Prosecutions 2021



Media Coverage

January 2021

Cabinet papers reveal Howard government’s concerns about an independent East Timor
Rob Harris – Sydney Morning Herald – 01 January 2021   Here is a pdf.

Are Australia’s democratic safeguards shrinking?
Jocelyn Pixley – Pearls and Irritations – 13 January 2021
In light of worrying developments, I review the trends putting pressure on our democratic institutions. Fortunately, new policies and serious protests can halt the trends and bring out the better nature of voters. However, such movements are not in sight.    (This is a pdf.)

Bernard Collaery case: Safes for judges among special secrecy measures
Blake Foden – The Canberra Times – 27 January 2021   Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery: East Timor spy trial delayed after government refused to let barrister Bret Walker SC join defence team
Craig Dunlop – Daily Telegraph/Canberra Star – 28 January 2021
Bret Walker will represent whistleblower lawyer Bernard Collaery in the East Timor bugging case, despite ‘resistance’ from the government   Pdf here.

February 2021

Judge slams Porter’s delay in Collaery case
Christian Porter’s attempts to string out and obstruct Bernard Collaery’s defence have again been criticised.
Bernard Keane – Crikey­­ ­- 9 February, 2021   Here’s a pdf.

Judge rules against government over ‘unfair’ attempts to prevent Bernard Collaery’s use of new barrister
Naomi Neilson – Lawyers Weekly – 09 February 2021
In vacating appeal dates, Justice John Burns said the Attorney-General’s solicitors carried a “disturbing suggestion” that they could refuse Bernard Collaery’s new legal representation. Pdf here.

Judge rules Australian government’s attempt to obstruct Bernard Collaery’s use of barrister ‘unfair’
Justice John Burns says attorney general has no role in determining whether it is necessary for Collaery to engage new counsel.
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian –  9 February 2021   Pdf here.

From Behrouz Boochani to Bernard Collaery: photographer Hoda Afshar turns her lens on whistleblowers
Three years after her famous portrait of Behrouz Boochani won the Bowness prize, the Iranian-born photographer sees Greek tragedy in those who speak out
Kelly Burke – The Guardian – 10 February 2021

Canberra judge blasts ‘unfair’ federal government delay in Bernard Collaery case
Albert McKnight – The Riotact – 10 February 2021  Pdf here.

Remembering Darwin and …
On a warm Thursday morning 79 years ago, on 19 February 1942, two forces of Japanese bombers swept over the Arafura Sea to drop bombs on Darwin…When Australians remember the bombing of Darwin – which they should – as a shocking and potentially portentous event in Australia’s history, they might also consider the sufferings of the people of Timor, and Australia’s part in it.
Peter Stanley – Pearls and Irritations -21 February 2021   Pdf found here.

March 2021

National security watchdog launches investigation into secret trial of Witness J
ABC News –  Matthew Doran – 2 March 2021
An investigation into the top secret trial, sentencing and jailing of a former military intelligence officer has been restarted by the national security watchdog.   Pdf here.

Christian Porter responsible for serial breaches of the law, now cries “rule of law”
Elizabeth Minter – Pearls and Irritations – 4 March 2021
Christian Porter is responsible for serial breaches of the law, as documented repeatedly by Pearls and Irritations. These revelations alone should be enough to see Porter removed from official duties but his relentless persecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery – both denied natural justice and prosecuted in secret – are hardly the stuff of a model litigant. Yet now the besieged Attorney-General calls for rule of law to apply in respect of the rape allegations against him.
Pdf found here.

Corruption is pervasive in Australia — it’s time to stop the rot
In a new series, Crikey looks at how corruption isn’t just on the rise in Australia, it’s far worse than anyone thought …
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 17 March 2021   Pdf here.

Money for influence: the core transaction at the heart of Australian politics
This is part one of The Dirty Country, Crikey’s deep dive into Australian corruption. Read the series introduction here.Bernard Keane – Crikey – 17 March 2021   Here’s a pdf.

