Some battles need to be fought in public or political forums as hard as they are in a courtroom. At Xenophon Davis we complement litigation with vigorous public and political advocacy where required.
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Dozens of West Papuans were tortured and thrown into the sea 23 years ago. Days later, Australia knew details of the attack, yet remained silent.
The report could easily have remained secret… But last year, Anthony Craig, a campaigner for justice in West Papua, sought a copy from the National Archives of Australia.
The archives initially sought exemptions to redact significant parts of the report, but last month, facing action in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, it gave Craig and his lawyers, Xenophon Davis, access to the document in its entirety.
The Friendlyjordies producer Kristo Langker has pleaded not guilty to stalking and intimidating charges following his arrest over two encounters with New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro.
Langker’s solicitor, Mark Davis, called the arrest “outrageous”.
“It was outrageous that he was even arrested under these circumstances. They could well have dealt with this as they deal with every other citizen, with an AVO warning or ask him to him to the police station,” he said.
‘He’s innocent’: Friendlyjordies producer Kristo Langker pleads not guilty to stalking John Barilaro
A producer for YouTube channel Friendlyjordies did not stalk or intimidate NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, and the charges will be fought “as vigorously as possible”, his lawyer has said outside court.
Speaking outside court on Thursday, Mr Langker’s lawyer Mark Davis said he intends to fight the charges “as high and as hard and as vigorously as possible – he’s an innocent man”.
“We’ve yet to see any evidence, at all, beyond a general police statement as to the offence. We’re extremely confident in our evidence that we’ve now gathered, and we’re looking forward with enthusiasm to our day in court,” Mr Davis said.
A 21-year-old producer for YouTube comedian Friendlyjordies has been charged with allegedly stalking and intimidating the New South Wales deputy premier, John Barilaro.
Langker’s lawyers, Xenophon Davis, criticised the arrest and said the use of the fixated persons unit – set up to tackle lone actor extremists three years after the Lindt cafe siege – was “shocking”.
Davis condemned police actions during the arrest, saying officers pushed Langker’s mother and injured his girlfriend, leaving them “injured and traumatised”.
For Mr. Assange’s supporters and press freedom advocates, though, the issues at stake transcend him or politics.
“This is so much bigger than Julian,” said Mark Davis, a former journalist who worked with Mr. Assange in Australia, where they are from. If Mr. Assange is prosecuted, “it will have a chilling effect on all national security journalism,” Mr. Davis said, adding: “If we can get Julian off, then the precedent hasn’t been set. If Julian goes down, then it’s bad for all of us.”
Mr. Davis, who is now a lawyer specializing in national security and whistle-blower cases, is on the board of Blueprint for Free Speech, an Australia-based nonprofit group that advocates for press freedoms and whistle-blower protections.
Dear General Campbell, we’ve met a few times. At briefings at Parliament House when you ran Operation Sovereign Borders, and in the robust forum of Senate estimates. I was always impressed by your palpable decency, competence and forthright manner.
So, I hope you won’t take issue with me writing this open letter to you about our firm’s client, David McBride, a proud veteran, a former army major who now faces life imprisonment for, basically, telling the truth about what was happening in Afghanistan.
Just a few days ago, you were handed the Brereton report – four years in the making – about alleged war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan.
The Commonwealth’s decision not to charge a journalist who reported on alleged war crimes should be the catalyst for authorities to drop the prosecution of the man who blew the whistle, a lawyer for the former army officer says.
“Logic, fairness, decency and, above all, the public interest demands that these charges against David McBride be dropped now,” he said.
“If the CDPP considers that the role of public interest journalism, and its importance in our democracy, was a key factor in dropping the charges against Dan Oakes, then surely those considerations are even stronger in protecting the source for the story.”
Former independent senator Nick Xenophon has lashed the Australian Government’s national security legislation as he revealed how his client and Afghan Files whistleblower David McBride is facing a battle for his life.
In Monday night’s episode of Q+A, which was dedicated to Australia’s state secrets, Mr Xenophon joined former ASIO director Dennis Richardson, journalist Annika Smethurst, national security analyst Clinton Fernandes and counter-terrorism expert Jacinta Carroll on the panel.
Now working as a lawyer, Mr Xenophon revealed just what a tough battle Mr McBride was facing for revealing alleged war crimes committed by Australian troops.
As lawyers, we will always tell you to watch out for the small print.
So, last week as the nation was transfixed with federal Parliament passing its record-breaking, ideology-defying $130 billion jobs rescue package, something else snuck through.
That something is a piece of ’small print’ giving the Treasurer, at the stroke of his pen, extraordinary new powers to change the Corporations Act.
Former senator Nick Xenophon will represent a military lawyer who blew the whistle on alleged war crimes by Australian troops.
David McBride leaked classified documents to the ABC and is facing charges of theft of commonwealth property, breaching the Defence Act and unauthorised disclosure of information.
“The latest accusations of war crimes in Afghanistan on Four Corners reveal the very issues that McBride was trying desperately to advise military commanders and politicians of in 2013,” he said.