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The ‘court of public opinion’ is nothing but mob rule

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During Christian Porter’s press conference which turned into a blood sport yesterday, two journalists in particular insisted that the Attorney-General step aside and subject himself to an “independent inquiry”. As the first law officer of the nation, he had to be “beyond allegations”. It did not matter that the New South Wales Police had ended their investigation, concluding there was insufficient evidence to pursue the matter further, since Mr Porter had to satisfy “the court of public opinion”.

Upon hearing those words my mind flew back to the first trial I witnessed as an articled clerk (known as “graduate lawyer” these days), a Supreme Court trial in Bunbury, Western Australia. The trial had received…



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