Witness K, Bernard Collaery, Christian Porter and Justice.
Alan Moir Cartoon, March 2021   Pdf.

Rising secrecy across Australia allows corruption to thrive
As Australia has become more corrupt it has also become far less transparent — the number of successful FOI requests has dropped alarmingly.
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 18 March 2021   Find pdf here.

Marise Payne says Australia won’t trade away values to restart China dialogue
Anthony Galloway – Sydney Morning Herald – 20 March 2021  Pdf here.

Spies target Australian exporters’ trade secrets
Anthony Galloway –Sydney Morning Herald online – 22 March 2021
Foreign spies are targeting Australia’s mining and agricultural industries in a bid to get sensitive information on how the nation is diversifying trade away from China.   Find pdf here.

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor likely to investigate use of national security laws in Collaery, Witness K cases
Sally White – Canberra Times – 24 March 2021   Find pdf here.

Prosecutor considering dropping charges against ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 24 March 2021
Boyle went public with concerns about tax office tactics in 2018 after raising the issue internally in 2017    Here’s a pdf.

Australian government backflips on secrecy push in Witness K court case
Shift surprises ABC during its attempt to stop commonwealth from automatically closing court proceedings
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 29 March 2021   Pdf here.

Ex-spook Witness K closer to day in court
Marion Rae – Canberra Times – 29 March 2021    Pdf.

Prosecution of whistleblower Witness K costs taxpayers $4 million
Albert McKnight – The Riot Act – 29 March 2021  Here’s a pdf.

Ex-spook Witness K closer to day in court
Marion Rae – The Canberra Times – 29 March 2021
Former spy Witness K may finally get a day in court after years of political and procedural delays to stop the exposure of Australia’s operations against its friend and neighbour East Timor.  Pdf here.

Michaelia Cash as AG makes the pursuit of K and Collaery even more absurd
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 30 March 2021
Cash refused to assist police investigating a crime in her office. Now she’s in charge of prosecuting two men who exposed Howard government crimes.   Pdf here.

April 2021

ACT Bar Association Media Release
Time to Reconsider the Prosecution of Bernard Collaery
1 April 2021
With the announcement that Christian Porter will be replaced as Commonwealth Attorney-General, the ACT Bar Association calls on incoming Attorney, The Hon. Michaelia Cash to review the prosecution of former ACT Attorney-General Bernard Collaery.   Pdf here.

Commonwealth prosecutors wrong on Witness K case, former NSW DPP says
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 01 April 2021
Nicholas Cowdery doubts the prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K is in the public interest and believes it could undermine confidence in the justice system    Read pdf here.

Cash ‘should review’ Collaery prosecution
Luke Costin – The Canberra Times – 02 April 2021
The ACT Bar Association has called for the prosecution of lawyer Bernard Collaery to be halted.  Pdf here.

Guilty parties remain free in ‘chilling’ Witness K prosecution
Naomi Neilson – Lawyers Weekly – 05 April 2021
Some main points from ANU Webinar 31 March 2021    Here’s a pdf.

Secret document is key: Witness K lawyer
AAP – Yahoo News – 28 April 2021
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash can expect to be served a subpoena to produce a secret document that Witness K’s lawyer says is vital to his defence.  Pdf here.

Prosecutors refuse to drop case against tax office whistleblower Richard Boyle
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 29 April 2021
Director of public prosecutions was considering ending pursuit of ex-ATO employee who went public with concerns about debt recovery tactics.  Pdf here.

Whistleblowers are being scared into silence, hampering efforts to expose corruption in Australia, research finds
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 30 April 2021      Pdf here.
New policy paper calls for an overhaul of laws that create barriers for whistleblowers to speak publicly about their concerns.

Opaque Justice  (Pdf)
Human Rights Law Centre – 30 April 2021
Concerns the NSI Act and the “Alan Johns” (Witness J) affair.

May 2021

Whistleblowers could be in more trouble than those they expose
Mike Simpson –Australian Times – 02 May 2021
Study warns that flawed laws mean those who expose organisational corruption in the media may be the ones to face criminal charges.   Pdf here.

