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Mr Temby's advice - Mr Bowen's response

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AG 24/85 12 December 1985



The news that the Federal Attorney-General rejected the

recommendation of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr

Temby, O C , that the Premier of New South Males be prosecuted

for contempt of court before even reading Mr Temby's reasons

evidences an arrogant, casual and contemptuous disregard for

the duties of his office, and his own Director of Public .


Mr Bowen defended Mr W r a n 's assertion, of Mr Justice Murphy's

innocence because they were answers given to journalists.

Even if Mr Wran was aware of the possibility that his answers

would be published, it is irrelevant to say that he was

answering questions. And it has never been suggested by Mr Wran,

or anyone else, that the comments made by him were off the

the record, or that he was surprised to see them published.

Next, Mr Bowen has said that when Mr Wran made his comments

Mr Justice Murphy had not been sent for trial. Not only had

the Court of Appeal already ordered a retrial on one count,

but Mr Wran's comments were made about the likely outcome of

that very trial.

Mr Bowen next claims that there would be two trials running

together. This is quite wrong. The trials could be held at

different times and - what is more fundamental and what Mr

Bowen omits - the issues in the two trials would be quite

different. .

The reasons given by Mr Bowen for rejecting Mr Temby's

recommendations are demonstrable nonsense and a travesty of

what should be expected from the Federal Attorney-General. .

J. M. Spender, QC Shadow



AG 24/85 12 December 1985 Shadow Attorney-General

Without independent advice, without knowing Mr Temby's

reasons, Mr Bowen absolved of fault his friend and Labor

colleague, the Premier of New South Wales.

By his conduct Mr Bowen has gravely damaged his office, and

public confidence in the impartial administration of justice.

Who would believe that, if an ordinary citizen had been

subject to a recommendation from the Director of Public

Prosecutions that contempt proceedings be taken against him,

that recommendation would have been so casually dismissed.

To allow things to rest as Mr Bowen apparently wishes

to leave them will leave an indelible stain on the administration

of the Federal criminal justice system.

Justice must not only be done; it must manifestly and

irrefutably be seen to be done. Otherwise the system of

justice will fall into public disrepute.

Having reached the view that contempt proceedings should be

brought against Mr Wran, the Director of Public Prosecutions,

who has shown commendable independence, should hold to that

opinion and act on it, and vindicate the integrity, the

independence and the public worth of his office.

The question is not for the political arena. It is one

for the administration of justice.

John Spender Sydney

Shadow Attorney-General 12 December 1985