Near 200,000 paperwork might have to be sifted by earlier than Shane Drumgold’s case towards the inquiry that ended his profession might be heard subsequent yr.
The previous ACT director of public prosecutions final month launched authorized motion to quash a board of inquiry’s findings about his dealing with of the Bruce Lehrmann trial.
A two-day listening to has been put aside for the judicial evaluate on February 12 subsequent yr.
Nonetheless, lawyers from all sides have a mammoth process forward of them to sift by related paperwork that might be made accessible by discovery.
The ACT Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to slim the scope after it was informed the variety of paperwork concerned might be “in extra of 180,000”.
Below the Inquiries Act, all paperwork tendered to a board of inquiry are then dedicated to the Chief Minister for “safekeeping”.
ACT authorities barrister Kate Eastman argued the priority was to keep away from “any delay” and the “important value” of going by the paperwork within the brief timeframe.
Mr Drumgold’s barrister Dan O’Gorman unsuccessfully argued he was involved a few drawn-out court battle ought to discovery be narrowed to classes of paperwork.
Mr O’Gorman acknowledged the motion was “uncommon” for a judicial evaluate and flagged an intention for the court to think about the actions of the choice maker, Walter Sofronoff KC, “that has turn out to be obvious since”.
“Nobody will probably be left in any doubt in any respect about what Mr Drumgold’s case is,” he mentioned.
Registrar Jayne Reece dominated the scope of discovery could be narrowed to classes to be agreed upon by the events.
She reasoned it was not solely “extra environment friendly” but additionally decreased the chance of revealing paperwork which might be “doubtlessly not related in any respect” and delay the matter additional.
Final week, the court confirmed an outdoor choose could be appointed to preside over the authorized motion to keep away from a possible battle inside Canberra’s small authorized neighborhood.
Victorian justice Stephen Kaye was nominated however has but to be appointed as an appearing ACT Supreme Court choose.
Ms Reece mentioned she anticipated the problem could be resolved in “the following couple of weeks”.
Mr Drumgold is arguing he was denied pure justice, didn’t obtain a good listening to and a few of Mr Sofronoff’s findings had been “legally unreasonable”.
He’s requesting the court quash Mr Sofronoff’s findings or declare the report invalid.
Mr Lehrmann pleaded not responsible to sexually assaulting his former colleague Brittany Higgins at Parliament Home in 2019.
His trial was aborted final October as a result of jury misconduct and a deliberate retrial was deserted as a result of considerations about Ms Higgins’ psychological well being.
The cost was dropped and there have been no findings made towards Mr Lehrmann.
Mr Sofronoff discovered the choice to cost and prosecute Mr Lehrmann was the right plan of action however made a number of severe findings of misconduct towards Mr Drumgold’s prosecution of the case.
However Mr Sofronoff generated his personal controversy when it was revealed the chair selectively leaked a duplicate of his ultimate report back to journalists forward of handing it to the ACT authorities.
The ACT authorities has but to substantiate whether or not it should take any motion towards Mr Sofronoff for the report’s early launch.
In an announcement on the time, Mr Drumgold denied any wrongdoing and mentioned the report’s early launch had denied him procedural equity.
“Though I settle for my conduct was lower than excellent, my choices had been all made in good religion, beneath intense and generally crippling strain, performed inside more and more unmanageable workloads,” he mentioned.
“The pre-emptive launch of the report back to the media has denied me procedural equity. It has disadvantaged the ACT authorities of the chance of contemplating my conduct objectively.”