Addressing misconduct should not be a crime
Kieran Pender – Canberra Times – 3 May 2021
According to the United Nations, World Press Freedom Day – marked today – is intended to serve “as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.”  Here’s a pdf.

Secret Australian prosecution ‘unprecedented’ and must never happen again, watchdog told
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 4 May 2021
Law centre says ex-spy Witness J’s case has echoes of authoritarianism and National Security Information Act needs ‘adequate safeguards’.   Pdf here.

‘It is a disgraceful prosecution’: Geoffrey Robertson condemns Australian government for secret trials of Bernard Collaery and Witness K
Naomi Neilson – Lawyers Weekly – 05 May 2021     Pdf here.

The Other Swindled Partner
Susan Connelly  – Pearls and Irritations – 6 May 2021
Not only were the Timorese people diddled by the 2002 Timor Sea Treaty, but Australians were too.   Pdf here.

Whistleblowing to the Media
Rebecca Ananian-Welsh –  Uni. of Queensland – 6 May 2021
Press Freedom Policy Papers Reform Briefing 2/2020  (Pdf only)

Oil and gas industry fights Morrison government levy of up to $1bn to decommission rig
Ben Butler – The Guardian – 12 May 2021   Here is a pdf.
Federal budget revealed plans to levy industry to decommission Northern Endeavour in the Timor Sea and remediate associated oilfields

Cash signals that AG intervention to stop whistleblower prosecutions would be ‘very unusual’
Georgia Wilkins – Crikey – May 13, 2021
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash has dashed hopes that her office will intervene in Australia’s continued persecution of whistleblowers. Pdf here.

‘Entirely undemocratic’: Bernard Collaery to challenge secrecy orders
Anthony Galloway – The Sydney Morning Herald – 14 May 2021   Here is a pdf.

ACT Labor MPs all back Bernard Collaery, Witness K in joint condemnation of prosecution
Alexandra Back – The Canberra Times – 17 May 2021
Bernard Collaery will fight secrecy orders in an appeal this week ahead of his Supreme Court trial.

‘There is no public interest in prosecuting Bernard Collaery and Witness K’
Jerome Doraisamy – Lawyers Weekly – 17 May 2021    See pdf here.

Collaery charges must be dropped and undemocratic secrecy orders must end
Media Release – Human Rights Law Centre – 17 May 2021
The Human Rights Law Centre is calling for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) to drop the prosecutions of whistleblowers Bernard Collaery and Witness K, which to date have been shrouded in secrecy.  Pdf here.

Canberra ALP Members’ Statement on Bernard Collaery and Witness K
17 May 2021   Find pdf here.    Also Canberra Times report.

Secrecy challenge by Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery will itself be held in secret
Paul Karp – The Guardian – 17 May 2021
ACT court closes hearing of appeal by lawyer representing whistleblower due to requirements of National Security Information Act    Here’s a pdf.

Bernard Collaery’s appeal hearing to challenge secret trial closed to the public
Anthony Galloway – Sydney Morning Herald – May 17, 2021   Pdf.

No to secret trial of Collaery, Witness K
Jim McIlroy – Green Left Weekly – 18 May 2021      Pdf here.

The Reign of Secrecy
Susan ConnellySisters of St Joseph NSW Newsletter19 May 2021

Australian Media in the Asian Century
Hamish McDonald ~ Pearls and Irritations ~ 21 May 2021   Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery rails against secrecy of his whistleblower trial
Paul Gregoire – The Big Smoke – May 23, 2021
Bernard Collaery will be tried behind closed doors for exposing the Coalition. Under a little- used provision, the government can exclude who they choose.   Here’s a pdf.

Media Watch  ~  24 May 2021
The Canberra lawyer on official secrets charges continues to fight to have his hearing held in open court.

