Shane’s Not Coming Back

This is not survivable. I think it’s only a question of time before he’s officially dismissed. It’s also only a question of time before there’s a new DPP, and that DPP is given responsibility for bringing proceedings against Mr Drumgold… Mr Drumgold is entitled to a presumption of innocence. But the report of Walter Sofronoff makes it very clear there is every likelihood the DPP, the chief prosecutor in the ACT, will be charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice in the trial of Bruce Lehrmann…”

– Vice president of the Rule of Law Institute, Chris Merritt, on the Sofronoff A-bomb
This entry was posted in Ethics and morality, Legal affairs, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to Shane’s Not Coming Back

  1. NFA says:

    thank you SydGal says @ 6 August, 2023 at 8:41 pm

  2. rosie says:

    “…most other pack mammals, by excluding them from the pack,” he wrote.

    Lucky he wasn’t born a chicken.

  3. rosie says:

    I think his dad was in and out of rehabilitation, which tends to put onr in need of charity/welfare but at the end of the day most of us non park or building nameees as Sydgal says, have to take responsibility for ourselves and like most people live and die fairly anonymously.
    As an aside, I do have a park name relative because a council desperate to honour pioneer women plucked out her name but given her notorious lifestyle and early conviction (which I won’t detail) I don’t think she’s the heights Mr Drumgold aspires to.

  4. SydGal says:

    Mr Drumgold in Samantha Maiden’s latest article:

    “The findings relating to my forensic trial decisions are difficult to reconcile with those decisions having been made in the context of a robust adversarial process, with a strong and experienced defence team and an eminently qualified judge who presided over the trial. It is difficult to reconcile the findings with trial judge’s expression of gratitude at the end of the case, for the exemplary way all counsel conducted the trial.”

  5. Rafiki says:

    I haven’t read the Sofronoff report on the issue of whether prosecution was justified. It may however be that he applied the test used by a criminal court to deal with a defence submission that the accused has no case to answer. The court asks: is the evidence of the Crown, taken at its highest potential level – which means discounting its weaknesses- such that a jury acting within reason could find the accused guilty. The judge applying this test does not ask whether they think it reasonable, and they allow that reasonable can differ.
    On this test, the police or the DPP may see that there were discrepancies and weaknesses in Higgins account, but ignore these matters when deciding whether to prosecute. The decision does not imply that they think he was guilty. That’s for the jury.

  6. rosie says:

    It is difficult to reconcile the findings with trial judge’s expression of gratitude at the end of the case, for the exemplary way all counsel conducted the trial.”

    Don’t they always say that, and didn’t the report say something about less that truthful information was given to the judge in respect of at least one matter.
    Nor would the judge have been privy to the attempt to hide the Miller report behind lpp.
    And was the judge aware that Drumgold had read Higgins counselling notes?

  7. Boambee John says:

    Via SydGal

    “It is difficult to reconcile the findings with trial judge’s expression of gratitude at the end of the case, for the exemplary way all counsel conducted the trial.”

    Perhaps the trial judge was not aware at that time that Dumbgeld had attempted to deceive the defence team and lied to her?

  8. Boambee John says:


    Snap, I should have scanned all the way down.

  9. C.L. says:

    Albrechtsen has little sympathy – to put it mildly:

    Shane Drumgold remains deeply deluded about the import of his misconduct.

    In his statement, Shane Drumgold said that he has been “driven by a burning fire within, lit by an early life spent surrounded by the pain of chronic inter-generational social injustice”.

    To allude to that background, given the misconduct uncovered by Walter Sofronoff KC, will be seen by many as an affront to the most vulnerable citizens.

    Mr Drumgold, who grew up in a housing commission estate and reached the highest legal position in his territory, should have understood that the poor and disadvantaged are no match for the power and resources of the state.

    Our criminal justice system is premised on foundational, non-negotiable principles – presumption of innocence, a fair trial and due process – to protect every citizen, and especially the most vulnerable, against the abuse of state power.

