Royal Commission versus police investigation into union affairs - why Bill Shorten is not keen on the Commission
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Rod Madgwick and mates like Marcus "betterment of mankind" Einfeld

Frank Walker was the NSW Attorney General in the late 1970s.   Good friends with Neville Wran, Ian MacDonald was a staffer and when Rod Madgwick stood as the Labor candidate in the Federal seat of Barton, the phone number on his campaign material was an extension in Walker's office.   It's heaps cheaper for your campaign that way, because you don't have to pay.   The taxpayer does.  What a great idea!

Here's a link to the Sydney Morning Herald of 24 May, 1976.

Frank Walker

Frank walker two

In this article from the SMH, September 1977, Frank Walker tells us that he "promoted the formation" of the Society of Labor Lawyers in NSW.

Formed society labor lawyers

This July 1980 article from the SMH tells us that Rod Madgwick was by then President of the NSW Society of Labor Lawyers.

Madgwick president

Lionel Murphy and Frank Walker were friends.   Marcus Einfeld represented Lionel Murphy at the Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry.

The Sydney Morning Herald


Date: 21/10/1986
Words: 887
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News and Features
Page: 5
Parliamentarians and members of the legal profession paid tribute last night to Justice Lionel Murphy.

The Prime Minister, Mr Hawke, said: "Lionel Murphy was a great Australian and one of our finest-ever jurists. He made a significant and lasting contribution to the Parliament and the legal system of this country.

"The people of Australia have lost a humanist and a jurist of rare talent and significance.

"The last few months have been a particularly difficult time for both the judge and his family. Yet he faced this period with characteristic strength and courage.

"Lionel Murphy's commitment to the law and his sense of public duty were epitomised by the fact that in recent days, when his health and physical strength were rapidly failing, he continued to work to complete outstanding judgments.

"As Attorney-General of the Commonwealth between 1972 and 1975 he pioneered major reforms of the law in relation to family law, legal aid, consumer protection, and civil liberties.

"As a judge of the High Court, Lionel Murphy brought to the court a vision of social justice and a commitment to the principle that all are equal under the law."

Mr Marcus Einfeld, QC,who represented Justice Murphy at the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, said: "I think he was the victim of a great deal of ignorant criticism and a good deal of political fervour, which did not enable detached judgment to be made about him.

"I think history will look more kindly upon him than we are at present," he said.

The Minister for Resources and Energy, and former Attorney-General Senator Gareth Evans said: "His death, given the circumstances of the last 2 1/2 years of his life, is one of the great Australian tragedies.

"Justice Murphy will be remembered as a great reforming Attorney-General and a great reforming judge.

"All his achievements apart, the characteristics for which his friends and admirers will most remember him were his sheer creative intellectual energy, his fascination with ideas and his passion for justice and human rights," he said.

The Premier of NSW, Mr Unsworth, said history would remember Justice Murphy as a man with an enormous zeal for reform.

"He showed great courage during recent difficult times and will be sadly missed by many friends and admirers throughout the community," he said.

The NSW Attorney-General, Mr Sheahan, said that for all those in his generation in the law and in politics, Justice Murphy had been an inspirational figure.

"His reformist zeal permeated the Parliament, the Australian Labor movement and his distinguished career as a minister and as a judge," Mr Sheahan said.

"He maintained his innocence throughout the difficult last years of his life when he was subjected to unprecedented calumny and he withstood his final struggles with great dignity and courage."

Throughout those difficulties probably the only person who matched his dignity and courage was his wife Ingrid, Mr Sheahan said.

The NSW Minister for Housing, Mr Walker, said he was proud to call Justice Murphy a friend.

"Lionel Murphy goes down in history as Australia's finest humanitarian Attorney-General," Mr Walker said.

He would also be remembered as a brilliant, compassionate jurist who played a leading role in undoing the black letter law approach of the High Court and replacing it with a more policy-oriented approach to legal interpretation.

Senator Janine Haines, Leader of the Australian Democrats, said that Australia had lost one of its most distinguished law reformers and jurists.

A former Whitlam Cabinet minister and close friend, Mr Clyde Cameron, said: "It will be a long time before we have anyone to match the great combination of qualities which distinguished Lionel Murphy from so many others.

"His judgments will remain his memorial."