Barr mute as Labor locals speak up for Collaery
Robert Macklin – City – 26 May 2021
“Where, oh where, was Chief Minister Andrew Barr? I have searched the records and can find not a single indication of his support for Bernard Collaery,” writes “The Gadfly” columnist ROBERT MACKLIN. (Pdf.)

June 2021

Who just gives away billions? Is this what the Collaery case is all about?
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations – 4 June 2021
Many of us have heard about the prosecution of Bernard Collaery on the say-so of Christian Porter. But very few know much more than that it is an almost secret trial against the former ACT Attorney-General. Unfortunately, John le Carré is no longer with us to tell this intriguing tale.  Here’s a pdf.

Stalinist-style prosecutions of  Witness K and Bernard Collaery
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations –  7 June 2021
Following the Bernard Collaery and Witness K matters, occasionally there are little glimpses into the strange Stalinist world within which the Commonwealth beavers away to discredit two distinguished Australians. The Senate Estimates hearing on 29 May provided such an opportunity.
Pdf here.

Drop the Whistleblower Prosecutions: An Interview With AAPP’s Kathryn Kelly
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 9 June 2021

Spies, Lies and Ties Bernard Collaery and Witness K
Richard Ackland – The Saturday Paper – 12 June 2021
Kafka’s book “The Trial” is alternatively macabre and comical – much like the Commonwealth’s case against our own K, Witness K, and his former lawyer, Bernard Collaery.   Pdf here.

Former Australian spy ‘Witness K’ pleads guilty to conspiring to reveal classified information
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC News – 17 June 2021   Pdf here.

Witness K speaks for first time in open court as he pleads guilty to breaching secrecy laws
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 17 June 2021
Former spy charged over his role in exposing Australia’s 2004 bugging of impoverished ally Timor-Lest
e.  Pdf here.

Alienation, anxiety and post-traumatic stress’: Witness K lawyer argues for no criminal conviction
Anthony Galloway – The Sydney Morning Herald – 17 June 2021

‘Scapegoating’: protesters to gather at Australian parliament before Witness K sentencing
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian– 18 June 2021
Former NSW DPP says ‘the wrong parties are being prosecuted’ in case that exposed government’s bugging of Timor-Leste during oil and gas negotiations in 2004.  Pdf here.

Witness K spared jail after pleading guilty to breaching secrecy laws over Timor-Leste bugging
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 18 June 2021
ACT magistrate Glenn Theakston says Witness K appeared to be motivated by justice rather than personal gain.  Pdf.

Sentencing of Witness K a dark day for democracy in Australia
Media Release – Human Rights Law Centre – 18 June 2021   Pdf here.

Witness K Prosecution Shameful
Senator Rex Patrick – Media Release – 18 June 2021   Here is a pdf.

Australia has prosecuted a brave individual. People who speak up keep getting arrested
Kieran Pender – The Guardian – 19 June 2021
The Witness K trial has shown how our democracy should not work. 

Guilty of bravery
Editorial – The Saturday Paper – 19 June 2021   Pdf here.

Witness K motivated by justice, so trial of his lawyer should be called off   (Pdf)
Editorial – The Age – 20 June 2021

We still need to know the facts behind Witness K case
Editorial – Sydney Morning Herald – 21 June 2021

José Ramos-Horta calls on Timor-Leste to award Australia’s Witness K top honour
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 21 June 2021
Exclusive: Former president lauds convicted bugging whistleblower for exposing ‘Australian government perfidy, bad faith and dishonesty in robbing world’s poorest country’  

A nation — and those employed to uphold its democracy — failed Witness K to the very end
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 21 June 2021
Witness K was failed at every turn by the institutions we tell ourselves make us a democracy with the rule of law. 

Australia accused of ‘excessive’ secrecy
Associated Press – Texarkarna Gazette – 21 June 2021
Australia’s suppression of information seen as pivotal to a free and open media is at the center of accusations that the country has become one of the world’s most secretive democracies.

Witness K became a scapegoat of the powerful
Susan Connelly – Sydney Morning Herald – 21 June 2021

“The game is back on”: How does spying work in Australia?
Anthony Galloway – Sydney Morning Herald – 21 June 2021
Our spy agencies recruit a mix of talent, from computer whizzes to people skilled in cultivating sources. What do our spies do, and who are their bosses?

