Friday, 24 Mar 2023

Bruce Lehrmanns lawyers argued Scott Morrisons apology to Brittany Higgins was particularly egregious

Bruce Lehrmanns lawyers argued Scott Morrisons apology to Brittany Higgins was particularly egregious


Bruce Lehrmanns lawyers argued Scott Morrisons apology to Brittany Higgins was particularly egregious

Bruce Lehrmann's lawyers accused former prime minister Scott Morrison of making a "particularly egregious" remark during his apology to Brittany Higgins which risked prejudicing his chance of a fair trial, according to a newly released judgment.

Lehrmann tried and failed to permanently stay the case against him in April, arguing pretrial publicity had denied him the opportunity of a fair trial.

Lehrmann's lawyers pointed to, among other things, an apology made by Morrison in parliament in February to those who had experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault or bullying while working in federal parliament.

Morrison used the speech to apologise specifically to Higgins for the "terrible things that took place here". Higgins was sitting in the public gallery at the time.

The ACT supreme court on Wednesday released its reasons for denying Lehrmann's application to stay proceedings. The court confirmed the media were free to report on the judgment.

The judgment shows that Lehrmann's previous lawyers argued that Morrison's apology to Higgins was "particularly egregious" in terms of prejudice.

"It was submitted that the prime minister's apology was particularly egregious as it imputed the accused with guilt of the offence or at least implicitly assumed the truthfulness of the complaint," the ACT chief justice, Lucy McCallum, wrote in her April judgment.

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