Routine investigation or part of a broader trend?

johnboy 3 November 2009 25

The ABC has the shock news that the ACT’s outgoing Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill (Due to resign in month’s time) is to be investigated by the police:

Mr Corbell says the investigation is about the administration of justice but he will not provide any details about the case.

He says he was informed of the matter on October 23 and referred it to the Director of Public Prosecutions who in turn passed it onto police.

It has been reported that the investigation centres on a hearing that was aborted last week after a visiting Victorian magistrate revealed he had been given documents briefing him on the case.

The cynical might wonder if this will stop the plain taking Chief Magistrate dropping a bucket on the executive arm of government during his swan song. We can only hope the motivations are more noble.

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25 Responses to Routine investigation or part of a broader trend?
cranky cranky 8:36 pm 11 Nov 09

That should be Karen Fryar. The other complainant was John Burns. My bad.

Given the recent publicity regarding the rights of legal professionals to remain un-named whilst action for unsavouriness is taken by their comrades in the game, can we speculate that one has crossed the line and now has the mates and enemies facing off?

Interesting times!

sunshine sunshine 7:30 pm 11 Nov 09

Karen Fry was apparently one of the two judicial complainants. I have no idea of the rights and wrongs of this case (and it stikes me some effort is being taken to keep the details under wraps), but I would be astonished if Ron Cahill has taken leave of his senses and crossed some legalistic line in the sand.

yes i agree – must be something they aren’t telling the public in regards to who the person the case is about etc…can’t help but wonder who, what , where, when , how and why?

cranky cranky 7:01 pm 10 Nov 09

‘The judicial commission will include three retired Supreme Court justices from other jurisdictions.’

Wow, that was organised bloody quickly.

Does someone want to list the bucketfull of dodgy decisions this pack of clowns has made, and how the ratepayers would love to institute their own instant 3 independent judge review panel?

Karen Fry was apparently one of the two judicial complainants. I have no idea of the rights and wrongs of this case (and it stikes me some effort is being taken to keep the details under wraps), but I would be astonished if Ron Cahill has taken leave of his senses and crossed some legalistic line in the sand.

Corbell, mate, your acquiescence to this enquiry is revealing. As said previously, I know who I would prefer to back, and sorry Simon, you run second.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 5:29 pm 10 Nov 09

I was about to post the same news as Sunshine.
Instead, here is the Attorney General’s entire statement on the matter.

Selected important bit:
As a result of the decision to establish the Inquiry and pursuant to Section 19 (1) of the Act, the Chief Magistrate is excused from performing his functions as Chief Magistrate.
The next most senior Magistrate, Magistrate Dingwall, will act in the interim.

sunshine sunshine 4:48 pm 10 Nov 09

well it looks like Magistrate Cahill has retired a little earlier than expected after being forced to stand down today

Clown Killer Clown Killer 1:51 pm 06 Nov 09

The nicest thing anyone could say about Simon Corbell is that he’s a little maggot. He simply doesn’t have the wherewithal to dream up something like this vindictive attack on the judiciary. This has the stench of StanDOPEs malevolence all over it.

PTT PTT 11:51 am 06 Nov 09

Correct me if I’m wrong Blondcat, but I suspect you have first hand experience regarding ACT public servants doing the wrong thing and how effective the ACT Justice System is at dealing with them. Remember people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 1:24 pm 05 Nov 09

Blondcat said :


Don’t understand – my comments are simple – even an ACT PS should be able to understand them.

Might wanna take your tinfoil hat off before posting, bud.

Blondcat Blondcat 12:18 pm 05 Nov 09


Don’t understand – my comments are simple – even an ACT PS should be able to understand them.

WillowJim WillowJim 9:09 am 05 Nov 09

Three front-page treatments in three days? The Crimes knows something here. Something’s been suppressed.

vg vg 7:39 pm 04 Nov 09



I’d wager a dozen regular public servants have killed themselves since the event you mentioned. Is the ACT PS rotten to the core as well.

Nothing more embarrassing than someone who thinks they’re informed.

Blondcat Blondcat 5:27 pm 04 Nov 09

The Cahill matter and Corbell’s handling of it reinforce the views of a lot of people that the ACT is way too small to be an independent jurisdiction with its own police force and judiciary. We have seemingly corrupt magistrates, Ministers doing ‘jobs’ on the court system, a treasury that can’t collect the rates and land taxes its responsible for, senior police officers committing suicide (sorry to bring this up) Bruce stadium scandals, Belconnen Pool scandals Commissioner for Revenue Scandals, Tu Pham scandals and Angel Marina scandals, when will enough be enough???

prhhcd prhhcd 3:15 pm 04 Nov 09

Simon Corbell? Credibility = 0. An absolute idiot! Just as Gunghalin Al said – I listended to the interview on my way to work as well. Gagged, and he took that order seriously.
I don’t know enough to judge either, but hope that justice will prevail.

TheObserver TheObserver 11:52 am 04 Nov 09

Mr Corbell’s only comment should have been ‘no comment’ and yet he can drop little media snippets to keep the wheel turning, but Cahill is gagged.

There is the whiff of a job being done on someone here, and it follows a trend with this ALP crew – first the Registrar, Jill Circosta, more recently the Supreme Court with the AG blasting the Chief Justice in the media prior to speaking with him -and now this with one of the foremost lawyers in the Territory.

I suppose this is just ‘lawyer envy’. Corbell is not qualified as a lawyer. He only knows what his flunkies tell him and lord knows, they don’t have much talent.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 10:33 am 04 Nov 09

Cahill was on 666 this morning and stated that he’d pursue restoration of his reputation “to the highest court in the land”. So doesn’t sound like someone prepared to be gagged.

I tend away from the “stench of payback” assertions. There *was* a trial aborted due to something that was done. That is no small matter legally or financially. So clearly something had to be investigated as to how/why this happened and whether anything untoward occurred. I’ve little doubt that Simon would have found himself in the rather invidious situation of having no choice but to refer it for investigation.

What I don’t understand is why any of this was released to the media though. Would it not have been better to allow whatever investigation to proceed without that muddying the waters? The only possible reason I can see is that Simon got a heads-up that it was about to go public anyway?

Then there’s the cost of restarting any trials he’s in the middle of…

Coach Coach 10:08 am 04 Nov 09

Listening to Ron Cahill on the ABC this morning, I do not have enough information to form an opinion either way about his actions, so I will refrain from doing so(and hope others will as well). I do know he has served this community for a long time in a very important capacity.

What I do have an opinion on is… “How simple does someone have to be to write the first comment made on this posting???” (Bloody Hell…..grow a brain)

How long do we have to watch our Attourney General play out his issues with the judiciary in the media? How grossly unprofessional!

grump grump 10:02 am 04 Nov 09

I can’t see where someone makes the point about why providing a background brief for the magistrate hearing a case is a bad thing – wouldn’t this be normal? Is security the issue in that it was emailed rather than hard copy?


dvaey dvaey 2:23 am 04 Nov 09

What are the chances that this might spill over into an audit/investigation of some of Higgins’ decisions too?

54-11 54-11 9:29 pm 03 Nov 09

If it’s a choice between the credibility of Corbell and Cahill… Sorry, Simple Simon, you lose.

cranky cranky 6:40 pm 03 Nov 09

The stench of politics and payback are all over this.

The word ‘arrogance’ springs to mind.

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