PRECIOUS: SA judicial officer sues Attorney-General in defamation

andrewcannon When a South Australian senior Magistrate wanted to give crooks light sentences because he thought the state’s jails were overcrowded, the state’s Attorney-General Mick Atkinson was not impressed.

He slammed those views as “daft” and “delusional”.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Dr Andrew Cannon wasn’t happy about someone criticising his work and has decided to sue in defamation.

Many legal observers question whether this is an appropriate thing for a serving judicial officer to be doing.

Atkinson will be vigorously defending the defamation claim.

Andrew Cannon appears to maintain a “linkedin” page that explains he is interested in “job inquiries” and “business deals”. If he’s not successful in suing the state’s chief law officer over a personal tiff, he’d do well to pursue those.

Dr Cannon is still believed to be upset over the government’s decision to appoint former Commonwealth prosecutor Liz Bolton as the state’s Chief Magistrate instead of him.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “PRECIOUS: SA judicial officer sues Attorney-General in defamation

  1. Mary West

    There is a precedent, but it involved a Magistrate and a journalist.

    Here in Victoria Andrew Bolt made similar claims against Magistrate Jelana Popovic. The court awarded substantial damages against Mr Bolt.

    It is best that those criticising Magistrates do not use their names, but refer to “some Magistrates.” Unless of course they do it under parliamentary privilege.

    Magistrates and Judges should not be immune to criticism. As anyone who has ever been the subject of cross examination in a criminal trial knows defence barristers can be very nasty and can make all sorts of allegations against a person’s character. These same defence barristers often become judges and sometimes Magistrates.

    Some lawyers can dish it out but they can’t take it. Try complaining to the Bar Council ethics committee and you are not listened to.

  2. Rita Randles

    The other blog of course makes the nastiest and untrue allegations against this blog. It even calls this blog poxnews.

    How can one sue the author of the other blog for defamation? The author will not give his real name, but hides under a pseudonym. Not so Vexnews, where the name and telephone number of the publisher is openly displayed.

  3. Anon.

    Hiding under a pseudonym?

    The Atlanta Constitution (June 7, 1999)

    RITA RANDLES, 40, of Roopville died Saturday. Funeral, 2 p.m. today, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church; Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel.

  4. People should be allowed to criticise court decisions, provided they are not guilty of contempt of court. Judges should be accountable in terms of criticism and scrutiny.

    I would see this as falling within the “fair comment” defence, where opinions expressed which are not malicious are ok.

  5. Arthur conan doyle

    Atkinson is going to cost the State of SA a mozza on this one,
    Defamation pure and simple. laced with malice.

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