    When a DPP misbehaves in office, vulnerable citizens are most at risk. While no one should need a team of brilliant defence lawyers to fight off efforts by a DPP to withhold evidence, the poor are especially in danger of missing out on a fair trial.

    The ACT government should not have accepted Mr Drumgold’s resignation. They should have sacked him.

    Mr Sofronoff KC’s findings were no surprise. Not after Mr Drumgold’s days in the witness box during the May public hearings. Each day was riveting as the territory’s chief prosecutor had to be dragged into admitting that he misled a judge, maligned a Liberal minister, failed in his prosecutorial duties, made baseless allegations against police, and was involved in drafting an affidavit that made a false claim in order to withhold material from a defendant facing jail if found guilty of rape.

    Mr Drumgold says these were all mistakes, explained as part of our adversarial criminal justice system. What tosh. This fits the portrait of a man who remains deeply deluded about the import of his misconduct. This lack of self-awareness is dangerous in a DPP.

    Even if, contrary to Mr Sofronoff’s findings, Mr Drumgold’s misdeeds were mere mistakes, all the more reason that he should have been removed from this powerful role as soon as the Chief Minister read the report. Andrew Barr knew what was coming. All he needed to do was watch Mr Drumgold’s evidence.

    Sacking Mr Drumgold would have signalled that the ACT Labor government expects the person who holds the highest prosecutorial office in the territory to uphold their duties to the very highest standard.

    Instead, they allowed Mr Drumgold to resign, with the obvious question of what’s next for their former prosecutor? A financial settlement?

    If Mr Drumgold walks away with any kind of financial settlement after this debacle, you have to wonder what it takes to be terminated for misconduct in the ACT. You would also have to ask whether any financial settlement says the ACT government condones his actions. If the government implicitly condones Drumgold’s behaviour, God help any accused person in the ACT.

  10. Rabz says:

    The ACT government should not have accepted Mr Drumgold’s resignation. They should have sacked him.

    Yet another obvious indicator of the incompetence and moral bankruptcy of that pack of illegitimate clowns.

    The ACT government should not exist. Thanks, Hawke, you sleazy wizened goblin.

  11. rosie says:

    He should have been sacked and there should be a police investigation into at least two of his ‘mistakes’.

  12. Boambee John says:


    The locals rejected the concept of self-government in a referendum, but the Liars needed it to make sinecures for local branch members, who might otherwise have jostled for seats in the big house on the hill.

  13. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Waaaah! I’m being persecuted!! This is so unfair!!!

    ‘Denied me procedural fairness’: Outgoing ACT DPP Shane Drumgold blasts Sofronoff Inquiry after exit as he defends conduct and denies wrongdoing (Sky, 7 Aug)

    This is pretty amazing hypocrisy considering what he did to Mr Lehrmann.

  14. Buccaneer says:

    How can he be denied procedural fairness when he basically called for the enquiry. Then showed up and lamely admitted that he had no actual evidence to back up the reason for the enquiry, his allegations of political interference.

    The question that should be being asked, is how is it that political interference has not been ruled out as being the reason that supposedly the most senior prosecutor in the ACT could act so recklessly and fecklessly? Was he the one being pressured politically and were his pleas a cry for help? Or was he just totally delusional?

  15. Rafiki says:

    The constant publicity of Drumgold’s misbehaviour most certainly would have compromised his presumption of innocence in respect of his guilt of any criminal charges that might now follow. This is the same point I and many others made in respect of the charges against Cardinal Pell and Bruce Lehrmann.
    It is ironic, to say the least, that Albrechtsen’s work (which is otherwise of a high standard) has been a significant vehicle for this adverse publicity.

