Monday 26th of February 2024

Anybody up for a complaint to the Law Society about Philip Ruddock? (Troy Rollo)

After seeing that Ruddock is still claiming that the kangaroo court at Guantanamo Bay constitutes a fair system of justice - even when US courts are getting stuck into the US administration over their failure to observe basic standards of justice, it got me to wondering if the Attorney-General still has a solicitor's practising certificate in New South Wales. As it turns out, he does.

Even before the US courts started getting stuck into the administration, it is fairly easy to come up with a list of reasons why the Guantanamo system falls short of the standards of reasonable justice. As Ruddock is a solicitor, there is no way he could possibly be unaware of these deficiencies.

Now if he is aware, but continues to claim without qualification that the system is fair, he's being dishonest, even if it doesn't go quite as far as being an outright lie.

And that is grounds for being struck off the roll of legal practitioners. It doesn't even matter that he's not acting as a solicitor when he makes these statements - courts take the view that if you are on the roll of legal practitioners you are required to uphold the highest standards of honesty at all times.

No doubt you could think of other incidents that could be used for this purpose. After all, Ruddock was immigration minister at the time of Truth Overboard. How much did he really know?

For Ruddock to lose his practising certificate would be a major embarrassment to him. It would be a more-or-less official condemnation of him for dishonesty (especially if he appealed to the Supreme Court and lost). The fact that he would thereby be condemned by the law society while holding the office of Attorney-General would be icing on the cake. It would also become politically difficult for Howard to keep him on the front bench.

It's not something I can reasonably do at the moment, but somebody else might like to give it a go - it won't cost you anything but your time.