Australian Justice & Reform Incorporated
Equal justice
Unequal laws
Very latest news
Lawyers in control
Truth vs procedure
Get the guilty off
Lawyer discipline
Lawyer secrecy
Legal racketeering
AJ&R objectives
Australian Justice & Reform Incorporated
AJ & R Inc is dedicated to promoting equal justice. The most important thing about the ‘law’ is that it must be applied equally to all. When the designers of the US Supreme Court building chose a phrase to summarise its activities, they chose “Equal justice under law”. Justice Gaudron, of the Australian High Court has said : Of course, all legal systems are predicated upon the idea that the law is applicable to all and that, in turn is dependent on some notion of equality such as that embodied in the expression "all are equal before and under the law", or, more commonly, "no one is beyond the law".
(The Mitchell Oration, "In The Eye Of The Law: The Jurisprudence Of Equality", Adelaide, 24 August 1990.)

AJ&R Inc’s principal adversary is the legal profession, because, despite endless pretences of support for the concept of ‘equal justice under law’, the lawyers are, in fact, implacably opposed to it. They want the laws themselves, and the administration of the law, to maximise business for lawyers. They also want the law (and its administration) to favour lawyers over everyone else. When the concept of treating all citizens equally gets in the way, then that concept is abandoned. The aim of this website is to unravel what the lawyers and judges have done to the law, and to the litigation system, in order to benefit themselves. This is a huge undertaking, not made any easier by the fact that the judges and the lawyers are not the slightest bit interested in explaining how they have restructured the justice system, from one which serves the public good, into one which serves them. Indeed, there is a huge amount of disinformation spread by the lawyers and judges to cover up what they have done. In Australia, only AJ&R is engaged in tackling the subject. It is obvious that the 'priesthood' which runs any organisation will tend to look after its own interests, but no group (other than AJ&R Inc) is tackling the justice system with the objective of systematically ferreting out all that has been done to it in order to serve the interests of it's 'priesthood', the lawyers and judges. AJ&R is comprised of people who have suffered at the hands of the 'system', but who have worked out also that this was because the 'system' was busy serving the interests of the lawyers, more than it was serving the interests of the public.

Both the civil and criminal justice systems operate inefficiently (and often quite irrationally) in order to maximise business for lawyers. When people complain (in any given case) that 'the law is an ass', it is not an ass at all. When the courts do something stupid, it will generally be found to be in the profession's interests that it be done. These stupidities (which, one way or another, benefit lawyers) have entered the law either through lawyer influence in the political and legislating processes, or through the judiciary, which through its power to 'interpret' the law is able to bend it, on a case by case basis, in order to look after lawyers' interests. It may be a case of looking after an individual lawyer in an individual case, or looking after the interests of the wider legal profession.

The process of the law evolving to suit lawyers is seen most clearly in the criminal law, where, in each and every case, the defence lawyer who wins an acquittal for a client will gain an enhanced reputation among the criminal classes, and therefore more future work, and will be able to charge higher fees, and will avoid resentment from the client who has already paid a large sum in advance. The defence lawyers pressure the judges to let their clients off, and the judges know what is at stake for the defence lawyers, and since the judges and the lawyers generally know each other well in a social setting, the judges end up allowing all sorts of technicalities to prevail over the truth. Each case, under our system of precedent, ends up modifying the 'law' from then on, and that process has been going on for centuries. Thus we have ended up with a system so riddled with escape routes that it deserves to be called a 'get the guilty off' system. The prosecutor lawyers don't mind this. It increases demand for their services when the defence lawyers can resort to a huge armoury of tricks to get their guilty clients acquitted. The 'get the guilty off' system means that defence lawyers can claim to be entitled to milk taxpayer funded legal aid schemes through totally unwarranted 'not guilty' pleas which lead to long profitable trials. This is seen time and time again in murder trials, where often the evidence pointing to guilt is overwhelming. No one can criticise the defence lawyers because they can say it is only 'fair' that everyone be entitled to have a go at getting off in the casinos of the criminal courts, where outcomes (in defended cases) are so unpredictable, no matter how strong the evidence is (or was before the defence got it excluded, or dragged endless irrelevancies through it until no one could understand it properly any more) While there are some (ineffective) rules about not advancing unmeritorious civil claims or defences, they do not apply in criminal cases. As far as the civil law is concerned, rules banning lawyers from pursuing unmeritorious causes have been steadily created for centuries. Every time the public wakes up to high levels of time wasting cases, the lawyers legally ban the practice of pursuing unmeritorious cases AGAIN, pretending that this will solve the issue 'once and for all' . It never does. Then a 'reform' body, run by lawyers, will recommend new 'tougher' rules. And so it goes on.