Adventures in incompetence – Witness K sentenced
Susan Connelly – Pearls and Irritations – 21 June 2021
This whole farce is more about protecting the real criminals in the case, those politicians and public servants who devised and planned, enabled and financed the shameful act of spying on the Timorese people. 

The Conviction and Sentencing of Witness K
Binoy Kampmark – Counterpunch – 22 June 2021

The secrecy around Witness K is not for national security. It’s for face-saving
Clinton Fernandes – Crikey – 23 June 2021
Those who benefit the most from all the secrecy may well be former members of the Howard government. The public will remain in the dark.

Australia only digging deeper hole by pursuing East Timor spying case
Gareth Evans – The Sydney Morning Herald – 23 June 2021

Change needed to counter abuses of power
Peter Whish-Wilson – The Tasmania Examiner – 23 June 2021
Senator Whish-Wilson states: “This revolving door between senior levels of government and big corporations triggered an Australian Secret Intelligence Service agent – known only as Witness K – to blow the whistle on this scandalous affair.”

Undercover Of National Security – Analysis
Murray Hunter – Eurasia Review – 24 June 2021
Whistle-blowers become scapegoats for mismanagement, misdeeds, and vested interests. 

Greg Stretton SC slams ‘shameful apathy’ of fellow lawyers over case of Bernard Collaery
Blake Foden – The Canberra Times – 29 June 2021

Fascism is alive in Australia
Stuart Rees – Pearls and Irritations – 30 June 2021
George Orwell wrote that almost any English person would accept bullying as a synonym for fascism. Political theorists refer to fascism as characterised by secrecy in government, by goals for national regeneration plus promotion of masculinity and derision of democracy. 

July 2021

Court documents shed new light on man behind moniker ‘Witness K’ and how he met lawyer Bernard Collaery
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC – 4 July 2021

Sailor, spy, whistleblower, grandfather: the life of Witness K revealed in court documents
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 4 July 2021
Newly released records point to a man who gave everything for his country, first through his wartime service then as a decorated Asis officer with a ‘moral compass’.    

Timor-Leste, Witness K, Bernard Collaery, Howard and Downer
Bruce Haigh– Pearls and Irritations – 5 July 2021
This is a tale of greed, denial, delusion, racism, power, loyalty, ethics and courage. Dressed in black are Howard and Downer, in white are Witness K and Collaery. The tale takes place in the subterranean world of spies, spooks, spivs and secret trials.

Behind the campaign to silence Witness K and Bernard Collaery
Stephen Langford and Susan Connelly – Green Left Weekly – 14 July 2021

Gareth Evans versus the Surveillance State: application of the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme
John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations – 23 July, 2021
Extraordinary letter from Attorney-Generals’ Department and equally riveting reply from former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, who advises that if the government wants to protect national interests it would be better to discontinue the case against Bernard Collaery, and establish an ICAC.

Cost of prosecuting Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery balloons to $3.7m
Daniel Hurst and Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 24 July 2021
Federal government continues to pursue whistleblowing ex-spy’s lawyer as senators urge it to drop case.

Australian Bar Association calls on the Australian Government to reconsider the prosecution of Bernard Collaery
Australian Bar Association – Media Release – 28 July 2021

Bernard Collaery prosecution breaching rule of law, ABA says
Naomi Neilson –Lawyers Weekly – 28 July 2021
Mirroring a statement from the ACT Bar Association, the Australian Bar Association (ABA) has requested that Attorney-General Michaelia Cash withdraw the consent given by her predecessor Christian Porter and put an immediate end to the highly secret prosecution of Bernard Collaery before the public’s concern turns into mistrust in the court system.

August 2021

Labor announces inquiry into East Timor bugging operation if elected
Anthony Galloway – The Guardian – 11 August 2021
Labor has announced that it would conduct an inquiry into the intelligence operation to bug the East Timor government which led to the prosecution of a former spy and his lawyer. 

