘Functus Officio’: AFP complaints handling procedures requires that before a file can be closed, it must be processed in accordance with ‘Due Process of Law.” This raises the question as to the extent to which AFP decision-makers in the AFP complaints handling section ’cut and paste’ responses from one decision to another without the prerequisite ‘Due Process of Law’ that would enable a decision to be finalized and a case or complaint file closed.
The problem of a ‘cut and paste’ approach to complaints processing from one case to another was raised for the consideration of the Full Federal Court in Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v SZQHH (2012) 200 FCR 223;  FCAFC 45.
In that case, a review of 10 ‘blanket’ visa application rejections was challenged because the official reviewing these applications used a template to record his assessment of the claims made by all the asylum seekers, repeating verbatim the
materials relied on to reject the generic claims in each case. One of the asylum seekers claimed that the decision was void on the ground of apprehended bias.
Justice Rares and Justice Jagot did not accept this viewpoint. Both judges were of the opinion that the use of a template to express the reasons for rejecting the generic claims did not give rise to an apprehension of bias. In their view, a fair-minded observer would be aware that the reviewer had arrived at his conclusion based on information about conditions in Afghanistan and believed that the reviewer had evaluated each of the generic claims and the in-country information as it was relevant to all the visa applications. These two judges decided that the use of generic information to evaluate and decide those claims generically was a valid process, i.e. each assessment was consistent and fair (at 238 -).
The key phrase in that decision was that Justice Rares and Justice Jagot were satisfied that that the reviewer had evaluated EACH of the “generic” claims.
Justice Flick gave a dissenting decision in favour of the applicant. He observed (at ): “
“Whatever the ground of review relied upon, a common question in need of resolution is whether a decision-maker has discharged the responsibilities entrusted to him in accordance with law. He may fail to do so if independent consideration has not been given to the particular case before him. The repetition of previously expressed reasons or findings may be an indicator that independent consideration has not been given to a particular case; but the repetition of reasons and findings does not, of itself, dictate such a conclusion.”
At paragraph 89 Justice Flick also noted that:
“…the verbatim repetition of findings and reasons previously expressed should serve as a reason for caution when a court is called upon to review the decision-making process.” In Flick J’s view, the informed bystander “would be more likely to conclude that the Independent Reviewer has simply ‘copied’ his earlier findings — probably without even re-reading them — let alone considering whether the same findings should again be made” (at 250 ).
Any decision-making process that ignores Due Process of Law makes a joke out this process. Commenting upon this court decision in a briefing session to senior government administrators during a lecture titled “Procedural fairness points of law”, the lecturing barrister, Ms Juliet Lucy, stated; “It is helpful to remember that the concern of the law is to avoid practical injustice and the decision maker should therefore focus upon ensuring, as far as possible, that this occurs.”
Citations quoted in support of the above statement:
Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs; Ex parte Lam (2003) 214 CLR 1;  HCA 6, Gleeson CJ at ; Assistant Commissioner Condon v Pompano Pty Ltd (ACN 010 634 689) (2013) 295 ALR 638, Hayne, Crennan, Kiefel and Bell JJ at 682 
Ms Lucy also made the following comment which is of direct relevance to the observed practice of the Australian Federal Police using boilerplate text to respond to complaints from the public:
‘In the context of the statutory requirement that the Refugee Review Tribunal invite an applicant to attend a hearing under s 425(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), it has been held that the interpretive standard must be such that is not “a hollow shell or an empty gesture”.’
Citations quoted in support of the above statement:
Mazhar v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural Affairs  FCA 1759 at , 183 ALR 188, Goldberg J at 195; SZJZS v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (2008) 102 ALD 318, Flick J at 342 . Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs v SZFDE  FCAFC 142, French J at  (dissenting, but approved in SZFDE v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (2007) 232 CLR 189); Applicant NAHF of 2002 v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (2003) 128 FCR 359;  FCA 140, Hely J at .
In addition to the above case study references in regard to the validity of the Australian Federal Police decision-making processes when dealing with allegations of possible rorting by federal politicians are comments found in the Administrative Review Council – 2003 Judicial Review Discussion Paper which considered the issue of what constitutes unreasonable decisions that provide valid grounds for an appeal of a decision.
This legal discussion paper contains a plethora of references to the issue of Unreasonable Decisions, a matter of extremely grave concern when it comes to the manner in which the Australian Federal Police appears to be handling complaints made against members of the Australian Federal Parliament. Pages 52 -53 -Grounds for Court Review states:
4.16 Categories of unreasonableness include:
- that the decision was devoid of plausible justification
- the giving of excessive or inadequate weight to a consideration
- making an erroneous finding of fact on a point of importance
- failure to have proper regard to departmental policy or representation
- the unnecessarily harsh effect of the decision
- failure to give genuine, proper and realistic consideration to a matter including making adequate inquiry as to facts
- Demonstrable inconsistency with other decisions;and discrimination without a rational distinction.