  16. Buccaneer says:

    It’s simply not reasonable to expect that this report was going to be suppressed to give drumgold ‘procedural fairness’ in absence of his sacking and the announcement of procedures being held against him. From what we have seen, the ACT government had enough time to make that decision, it shouldn’t have been hard. They didn’t want to do that, they wanted a soft landing for Drumgold and to sweep the whole affair under the carpet.

    A journalist doing their job in the public interest has not denied Drumgold anything. Revealing the report in a reasonable timeframe is what the ACT government neglected to do, they are the ones that denied Drumgold his procedural fairness. Had they announced a court action against Drumgold and not disclosed the report on the basis of not prejudicing that proceeding, perhaps they could have legitimately suppressed the report.

    Even Drumgold’s statement shows he doesn’t get it and should never have been appointed DPP. It’s clear there will be no extra action against Drumgold, this would have been evidence.

  17. Cassie of Sydney says:

    Hear this….


  18. rosie says:

    No rafiki, Albrechtsen’s work exposing the venality of Drumgold is of a very high standard.
    I doubt there would even have been a resignation (post exhaustion of all available sick leave), without it.

  19. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “It is ironic, to say the least, that Albrechtsen’s work (which is otherwise of a high standard) has been a significant vehicle for this adverse publicity.”

    NO. Albrechtsen’s work exposed a shoddy head of DPP who had contempt for basic law.

  20. Franx says:

    The constant publicity of Drumgold’s misbehaviour most certainly would have compromised his presumption of innocence in respect of his guilt of any criminal charges that might now follow.

    That Drumgold behaved improperly, unprofessionally, unwisely and unfairly is one thing and was shown to be the case. Criminality – as distinct from a breach of professional ethics and of public trust – would first have to be adduced before any presumption of innocence could be said to be compromised. Neither criminal charges nor perceptions of criminality turn on misbehaviour as such simply morphing into criminality.
    (And yet it is important that rights are not neglected.)

  21. Christine says:

    Shane Drumgold described his conduct as “less than perfect”.
    Classic excusing.
    He’s put himself in the same basket as those who whiningly claim:
    “I’m not perfect”.

    Drumgold’s conduct was far removed from perfect.

    Close to perfection, in his mind? Then he shouldn’t have resigned.

  22. Franx says:

    Rafiki says:
    7 August, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    The constant publicity of Drumgold’s misbehaviour most certainly would have compromised his presumption of innocence in respect of his guilt of any criminal charges that might now follow.

  23. SydGal says:

    Isn’t what has happened to Drumgold over the last few days, similar to what happened to Lehrmann – except in the latter case, the media and social media commentary went on for years and included Higgins’ high profile March4Justice event attended by prominent politicians photographed outside Parliament House; a National Press Club address attended by politicians who gave her a standing ovation and, as I have just discovered in her evidence at the BOI – the Victims of Crime Commissioner; apologies from politicians; magazine photo shoots and stories; book deal publicity; Walkley and Logie awards given to S Maiden and L Wilkinson who “broke” the story? After all this, there was no permanent stay for Lehrmann – the case went to trial. Unfortunately, we don’t have the transcripts, but would the judge have told the jury to put all of that media coverage out of their mind? Can those with legal expertise help me understand this?

  24. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “SydGal says:
    7 August, 2023 at 4:18 pm”

    I think you’ve said it best, as always.

  25. Rosie says:

    All Drumgold needs is trial by judge alone.

  26. Rabz says:

    would the judge have told the jury to put all of that media coverage out of their mind? Can those with legal expertise help me understand this?

    Sydgal, when I was a juror in a sexual assault case in the ACT in 2014, not a single one of the jurors had any prior knowledge of the crimes, the victim, or the perpetrators. However, the judge was very clear that we were not to try and research the case or to read any of the reporting of the hearing. The abduction took place at my local shopping center, so I couldn’t even do my shopping there during the trial (even though I knew the layout of the place extremely well).

    I’d presume that in the Lehrmann case, McCallum would have instructed the jury to ignore anything they’d heard in the media about the Lehrmann/Hoggins alleged incident in parliament house and focus on the evidence presented during the trial – of which in the prosecution’s case, there was none.