John Howard likely to give evidence at Bernard Collaery trial, Rex Patrick tells parliament
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 11 August 2021
Under parliamentary privilege, independent senator says Australia’s 2004 Timor-Leste spy mission was ‘neither legal nor initiated properly’.  

Australia seeking revenge on whistleblower
Bernard Lagan (“From Our Correspondent”) – The Times – 16 August 2021
Australia is exacting retribution after a shabby act of spying against a fledgling nation was
exposed by a whistleblower. 

Militia leader’s honour slammed as insult to East Timor and Australia

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies – Sydney Morning Herald – 16 August 2021

Rex Patrick launches bid to make government reveal long-secret cabinet documents on Timor-Leste
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 16 August 2021
Documents likely to reveal Australia’s strategy for bartering on Timor Sea maritime boundary prior to the bugging operation revealed by Witness K and Bernard Collaery. 

September 2021

October 2021

Court of Appeal rules in favour of Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery’s bid for open trial
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC – 06 October 2021
Lawyer Bernard Collaery has won the latest round in his bid for an open trial as he fights charges alleging he revealed classified information.

Collaery wins appeal against trial secrecy
Georgie Moore – Canberra Times – 06 October 2021

Witness K’s lawyer wins transparency ruling as court cites need to deter ‘political prosecutions’
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 06 October 2021
Bernard Collaery has secrecy ruling overturned ahead of trial over his alleged role in exposing Timor-Leste bugging scandal

Win for Collaery derails Porter’s attempt to cover up Timor-Leste bugging
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 6 October 2021
In a defeat for the federal government in its pursuit of Bernard Collaery, the attempt by former attorney-general Christian Porter to keep the trial hidden has been overturned by the ACT court of appeal.

A win for transparency, but now Collaery prosecution must be dropped
Kieran Pender – Sydney Morning Herald – 7 October 2021
The sorry saga of the prosecution of Bernard Collaery, an eminent Canberra lawyer, has seen a number of unhappy chapters. His prosecution, for Collaery’s alleged role in exposing Australia’s espionage against friendly neighbours Timor-Leste, is profoundly unjust.

Secrecy on East Timor spy case undermines trust in the court system
Editorial – The Sydney Morning Herald – 7 October 2021

Bernard Collaery hails ‘victory for justice’ as court overturns bid to keep evidence hidden at trial
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 07 October 2021
Witness K lawyer says he is grateful to legal profession who supported him pro bono while government pursues million-dollar case

Prosecution of Bernard Collaery an ‘insult’ to Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão says
Christopher Knause – The Guardian – 8 October 2021
Former president urges Australia to drop case of former Witness K lawyer after court decision to overturn secrecy order.

Collaery’s trial to be public, but it should be abandoned
Dechlan Brennan – Independent Australia – 11 October 2021

Witnesses J, K – and L? Open Justice, the NSI Act and the Constitution
Kieran Pender – AusPubLaw – 12 October 2021

The trials of Bernard Collaery and Witness K
Stephen Charles – Pearls and Irritations – 20 October 2021
Australia’s bugging of Timor-Leste’s Cabinet rooms and subsequent hounding of Bernard Collaery and a former intelligence officer was a display of mendacity, duplicity, fraud, criminal trespass and contempt of international law.

Prosecutor stands by Collaery court action
Dominic Giannini – Canberra Times – 26 October 2021
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has backed the continuing prosecution of Witness K’s former lawyer, Bernard Collaery.  (Also contains A-G’s comment that the power she has can only be used in exceptional circumstances and has never been used before.)

November 2021

Federal government seeks further secrecy in Bernard Collaery case
Albert McKnight – The Riot Act – 2 November 2021

Bernard Collaery case: lawyers for attorney general call for redactions of judgment that lifted secrecy orders
Christopher Knause – The Guardian – 2 November 2021
Request prompts renewed criticism from human rights advocates, who say loss of open justices erodes public confidence.