The Victorian Premier, Mr Cain, said: "He wanted the law to work for people, protecting them and their individual rights.

"It is for those achievements that Lionel Murphy will be remembered.

The High Court office of the Chief Justice, Sir Harry Gibbs, had no comment on Justice Murphy's death last night.

This was in line with precedent.

If Sir Harry Gibbs does make a statement it is expected to be from the bench when the court resumes sitting in Canberra next Tuesday.

The Leader of the National Party, Mr Sinclair, said Justice Murphy's death marked the end of an era in Australian politics.

"That era, and Mr Justice Murphy's involvement in it, provoked continuing controversy.

"As a Senator, Attorney-General, and finally as a Judge of the High Court, he played a prominent role in political life over the last three decades.

"The contribution he made to the Senate, and particularly in the establishment of its committee system, was outstanding.

"The importance of his role in government and the judiciary is part of the historical record.

"History will make its own judgment on the impact of his complex personality both on the Whitlam Government and the High Court."


Neville Wran was moved to write this piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald about his mate Lionel Murphy.


The Sydney Morning Herald


Date: 28/10/1986
Words: 1310
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News and Features
Page: 2
To the very last, Lionel Murphy held, with all the tenacity and courage of a great spirit, to the true meaning and message of his own life.

Last Thursday in Canberra, his brother Bill told us Lionel's last message. It was a warning against bitterness. In particular, Lionel said: "Bill, don't let the boys grow up in bitterness because of what's happened to me. Don't let them grow up with that millstone round their neck."

May that stand as Lionel's last charge to all of us.

Continue reading at the Fairfax website here.    



In September 1999 a bit of Balmain biff revisited a Labor Party function with this stoush between Gareth Gareth Evans and Rod steeped-in-Labor-traditions-but-judicially-independent Madgwick.


Rod Madgwick blames Gareth Evans for the Lionel Murphy trial

Gareth's king hit

Dennis Atkins, Courier Mail, 30 September 1999, page 16

AUSTRALIA is knee-deep in political biographies at present, with new books about former Labor ministers John Button and Gareth Evans and serving Treasurer Peter Costello hitting the shelves in recent days.

The generously positive Evans book, by his former media man Keith Scott, contains an old story that warrants retelling.

Evans was one of the last standing when it came to defending the controversial late High Court judge Lionel Murphy, but had a statutory duty as attorney-general to allow the prosecution of the Labor icon to proceed.

Therefore, he was furious when fellow Labor lawyer and now Federal Court judge Rod Madgwick shirt-fronted him at a dinner in Sydney in 1985, saying: "I blame you for the Murphy trial".

Evans tells Scott he responded with "an absolutely explosive and almost uncontrollable burst of anger". The former attorney-general admits brushingMadgwick's face with an open hand, although others recall real punches thrown, the final one hitting the side of the Sydney QC's head.



In 1986 Madgwick was appointed a District Court Judge in NSW.   In 1995 he was appointed as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.


"I never lie in statutory declarations if I can conceivably have any hope of it being true".   Marcus Einfeld, 2009, Sydney.


In February 2009 Madgwick's brother judge the former Justice Marcus Einfeld was tried and convicted on charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice.

CITATION : R v Einfeld [2009] NSWSC 119
HEARING DATE(S) : 25-27 February 2009

20 March 2009
DECISION : For the offence of perjury — sentenced to a non-parole period of imprisonment of one year two months commencing on 20 March 2009 and expiring on 19 May 2010 and a balance of the term of seven months commencing on 20 May 2010 and expiring on 19 December 2010.
For the offence of perverting the course of justice — sentenced to a non-parole period of imprisonment of one year three months commencing on 20 December 2009 and expiring on 19 March 2011 and a balance of the term of one year commencing on 20 March 2011 and expiring on 19 March 2012.
Parole order for release on 19 March 2011.
  CATCHWORDS : SENTENCE — perjury — perverting the course of justice
Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act
CATEGORY : Sentence
PARTIES : Regina
EINFELD, Marcus Richard
FILE NUMBER(S) : SC 2008/240
COUNSEL : W G Roser SC (Crown)
I M Barker QC / D R Campbell SC (Prisoner)
SOLICITORS : S Kavanagh (Solicitor for Public Prosecutions)
Verekers Lawyers


Reliable Labor mate Rod Madgwick was there in Einfeld's corner.    Mr Madgwick provided a character reference for Einfeld, which was summarised by Justice James in his Judgement at Para 117 (14)

(14) Mr Madgwick a former judge of the Federal Court says that “for many years Marcus Einfeld has tenaciously, intelligently and practically battled in a number of ways for the betterment of humankind”.