Lawyers have ensured that the law does not apply to dishonest lawyer activities in the same way it applies to other people engaged in similar activities. Of course, some laws cannot be written so as to exclude lawyers from their catchment area. In such situations lawyers have ensured that the procedures used to administer the law give lawyers plenty of escape routes. They have set up 'self disciplinary' tribunals which provide a perfectly legal alternative to the criminal courts for lawyer misdeeds. These tribunals of course have no power to jail any lawyer. Lawyers hide the fact that most of the time these tribunals are operating as a way of saving lawyers from the criminal courts. (Not all the time, but most of the time) Similarly, the existence of these self serving 'disciplinary' tribunals enables lawyers to say that disputes tribunals should not have jurisdiction over lawyer client disputes. This prevents clients from having easy access to 'suing' their lawyers. Not that barristers can be sued for their negligence : judges created 'barristerial immunity' for them and in Australia that law is still being maintained, despite its abandonment elsewhere. Disputes tribunals specifically exclude complaints about lawyers from their jurisdiction, by some formula such as defining a consumer dispute as being a dispute with a 'trader' and defining trader to exclude lawyer professionals. The consequences arising from all these sorts of things are bad enough, but the problems with lawyers skewing the law and its procedures run far deeper. They have skewed the bulk of the 'ordinary' law and its procedures in whatever directions will maximise business for lawyers.

In the civil law, there is much concern about tort litigation, as courts award huge damages in undeserving cases (while still managing, occasionally, to fail to award damages when they should) The undeserving cases represent only a small area of the 'make business for lawyers' imbalances in the law, but it is one of the few such areas that receives attention from the media. Tort law attracts media attention because it is newsworthy when someone is awarded a million dollars for doing something stupid. The fact that the courts are not being 'stupid' but instead maximising business for lawyers invariably escapes the reporter's understanding. The courts are maximising business for lawyers because the more everyone is legally liable for every loss suffered by anyone else, then the more business there is for lawyers. Every win by an unmeritorious plaintiff against a 'deep pockets' defendant showers money over the plaintiff's lawyer, and creates more future work and future income for both plaintiff and defendant lawyers. The 'big picture' then becomes one creeping liability extension in all directions, as judicial generosity to plaintiff lawyers in individual cases steadily expands the liability base (and insurance bills) of all of us. One group of people with enough power to create slight resistance to the tort liability expansion is the medical profession, which has, in Australia, slowed the lawyers and judges down a bit. Since the lawyers and judges are intensely political animals, they have always been a bit careful about lumbering doctors with too much liability, and no doubt this will continue. On the other hand, the lawyers will find other ways to mulct the deep pocket corporates. One thing is for sure. If legislatures reduce business for lawyers in one place, they will make up for that somewhere else. There is virtually no limit to the things people and corporations can be sued for.

In Queensland Supreme Court Justice Thomas has admitted that judges have been playing Santa Claus in personal injury cases . Justice Dutney has denied it. It is interesting to compare what they have said:
Justice Peter Dutney (2001)
“……the basic common law right of an individual to just compensation for personal injury had been eroded……The erosion of rights has variously been blamed on excessive generosity of judges and excessive greed of solicitors. The former is obviously wrong.”
Key Note Address by him to the Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association, Queensland Conference Noosa – 9th & 10th February 2001.

Justice Thomas (2002)
“We have allowed the tests for negligence to degenerate to such a trivial level that people can be successfully sued for ordinary human activity. The judiciary has a lot to answer for this…... We are the ones who have laid down the rules and given the judgments.….. When I say “we” I mean all levels of adjudication right up to the High Court. Some of us have enjoyed playing Santa Claus forgetting that someone has to pay for our generosity”
Retirement Speech, 22/3/02, Banco Court, Brisbane

But both judges were talking only about tort law stupidities, and neither acknowledged that those stupidities are part of an 'all enveloping' wider scheme of 'making business for lawyers'. However, that is in fact the situation. One must look at the entire spectrum of the law. The 'make business' efforts have immense consequences for us all, and this is not just in terms of the amount of money taken off clients for fees. The 'make business' imperative has undermined the equality of the law and the very purpose of litigation, in that a search for the truth is not the top priority. Indeed, much of the time a lawyer's job is not to advance justice but to pervert it in the client's favour. Needless to say, the criminal law which says that ATTEMPTS to pervert justice are crimes, is never applied to lawyers. Indeed the wording of the law is that attempts to obstruct, prevent, defeat or pervert the course of justice are all crimes, yet lawyers almost never get prosecuted for that sort of thing, despite the very wide wording of the law. In the USA 'obstruction of justice' is prosecuted, but once again, rarely as against lawyers.

The legal system has evolved, not by a process of natural selection, but by a process of lawyer selection. Mutations of law or procedure, if useful to the profession, have been carefully nurtured, while healthy legal principles that advance the public interest, but are disadvantageous to the profession, have not been allowed to flourish.

Sweeping biases have been created in order to promote business. The civil law must, to maximise business, in general favour plaintiffs, while the criminal law must favour defendants.

Charles Dickens, that great commentator on the English law (which Australians and Americans have inherited) said it all over a hundred and fifty years ago :
“The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself ’. He went on to explain:
‘There is no other principle distinctly, certainly, and consistently maintained through all its narrow turnings. Viewed by this light it becomes a coherent scheme, and not the monstrous maze the laity are apt to think it”
Charles Dickens, Bleak House (published in 1852-53) Chapter 39 Attorney and Client
Obstacles to reformMay 2004 newsletterJan 2004 newsletter