Collaery secrecy ‘unusual’: chief justice
Dominic Giannini – AAP – 5 November 2021

The Coalition is still hounding Bernard Collaery. Is this in the public interest?
Bernard Keane – Crikey – November 9, 2021
Three years on and the Morrison government continues to drag out its unconscionable prosecution of the Canberra lawyer.

Government’s secret evidence against Bernard Collaery could lead to ‘perpetual vortex’ of delay, judge warns
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 10 November 2021
Attorney general wants to introduce ‘court-only’ evidence against barrister in Timor-Leste spying case.

Federal whistleblower law changes outlined
Dominic Giannini – AAP – 11 November 2021
The federal government has outlined its proposed amendments to whistleblowing laws, saying the current framework is unclear and flawed.

Bernard Collaery’s trial needs to remain open
Dechlan Brennan – Independent Australia – 12 November 2021, 11:00am | 11 comments |
Lawyers for Attorney-General Michaelia Cash have warned of national security issues if the trial of Bernard Collaery continues in public.

Standover law
Editorial – The Saturday Paper – 13-19 November 2021

Majority of Australians Want Stronger Whistleblower Protections
Media Release – The Australia Institute – November 15, 2021

With a federal election looming, is there new hope for leadership on integrity and transparency?
A. J. Brown – The Conversation –18 November 2021

Australia shredded all decency in the persecution of Bernard Collaery
Susan Connelly – Pearls and Irritations – 19 November 2021
Our spying against Timor-Leste and persecution of a whistleblower and his lawyer reads like a tawdry thriller that would embarrass James Bond.   Here’s a pdf.

Whistleblower protections have never been more urgent
Kieran Pender, Bill Brown – Canberra Times – 26 November 2021

December 2021

Ambition without judgment: in Porter and Hunt, a tale of two failures
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 02 December 2021
Liberal Party scions Christian Porter and Greg Hunt held dreams of the prime ministership. Both failed to achieve it. Both will be remembered for misjudgments — though on very different matters

Michaelia Cash in new effort to railroad Collaery with secret evidence
The attorney-general is seeking to introduce ‘new’, secret evidence against Bernard Collaery, continuing Christian Porter’s shameful efforts.
Bernard Keane – Crikey –3 December 2021

‘Absurd’: lawyers criticise government’s high court bid to keep Collaery decision secret
Commonwealth also seeking to put forward new secret evidence that Bernard Collaery’s lawyers say would cause ‘irreparable prejudice’
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 3 December 2021

The contemptible prosecution of Bernard Collaery is an assault on the rule of law
Spencer Zifcak – Pearls and Irritations – 4 December 2021
The Coalition’s vindictive legal campaign reveals its contempt for democratic rights and shows how easily prosecution can slide into persecution.

Inside Bernard Collaery’s trial
Kieran Pender – The Saturday Paper – 4 December 2021
Secret evidence, secret hearings and secret judgements. Each step in the prosecution of Bernard Collaery comes with another layer of opacity. If it were not so serious, the accumulation of secrecy in this case would be comedic. Secrecy heaped upon secrecy for secrecy’s sake. A secrecy onion? But this case is no laughing matter. At stake are transparency and accountability.

Change to Collaery secret evidence refused
Dominic Giannini – The Canberra Times – 7 December 2021 (AAP)
The Commonwealth’s bid to update secret evidence against Bernard Collaery has been rejected.

Bernard Collaery trial: Coalition tells high court release of judgment would risk national security
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 7 December 2021 21.03 AEDT
Collaery won ACT court of appeal case lifting previous secrecy orders and declaring importance of open justice

With truth on trial, the Attorney-General’s High Court bid for secrecy is dangerous
Kieran Pender – The Sydney Morning Herald – 7 December 2021

World won’t forget Australia’s duplicitous dealings with East Timor
Bernard Collaery – Pearls and Irritations – 30 December 2021
Canberra’s conduct towards the Timorese was so grave that Australia continues to be regarded, within international legal circles as a cheat.