December 12, 2012
There you have it.
Justice Steven Rares in the federal court has found that James Ashby's sexual harassment against Peter Slipper an abuse of process; that the case was brought ''for the predominant purpose of causing political damage to Mr Slipper''; and that Mal Brough, who has been pre-selected by the Coalition for Slipper's seat, acted with Ashby to advance the interests of the Liberal National Party.
The judgment by Justice Steven Rares was over an application by Mr Slipper to have a sexual discrimination case that was brought against him by a former staff member, James Ashby, dismissed through abuse of process. The judgment made no finding on the harassment allegations by Ashby.
The case was designed as part of the Liberal Party's political campaign to both delegitimise the ALP's minority government, and the judgment and character of the Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Slipper resigned as Speaker of his own accord, and he is unlikely to be returned to the job.
If the LNP are willing to trash the joint to get their own way, the legal system does not take kindly to the law being used to run a political campaign. An appeal by Ashby is said to be likely. The LNP is not likely to change its conduct-- politically motivated beat-ups is their tool-in-trade-- in an election year.