  27. Rabz says:

    Latest development – that ridiculous mincing queen Barr is now threatening Sofronoff with legal action for leaking the inquiry report.

    What a joke.

  28. SydGal says:

    Rosie, I don’t think there can be judge alone trial in the ACT. Cassie – thank you.

    Prof J Gans has tweeted some comments this evening re the Sofronoff Report and includes text of a 23 June 2023 submission from S Whybrow:

    Mr Whybrow submits it is appropriate, in the interests of transparency, for the transcript of the trial in R v Lehrmann to be made available to the public”

    Gans: Interesting submission, but it gets some force from Sofronoff’s reliance on the transcript to make the finding he did.

  29. Rosie says:

    If the ACT government is sufficiently concerned about procedural fairness they could make it so.
    I wonder if Sofronoff that made significant adverse findings against say, ACT police officers or Liberal ministers, the same concerns re procedural fairness would be getting an airing.

  30. and says:

    Many excellent comments.

    Very briefly. I think Albrechtsen hits it on the head – Drumgold is deluded. From his comment, he doesn’t get it. He and many others allowed themselves to be captured by “the movement”… the bandwagon, to the point of interfering with due process. In his comment, Drumgold minimizes/trivializes his substantial misconduct, suggesting that the enquiry should have focused on removing “interference” to “the movement”. He’s not thinking straight.

    The delusion… this so-called “movement”… is feminist derangement. It comes from the dodgy argument that, in statistical terms, Canberra doesn’t have enough sexual assault claims/trials/convictions. There should be more sexual assault claims/trials/convictions. This “argument” is based on the dodgy assumption that all jurisdictions of roughly equal population are equal in all regards. From this flimsy basis, the feminists then claim that it must be something about the justice system that is discouraging women from coming forward that needs to be corrected. To this point, all these assumptions/claims are entirely arguable. Yet Canberra has gone to some lengths to correct a non-demonstrated problem.

    Drumgold kept referring to interference from the police which in turn reflected interference from higher up, e.g., police, political. Yet, as was demonstrated in the enquiry, he had no actual evidence for these inflammatory claims whatsoever. He was suffering the paranoia that comes from the resistance that pushing a questionable movement produces. In this case, Drumgold refused to accept that Brattny’s “evidence” was questionable/suspicious. It seems, too, the evidence threshold has been lowered in the ACT to bring accusations to trial.

    Then there is the figure of Heidi Hates-Menn, who, it seems, made herself an intermediary between the police and Brattny. Being the Victims of Crime Commissioner, she and those in that system had already lost sight of the critical fact that Brattny, short of a trial verdict, was not a victim but an accuser. When it was suggetsed to Brattny(by the police) to be mindful of her public outings so as not to prejudice the upcoming trial, Hates-Menn encouraged Brattny to get out and about and spread the word of insufficient sexual assault claims in Canberra. According to Hates-Menn, Brattny was the face of “the movement”. Hates-Menn even schooled Brattny in how to promote “the movement” when meeting with parliamentarians. Why was Brattny, solely an accuser at that stage, even meeting with senior parliamentarians? The conduct by Hates-Menn in the Brattny saga is appalling and in need of scrutiny.

    “The movement” had become all and claimed many in belief/manipulations away from due process. The ACT justice system is captured by fanaticism, an out of control bandwagon effect. The fanaticism is feminist because in all of the attempts to manipulate perceived “barriers” even to the cost of due process and presumption of innocence of the accused, there are two questions/possibilities that NEVER occur to the likes of a Hates-Menn and other members of “the movement”. 1. Is it possible for someone to make false allegations of sexual assault? And, 2. What should be the penalty for someone demonstrably making false allegations of sexual assault?

    This deranged movement of “we have to make it as easy as possible for people to make sexual assault complaints” at the expense of due process needs to be stopped in its tracks before it does any more damage.

