Chris Winslow of the Bar Association's Twitter messages for Tony Abbott and his Royal Commission
Sunday, 30 August 2015
On 10 April 2014 barrister Greg Burton wrote to the Hon Dyson Heydon AC QC inviting His Honour to give the 2015 Sir Garfield Barwick address. He explained his role in the email
And he introduced Chris Winslow of the Bar Association:
Something is very screwy here.
In February 2015 this enthusiastic member of the Liberal Party lawyers branches opened this Twitter account.
UPDATED WITH THIS READER COMMENT
Here's a selection.
There are lots more at his page https://twitter.com/moulmein
People have the right to belong to whatever Party they want, but it's hard to imagine these heartfelt passionate sentiments developing in someone who was an "enthusiastic member" of the Liberal Party's legal branches.
It was Chris Winslow who wrote this note to Jeremy Stoljar - a note which with the benefit of hindsight clearly mirrored the tone of the ALP/Greens attacks on Mr Abbott and the Heydon Royal Commission.
Wonder what he was hoping for in return - "yes, he's most enthusiastic about helping the Party out"?
In any case this piece of correspondence usefully (for the ACTU etc) puts down in writing a sequence of words that would make good evidence (if true) in a future bias application.
Interesting too that the ACTU lawyers agitated and agitated for more details of correspondence to be released. They appear to have been in the know. Someone ensured that this article appeared in The Australian describing (in fascinating terms) the conversation between Mr Priest and Mr Winslow.
That was Thursday last week, the day before the Commissioner was due to hand down his Judgement on the bias recusal application. Immediately, the ACTU issued process to seek more correspondence from the Commissioner to be used in evidence.
Someone knew what to ask for, only Winslow and Stoljar and the Commissioner knew about that note. I'm tipping it wasn't Jeremy.
Here's The Australian's follow-up report, time stamped 11.51AM, 27 August 2015 - things moved very quickly for the ACTU!
.....unions demanded Mr Heydon postpone ruling on his possible disqualification as a royal commissioner, after The Australian revealed the royal commission was tipped off about the brewing controversy the night before it erupted in the media.
Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Dave Oliver today requested the royal commission disclose all remaining documents relating to today’s revelations that senior counsel assisting, Jeremy Stoljar, had been forewarned by the NSW Bar Association that a Labor-aligned lawyer had inquired about Mr Heydon’s commitment to attend a Liberal event.
Mr Oliver said the revelations raised alarm for the unions movement that the commissioner’s claim that he had acted to withdraw from the event before it attracted media attention “might be misleading”.
He was also concerned that there “may have been inadequate disclosure of relevant documents” and that Mr Stoljar had publicly criticised the ACTU as “grandstanding” when he knew details and events described in The Australian had not been disclosed.
Mr Oliver, in a letter to the commission, urged Mr Heydon to defer the handing down of his ruling, currently set for 10am tomorrow, so that the ACTU can consider the implications.
“The ACTU requests the commission urgently provide any emails or other communications which are referred to, or relate to, today’s article in The Australian (and) once the material is received sufficient time be given to the ACTU to consider the information,” he said in a statement.
Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Dave Oliver. Picture: AAP
Shorten ‘concerned’ by revelations
Dyson Heydon and senior counsel Jeremy Stoljar SC must disclose all further evidence about the royal commissioner’s decision to withdraw from a Liberal Party function, Bill Shorten said today, amid “new and dramatic” revelations that the royal commission was tipped off about the brewing controversy.
The Australian revealed Mr Stoljar had been forewarned by Chris Winslow, an official of the NSW Bar Association, that a Labor-aligned lawyer, Marcus Priest, had made inquiries about Mr Heydon’s commitment to attend the Sir Garfield Barwick lecture the night before it erupted in the media.
Mr Heydon will tomorrow rule on union applications that he disqualify himself from remaining as royal commissioner for apprehended bias.
The Opposition Leader today said even Coalition voters would now judge the royal commission as being in a “shambolic and politicised state”.
“Today’s reports in The Australian newspaper are most concerning. They do reveal the possibility that evidence by the royal commission and the royal commissioner and counsel assisting has not been disclosed or not been disclosed until today’s report,” Mr Shorten said in Melbourne.
“I think it is now time, on top of all the other issues, for counsel assisting and the commissioner to explain and answer these very serious questions about whether or not further evidence which has now been revealed in The Australian should have been disclosed earlier.
“I think in are questions here to be answered here by the commissioner and by counsel assisting now who is embroiled in this matter. Did Mr Stoljar tip off Mr Heydon? These are questions that the commission is going to have to answer.
“I think today’s report is quite a new and dramatic development.”
Tony Abbott deflected questions about whether the government was canvassing possible replacements for Mr Heydon, but insisted the inquiry “will continue” regardless of the commissioner’s judgment tomorrow.
“This is an absolutely vital royal commission. Even someone of the stature of (former ACTU president and Labor minister) Martin Ferguson says this is an important part of cleaning up the union movement, an important part of cleaning up the Labor Party. So it must and will go on regardless of any decision that Dyson Heydon AC QC makes in the next day or so,” the Prime Minister said.”
"The rule of law is not a nebulous concept but does have some very specific components, one of which is the doctrin…" http://t.co/NEeLKrrfKK— Chris Winslow (@moulmein) August 18, 2015