Updated: May 21, 2020
"It's the vibe of it. It's the Constitution. It's Mabo. It's justice. It's law. It's the vibe and ah, no that's it. It's the vibe. I rest my case." Dennis Denuto (As seen on TV)
Dennis wasn't that far off the mark. The Australian legal system relies, first and foremost, on the Constitution. It relies on the 'Rule of Law'. Without destroying the serenity with a bug zapper in Bonnie Doon, I will get Bud 'Larry' Tingwell (RIP) to explain it to you in three words;
"On just terms"
The vibe of our legal system is a recipe of legislative and case (precedent) law. It's not that complex. Either legislation dictates, or case law determines an outcome. Yes, you need a good lawyer (or 8) and yes, I can confirm that a man who represents himself has a fool for a client (Hospitality Veteran v. ATO 2014). The real precedent was Workpac v Skene (2018) where the CFMEU successfully argued the case of a miner (not minor) that favoured the employee and a purported claim for wage loading. Not really relevant in a post COVID-19 world.
The court and the very good people who administer the rule of law, don't have an easy task. They are bound to strictly interpret. Today's AFR headlined "Court upholds 'double dipping' precedent." Forget the devilish detail, it is basically a win for unions and the socialist labour movement by the full bench of the Federal Court. Why? Because they are interpreting draconian, regressive and outdated pieces of federal legislation in the form of an 'Award' and applying it across the economy, regardless of industry.
Timing doesn't sway law. Neither does sentiment. Neither does economic consideration. Neither does social impact. The law, is the law.
I am standing in the Old Magistrates Court, smoking a fag, hoping that 'Larry' offers his help. I'm hoping that someone stands up for the 'little guy'.
Larry nailed his point home in the High Court, "I can't speak for those who wrote this document, but I'll bet that when they put in the phrase 'on just terms', they hoped to stop anyone short changing someone like Daryl Kerrigan." Good on ya mate.
"Glass of water?"