FIVE ACCREDITED SPECIALISTS

Robertson O’Gorman Solicitors now has five accredited criminal law specialists.

 

As the leading Queensland Criminal Law firm, we are pleased to congratulate another two of our remarkable team of criminal law specialists!  Dominic Brunello and Remy Kurz are the latest of our team to be awarded Queensland Law Society Specialist Accreditation in the field of Criminal Law. Dominic also won the award for the highest achiever in the criminal law stream.

In another fantastic achievement, Terry O’Gorman has been awarded the prize for outstanding accredited specialist. This award recognises Terry’s outstanding contributions as a long-standing accredited specialist in criminal law.

The Specialist Accreditation Scheme gives solicitors an opportunity to formally recognise their high level of competency and knowledge in their chosen area of legal practice. It also provides excellent guidance to the public and the profession as to which legal practitioners are truly leaders in their area of expertise.

This means that the team at Robertson O’Gorman Solicitors will be comprised of five practitioners who hold Specialist Accreditations in Criminal Law.   This is a truly remarkable panel of expertise and skill and aligns with our culture of excellence and true commitment to superior customer service.  We are the only Criminal Law Firm in Queensland with this large number of accredited specialists.

For more information on any of Robertson O’Gorman’s services or to read more about our team – please visit our website https://www.robertsonogorman.com.au/


Dan Rogers, Principal, Robertson O’Gorman has been named as a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards for Criminal Partner of the Year.

Dan Rogers, Principal, Robertson O’Gorman has been named as a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards for Criminal Partner of the Year.

Lawyers Weekly’s Partner of the Year Awards showcases outstanding performance by partners, or partners equivalent, across individual practice areas within the Australian legal profession.

The fifth annual Partner of the Year Awards, run in partnership with principal partner Taylor Root, offers finalists and winners a range of experiences and opportunities that extends far beyond their winning moment.

This year’s finalists which was announced from Tuesday 6 September, features 250 high-achieving legal professionals across 31 submission-based categories.

“The Partner of the Year Awards is all about acknowledging those at the top of their game — the best partners in Australia who exude the highest level of technical expertise, finesse and leadership capabilities,” said Lawyers Weekly editor Emma Ryan.

“This year’s finalists represent the elite in each practice area, with their work making an invaluable contribution to their firms, clients and the community alike.

“On behalf of Lawyers Weekly, I’d like to congratulate each of the finalists on their achievements. We look forward to celebrating with you soon.”

Dan Rogers, Principal at Robertson O'Gorman Solicitors said that he was humbled to be recognised and proud to be named as a finalist in the Partner of the Year Awards 2020.

“Robertson O'Gorman Solicitor's recognition for our excellent contribution to the criminal law industry reinforces the strength of our service and dedication to connecting with the community and engaging with clients,” he added.

 

 


The secret prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery

The prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery has sparked national debate on issues relating to national security, government accountability, freedom of speech, the rule of law and open access to justice.

With public discourse surrounding the prosecutions intensifying, this post serves to summarise and highlight key features of the background of the case ahead of the public forum to be held at Brisbane City Hall on 29 October 2019.

Background

In 2004, Australia and Timor-Leste had commenced treaty negotiations in relation to oil and gas deposits in the Timor Sea.  It was during these negotiations that Australia’s Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) bugged the walls of Timor-Leste’s cabinet offices under the guise of a foreign aid program. This action gave Australia’s negotiators an unfair advantage in relation to the overall negotiations of the treaty.

Witness K is a former ASIS operative who had firsthand knowledge of the spying operation on Timor-Leste’s treaty negotiations.  He later became aware that high Australian officials involved in the spying were lobbying for an Australian oil company with interest in the area. He complained through proper channels about the illegality of the bugging and obtained permission to speak to his ASIS-approved lawyer, Bernard Collaery.

After learning of the espionage, Timor-Leste initiated international arbitration proceedings against Australia, alleging that the bugging had rendered the treaty void as the negotiation was not made in good faith.  Collaery, representing Timor-Leste, was intending to call Witness K as a confidential witness in the proceedings.

In December 2013, the homes and office of both Witness K and Collaery were raided by ASIO and Australian Federal Police. Documents and data were seized, including Collaery’s legal advice to the Timor Leste Government relating to its strategy for arbitration, and Witness K’s passport was cancelled preventing him from testifying at The Hague.

Four and a half years later, the Commonwealth filed criminal charges against Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

The prosecutions

The charges against Witness K and Collaery are pursuant to Article 39 of the Intelligence Services Act which criminalises the unauthorised disclosure of certain information about ASIS.

Witness K announced in August of this year that he will plead guilty to the charge, with Collaery facing trial separately.

Collaery’s trial will be conducted in partial secrecy under the provisions of the National Security Information Act 2004 (NSI Act). The principle that judicial proceedings are open to the public is well established, however the NSI Act is designed to prevent prejudicing national security.  It is unclear just how much of Collaery’s trial will be kept secret from the public, and from Collaery himself.

This case touches on and challenges numerous long-standing principles grounding Australia’s legal system.  The public forum to be held on 29 October 2019 will involve a discussion of the prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery through the lens of highly qualified speakers.

Robertson O’Gorman is hosting East Timor Prosecutions Public Forum: The secret prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery for national security offences at Brisbane City Hall on 29 October 2019. Spaces are limited. Tickets are available here.