  31. and says:

    The deluded attempt to curtail non-existent “interference” itself becomes interference.

  32. NFA says:

    communist governments, like their so called Australian ‘government’ and the so called ACT ‘government’, are object illustrations of the destruction of the former Christian West.

    Drumgold is a communist!

  33. Boambee John says:

    Rosie says:
    7 August, 2023 at 4:43 pm
    All Drumgold needs is trial by judge alone.

    Perhaps the judge to whom he lied in court could take the case?

  34. NFA says:

    But we are directed to focus on these types of communist filth whilst they are destroying the country!

  35. SydGal says:

    Thanks to Rabz for his jury experience. I know someone who told me a few months ago she had been summoned to appear on a jury in an area just outside of Sydney. It was around the time of the Spotlight Program which included the CCTV of Higgins going through Security at Parliament House. When I tried to talk to my friend about the CCTV, and other issues with Higgins’ evidence, all she could do was regurgitate Lisa Wilkinson’s The Project interview to me!

    And – yes, I was looking at the VCC exhibits on the BOI site last night. Yates was spending a lot of time helping Higgins with her advocacy work with politicians, public servants – almost acting like an “agent” when lining up Higgins’ meetings with advocates during a trip to Queensland, advising Higgins on financial support available for victims (Higgins seemed to be eligible for payments relating to economic loss associated with psychological care expenses??), communicating with Higgins’ compensation lawyer N Blumer and trying to sort out Higgins’ phone issues. The VCC was also accompanying Higgins on interstate trips, chauffeuring Higgins and Sharaz eg airport, hotel and police station transfers and serving refreshments at meetings. Are these really tasks for a Commissioner to undertake? Do all complainants receive this sort of service? Didn’t Ms Higgins also have her boyfriend, her mother and father and her close friend/bodyguard/confidante Emma Webster as support people? So much for equality before the law!

  36. NFA says:

    Someone, somewhere, posted the security ‘cam’ video of the Higgins-Lehrmann video in ‘the pub’.

    He looked like a man trying to avoid her!

    Was this entrapment from the get-go?

  37. SydGal says:

    NFA – yes, at the pub, I think she touched him on the shoulder twice, but he seemed more interested in talking to the group. And at Parliament House, he seemed more interested in his phone!

  38. and says:

    Did the jury see the pub video and the Parliament House video?

  39. Buccaneer says:

    Did the jury see the pub video and the Parliament House video?

    I don’t believe so

  40. SydGal says:

    It’s really hard to know what the jury saw and heard because of some limited reporting and no transcripts. I think part of the 5 hour hotel meeting in advance of The Project Interview was played to the jury but I can’t recall which segment.

    From 5 Oct 2022 but I am unclear as to what the jury saw – was it the video of Higgins watching the CCTV?

    “Ms Higgins’ first two recorded interviews with police were aired to the jury in the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday, showing the former poitical staffer’s reaction to footage from the night, and claiming Mr Lehrmann had tried to kiss her in the past.

    The jury was shown a video of Ms Higgins being played the footage of her and Mr Lehrmann entering Parliament House and outside Senator Reynolds’ office.

    Ms Higgins was asked by police if she wanted to see the CCTV footage, to which she replied that she did.

    She was shown three separate clips, which will be played before the jury when Ms Higgins is in the witness box.

    A few minutes into being shown the videos by the police, Ms Higgins became visibly upset and began wiping away tears.

    She then pulled a tissue from the box next to her and wiped her nose.

    At one point she was seen covering her mouth as she watched the videos.”

  41. and says:

    Yeah, right.

    On Monday Barr was asked if Sofronoff may have provided the report to guard against a fear it “was going to be suppressed or redacted in some way”.

    Barr replied: “No. Unequivocally, no.”

    “I was very clear. He breached his good faith to me by releasing that report ahead of giving it to who he was meant to under the legislation.”

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