The points above are extremely relevant to the issues raised in my complaints to the Federal Police in 2004, 2009 and in the current complaints concerning the conduct of federal politicians.
The Matters of Law implicit in my 2004 complaint to the Federal Police:
- Did the Member for Makin, Patricia Draper violate s4 and s135 when she falsely claim a travel allowance for a person who was not her defacto spouse?
- If the answer to the above question is affirmative, did Prime Minister John Howard
Violate s149.1 i.e. Obstruction of public officials in the performance of their duties, by using his position as the prime Minister to obstruct and pervert the course of Justice?
Parallel with this is the issue of whether or not he was an accessory after the fact?
- In regard to the questions concerning the alleged enforcement of “Performance Indicator Targets, this activity was almost certainly an unlawful abuse of power and therefore the answer to my question concerning the possibility that any fatalities may be “felony murders” is that under various state laws, these deaths were homicides.
- As pointed in a previous email, these deaths are inconsistent with s279 (4) of the Western Australian Crimes Act, s302 (40 of the QLD Crimes Act and s18 (1) of the NSW Crimes Act.
- What is now know is that in the 10-year period 1997 – 2006, there were 23,254 suicides and the largest identifiable group were unemployed people, i.e. approximately 1 in 3 which equates to about 7,700 fatalities.
- Precisely identifying the number of post breaching fatalities most definitely is a grave matter of national sensitivity, especially since prompt action by the AFP in 2004 may have saved a significant proportion of those lives plus put an end to any subsequent breaching triggered fatalities.
- Have thousands of welfare recipients died simply because the AFP put repeatedly chose to put [political] “gravity/sensitivity” ahead of Rule of Law?
The matters implicit in my 2009 “Perksgate” complaint were an even simpler Matter of Law:
- Did 144 members of the federal parliament violate s4 and/or provisions within s135 and by doing so, collectively obtain a benefit that each was not entitled to receive?
- Each case of a politician needed to be reviewed impartially, and where there a case for prosecution, charged should have been laid.
- It is NOT the function of the Federal Police to use political public relations hype when dealing with possible rorting that may violate s4 or s135 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act (1995).
- Since that law came into effect, more than 50,000 welfare recipients have been prosecuted and each case is a binding precedent for determining the manner in which the Federal Police deal with possible rorting by politicians.
The reasons used by Federal Agent Pearce to justify not investigated the 2007 ‘Perksgate’ rort, a well publicized activity, were spurious and without legal substance and merit. Like Federal Agent Denley’s letter of July 7th 2004, the reasons given for not investigating were, from both a statute law and case perspectives, so illogical that the following case law finding may be a relevant precedent to argue that the AFP was a gross abuse of power for the purpose of protecting those who rorted their printing allowance by “double-dipping” to fund the printing of election material in the run up to the 2007 federal election.
‘In Attorney-General (NSW) v Quin (1989) 170 CLR 1, 36 it was said by Justice Brennan that the decision must amount to ‘an abuse of power’; in Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Teoh (1995) 183 CLR 273, 290, Mason CJ and Deane J used the words ‘so devoid of plausible justification that no reasonable person could have taken that course’.
Below, I again re-submit the publically available details relating to Ms Bronwyn Bishop’s legal obligations when chartering aircraft and her reported failure to meet those obligations. Under no circumstances will I accept another “gravity/sensitivity” response. For this reason, this email, like the previous emails is a public document that can be used by any person who deems it appropriate to so.
Whatever your decision, it is highly likely to be tested in courts across the nation as, and/or when people facing allegations of defrauding the Commonwealth, i.e. violating s135, are called to answer those charges in a court of law.
Ronald Medlicott – registered teacher and a Christian lay advocate for justicein Australia.
 Chan v Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1989) 169 CLR 379.
 Minister for Aboriginal Affairs v Peko-Wallsend Ltd (1986) 162 CLR 24.
 GTE (Australia) v Brown (1986) 14 FLR 309.
 Nikac v Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1988) 20 FCR 65.
 Edelsten v Wilcox and FCT (1988) 83 ALR 99.
 Although according to Wilcox J in Prasad v Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1985) 159
CLR 550, 570, ‘[t]he circumstances in which a decision will be invalid for failure to inquire are…strictly limited’.
 Kruse v Johnston  2 QB 91; Fares Rural Meat and Livestock Co Pty Ltd (1990) 96 ALR 153.
 The Council of the City of Parramatta v Pestell (1972) 128 CLR 305.