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Steven Brown interviewed by 92.9 Tamworth on the topic of, "Are we really innocent until proven guilty?"

TRANSCRIPT

Jared:

Time to have a chat with Steven Brown, the lawyer, principal of Lynn & Brown Lawyers. Thank you so much for your time Steven Brown. How are you?

Steven Brown:

Good Jared. Thanks for having me.

Jared:

No dramas at all. A bit of a messy situation, certainly over the last two weeks or so out of Canberra with everything to do with Christian Porter and this investigation regarding the alleged historic rape allegations made against him. Very messy, how do you think this is going to be playing out from here, when it comes to this issue?

Steven Brown:

Yeah look, really interesting, Jared. So often we see when something happens in the workplace and there’s an incident, there’d be an inquiry into it and the person might be stood down for a period while that inquiry or that investigation is undertaken. But what we’re talking about here is something that didn’t happen at all during Christian Porter’s work career, it happened to that 30 years ago. So, quite different to what’s happened with the Linda Reynolds situation. We’re talking about something over 30 years ago, and now the New South Wales Police have concluded that there’s not sufficient evidence for them to consider, to continue their investigation into the matter. Then we look at, but in the eyes of the Australian public, is Christian Porter always going to be tainted with, did he do this? Did he commit a rape when he was 17 years of age? And should he have to prove that he didn’t do it even though no one’s going to even ever take this to court one day.

Jared:

Yeah, that poses that very interesting question that, I’m innocent until proven guilty. This sort of flips that, doesn’t it?

Steven Brown:

It certainly does because in a situation where some may say that it’s a no-win situation now.

Jared:

Yeah.

Steven Brown:

In that, if he doesn’t allow for an inquiry to take place, which it looks like the Prime Minister is saying that it’s highly unlikely and Christian Porter’s come out in the only media interview he’s given to date or not interview, it was really a statement that he made, where he has said that it would be inappropriate at law for there to be an inquiry into it. But we see this happen at law in several other situations. So, you know for example, being a lawyer we’re required to each year, apply for a practice certificate and for our regulator to be satisfied that we’re a fit and proper person to perform that role.

Jared:

Yeah.

Steven Brown:

And maybe, you know if you’re the head lawmaker in our country and a minister in our cabinet, that you should have to pass a test that you’re a fit and proper person. So maybe it is appropriate and also a potentially beneficial thing to try and clear his name, for there to be an inquiry of some sort.

Jared:

Do you think an inquiry would be a wise move for him to have, to at least have the ability to try and clear that name when it comes to public perception?

Steven Brown:

So yeah, being a politician whose job comes on the line every few years, it takes it to a different level than most of our types of employment, where if we perform the job well, we keep the job and don’t lose our jobs. So he’s the public eye and he’s subject to public opinions. I’m not sure how quickly the Australian public might forget this and you know you would think that the opposition would take significant mileage out of it when it comes to the next election, if he doesn’t take steps to do it. But equally it’s never going to go to a court and it’s never going to be a hearing that says he didn’t do anything, and extremely difficult 30 years ago, especially when the main other player has now passed away.

Jared:

It really is a messy situation for everyone involved in this one really.

Steven Brown:

Yeah, look extremely sad and extremely messy. Any resolution is going to be difficult.

Jared:

Yeah. Hey, Steven Brown, thank you so much for the chat, a fascinating interview. Thank you.

Steven Brown:

Thank you very much, Jared.

Jared:

Time to have a chat with Steven Brown, the lawyer, principal of Lynn & Brown Lawyers. Thank you so much for your time Steven Brown. How are you?

Steven Brown:

Good Jared. Thanks for having me.

Jared:

No dramas at all. A bit of a messy situation, certainly over the last two weeks or so out of Canberra with everything to do with Christian Porter and this investigation regarding the alleged historic rape allegations made against him. Very messy, how do you think this is going to be playing out from here, when it comes to this issue?

Steven Brown:

Yeah look, really interesting, Jared. So often we see when something happens in the workplace and there’s an incident, there’d be an inquiry into it and the person might be stood down for a period while that inquiry or that investigation is undertaken. But what we’re talking about here is something that didn’t happen at all during Christian Porter’s work career, it happened to that 30 years ago. So, quite different to what’s happened with the Linda Reynolds situation. We’re talking about something over 30 years ago, and now the New South Wales Police have concluded that there’s not sufficient evidence for them to consider, to continue their investigation into the matter. Then we look at, but in the eyes of the Australian public, is Christian Porter always going to be tainted with, did he do this? Did he commit a rape when he was 17 years of age? And should he have to prove that he didn’t do it even though no one’s going to even ever take this to court one day.

Jared:

Yeah, that poses that very interesting question that, I’m innocent until proven guilty. This sort of flips that, doesn’t it?

Steven Brown:

It certainly does because in a situation where some may say that it’s a no-win situation now.

Jared:

Yeah.

Steven Brown:

In that, if he doesn’t allow for an inquiry to take place, which it looks like the Prime Minister is saying that it’s highly unlikely and Christian Porter’s come out in the only media interview he’s given to date or not interview, it was really a statement that he made, where he has said that it would be inappropriate at law for there to be an inquiry into it. But we see this happen at law in several other situations. So, you know for example, being a lawyer we’re required to each year, apply for a practice certificate and for our regulator to be satisfied that we’re a fit and proper person to perform that role.

Jared:

Yeah.

Steven Brown:

And maybe, you know if you’re the head law maker in our country and a minister in our cabinet, that you should have to pass a test that you’re a fit and proper person. So maybe it is appropriate and also a potentially beneficial thing to try and clear his name, for there to be an inquiry of some sort.

Jared:

Do you think an inquiry would be a wise move for him to have, to at least have the ability to try and clear that name when it comes to public perception?

Steven Brown:

So yeah, being a politician whose job comes on the line every few years, it takes it to a different level than most of our types of employment, where if we perform the job well, we keep the job and don’t lose our jobs. So he’s the public eye and he’s subject to public opinions. I’m not sure how quickly the Australian public might forget this and you know you would think that the opposition would take significant mileage out of it when it comes to the next election, if he doesn’t take steps to do it. But equally it’s never going to go to a court and it’s never going to be a hearing that says he didn’t do anything, and extremely difficult 30 years ago, especially when the main other player has now passed away.

Jared:

It really is a messy situation for everyone involved in this one really.

Steven Brown:

Yeah, look extremely sad and extremely messy. Any resolution is going to be difficult.

Jared:

Yeah. Hey, Steven Brown, thank you so much for the chat, a fascinating interview. Thank you.

Steven Brown:

Thank you very much, Jared.

 

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