News Corp denied documents from case about Christian Porter’s star barrister Sue Chrysanthou

Publisher argued court should be as transparent as possible given ‘extraordinary’ public interest in case

News Corp has failed in its bid to gain access to redacted documents tendered during last month’s federal court case which stopped barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC acting for former attorney general Christian Porter.

In the federal court on Thursday, lawyer for the Murdoch-owned publisher, Justin Quill, sought access to documents submitted during a four-day hearing earlier this month, arguing the court should be as transparent as possible given the “extraordinary” public interest in the case.

Brought by Jo Dyer, a friend of the woman who accused Porter of raping her three decades ago – a claim he denies – the case centred on whether Porter’s star silk should be banned from acting in his now-defunct defamation case against the ABC.

After a four-day hearing in June, Justice Thomas Thawley sided with Dyer, finding Chrysanthou had come into information which could present a “danger of misuse” during a conference with Dyer in November last year.

Much of the case was heard in closed court, and despite the defamation case being sensationally dropped by Porter, a significant chunk of evidence tendered during the case, as well as exhibits, have remained suppressed.

Following Thawley’s ruling last week that both Porter and Chrysanthou pay Dyer’s costs for the four-day trial, both parties were back in court on Thursday to discuss what elements of the case would be made public.

Lawyers for Dyer left open the possibility of a disciplinary complaint being made against Chrysanthou, saying they would seek to widen the breadth of the publication of the restricted material to include people involved in “professional disciplinary proceedings”.

“Because … there may well be the possibility that there would be such a proceeding or investigation arising in this case where it would be relevant to see the material that is confidential,” Dyer’s barrister Michael Hodge QC said.

Meanwhile Porter’s barrister, Christopher Withers SC, argued some of the exhibits, including text messages sent by Dyer, should be made public.

Lawyers for Dyer and Porter will appear again on Friday before a final order is made on what material from the case may become public, but Thawley quickly threw out an attempt by lawyers for News Corp to gain access to the material.

Quill appeared seeking access to evidence tendered during the case. He asked Thawley to gain him restricted access to the file to allow him to make submissions on what material should be made public.

Quill argued that because the case involved “the former attorney general of this country” there was an “extraordinary” public interest in the case and the court should be “as open and transparency as possible”.

But Thawley quickly dismissed the application, saying he was “adequately assisted” in deciding what parts of the evidence should be made public by both parties in the case.

Contributor

Michael McGowan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Christian Porter defamation case: judge rules Porter’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou must stand aside
The former attorney general agreed to mediation with ABC ahead of federal court ruling that one of his barristers can no longer represent him in the case

Michael McGowan

27, May, 2021 @9:07 AM

Article image
Christian Porter v ABC: can the minister sue for defamation over article that didn't name him?
What will be determined by the case? Will it preclude an independent inquiry?

Paul Karp

16, Mar, 2021 @5:27 AM

Article image
Christian Porter and ABC deal to destroy defamation case documents challenged in court
Former attorney general’s decision to drop his court case against public broadcaster sparks a fierce war of words

Michael McGowan and Paul Karp

01, Jun, 2021 @4:34 AM

Article image
Christian Porter lawyers accuse ABC of dragging its feet over defamation trial date
Tense week of negotiations after bid to stop Sue Chrysanthou from appearing for former attorney general in case against broadcaster

Michael McGowan

17, May, 2021 @5:13 AM

Article image
Christian Porter loses bid to block affidavit his lawyers said could ‘derail’ ABC defamation case
Judge rules affidavit from Macquarie Bank’s James Hooke is central to the question of whether barrister Sue Chrysanthou SC can act for Porter in defamation case

Michael McGowan

24, May, 2021 @7:26 AM

Article image
Friends of Christian Porter’s accuser threatened to make things ‘very bad’ for his barrister, court hears
Sue Chrysanthou says she was told alleged victim’s friends were ‘behaving like a cult’ and she would be defamed

Michael McGowan

26, May, 2021 @7:54 AM

Article image
Christian Porter’s legal fees: what is a blind trust and what must MPs disclose?
The minister’s office has said that he has declared what he needs to under the rules

Paul Karp

15, Sep, 2021 @9:20 AM

Article image
Keeping ABC defence secret in Christian Porter case would require ‘special treatment’, court told
News groups argue blocking access to court file from now-dropped defamation case would be inappropriate

Michael McGowan

09, Jul, 2021 @5:11 AM

Article image
Scott Morrison deflects questions about raid on News Corp journalist
It ‘never troubles me that our laws are being upheld’, PM says in London

Amy Remeikis

05, Jun, 2019 @1:37 AM

Article image
Scott Morrison seeks advice on Christian Porter’s blind trust to pay legal fees
The prime minister tells his industry minister he wants the controversy over his acceptance of funding from undisclosed source resolved

Paul Karp and Sarah Martin

15, Sep, 2021 @8:47 AM