Plus he never lies if he can conceivably have any hope of it being true.

The former Labor Lawyers President Rod Madgwick featured in The Australian newspaper in support of the humankind betterment battler.

The Betterment Battler spoke of Rod Madgwick on the ABC's Four Corners program of March, 2009, where he also spoke of never lying in statutory declarations if he could conceivably have any hope of it being true.   His quote is up there with "I witnessed thousands of documents as a solicitor, I always witnessed them correctly - I just can't recall that one with the Power of Attorney for when Bruce and I went to the auction to buy the love-shack, but....."


MARCUS EINFELD, FEDERAL COURT JUDGE 1986-2001: I've got a large number of character witnesses but the people giving oral evidence will include Auntie Madge from Toomelah, former Justice Madgwick from the Federal Court.

I think Trevor Garland, the consul of the Solomon Islands. I'm not sure who the lawyers have decided to call and not call. But we're going past it now.


SARAH FERGUSON: It was also one of the last public humiliations in the long pursuit of Marcus Einfeld. In the full glare of the media the police had raided his home.

They'd also questioned his family and his friends, and produced possibly the most damaging allegation of all, that the events of 2006 were part of a pattern, that he had used the excuse of overseas drivers before.

TONY STENBERG, DETECTIVE SERGEANT, NSW FRAUD SQUAD: Our inquiries sort of went back a number of years, in fact into the 90s when we started to reconstruct, certainly and detect a pattern of behaviour relating to the submission of statutory declarations by Mr Einfeld.

SARAH FERGUSON: Is it a habit of yours to lie in statutory declarations to get out of minor traffic infringements?

MARCUS EINFELD, FEDERAL COURT JUDGE 1986-2001: I never lie in statutory declarations if I can conceivably have any hope of it being true. I never tell untruths. There may be occasions when I've made mistakes in memory and things of this kind. And in details. I may have. I don't know.

SARAH FERGUSON: The police discovered at least three traffic infringements received by Einfeld going back to 1999.

For running a red light in northern Sydney, and speeding twice near his home in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

On each occasion in sworn statements he named friends of his from the US and the UK as the drivers, when records showed that none of them were in Australia at the time.

SARAH FERGUSON (to Marcus Einfeld): The pattern put forward by the prosecution was that it is something that you do, that when faced with a traffic infringement you nominate an overseas driver and in the past you were successful. You did it again because you'd done it before?

MARCUS EINFELD, FEDERAL COURT JUDGE 1986-2001: Yes but that's nonsense. Why would you name people who you, who actually existed? You can name people who don't exist. I could've named somebody from Kazakhstan. I could've named Borat as the driver or, or somebody else as the driver.

SARAH FERGUSON: One of the incidents is particularly striking. Three years before he was finally caught out for naming Teresa Brennan as the driver of his car, Einfeld signed a sworn statement to evade a speeding fine in May 2003.

The driver he named then was Teresa Brennan.

DAVID BRENNAN, TERESA BRENNAN'S COUSIN: Early 2003 was when she died. He knew from mid-January 2003 that she was comatose in a hospital in Florida. I was asked to get in touch with some of Teresa's friends including Marcus Einfeld and let them know that this had happened.

He sent me emails saying you know I'm very distressed, this is terrible news, can I do anything to help?

SARAH FERGUSON: You used Teresa Brennan's name soon after her death in the hit and run accident?

MARCUS EINFELD, FEDERAL COURT JUDGE 1986-2001: If I did that, then, and I don't remember, but if I did it, then it was wrong. It was terribly wrong. I can assure you that at that time, at the time of her death I was mourning Teresa Brennan.

I was a frontline mourner, I was in my chambers crying about her death and I still do. And I am still saying that that was clearly a mistake, there could be no question about it. But it was not a deliberate mistake.


Put the infringement in Ms Brennan's name - no drama.   Put the house in Mr Blewitt's name - no drama.

Every touch leaves a trace.