Love Letters from the Bar Table

“Love Letters from the Bar Table” a new book by Shane Dowling

Notes from the author

A non-fiction book about corruption in the Australian Government, Judiciary and Federal Police. There is no doubt it will spark a Royal Commission.

The book is a great read for anyone who has an interest in politics and non-fiction books on corruption. It is a must read for anyone in the legal fraternity especially law students and other students studying Ethics and Professional Responsibility. It allows the reader to be a fly on the wall as it happened and also see the abuses of the legal system from a practical perspective not just a theoretical viewpoint as most books on Ethics and Professional Responsibility are solely theory based.

The book also deals with corruption by the directors of Fairfax Media and their lawyers Freehills, including the directors of Freehills. The book includes documented evidence and names names.

Some of the highlights are, but not limited to:

  1. Prima Facie cases against a number of judicial officers for breaching section 34 of the 1914 Crimes Act.
  2. The Attorney General, Robert McClelland, trying to cover up the corruption and caught out lying about referring the corruption to the Federal Police.
  3. The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd turning a blind eye to the corruption and his own criminal history.
  4. The current directors of Fairfax Media being in contempt of court.
  5. A current judge having a sexual relationship with one of the respondents while the judge was hearing the matter.
  6. Transcript evidence of a judicial officer lying while on the bench in relation to having a personal interest in the matters. When I started asking to many questions he quickly transferred the matters to the Federal Court.
  7. The fraudulent costs bill sent to the author by Freehills Lawyers on behalf of Fairfax Media which showed criminal conduct and fraud etc. So much so that they could never enforce the costs.
  8. The criminal history of a judicial officer which includes price fixing and bribing a witness.

Plus much more.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman, Professor John McMillan, has openly stated in an ABC Four Corners interview (October 2008) that the Australian Federal Police do not want to know about corruption in their own department. He said he was also told this directly by senior Australian Federal Police. This in itself says there needs to be a Royal Commission. It is worth noting that the Federal Police and the Federal Courts are all part of the Attorney General’s Department.

Some of the topics the book raises and/or deals with are: judicial bias – judicial corruption – bribes – perceived bias – actual bias – breaching the Barrister Rules – breaching the Solicitor Rules – lack of ethics – abusing procedural fairness – abuse of processes – delaying tactics – over charging – attempted fraud – criminal conduct – attempting to pervert the course of justice – fabricating evidence – dereliction of duty – shredding of evidence – personal interest.

Just for the record on the front and back covers there are pictures of the Author holding a sign Justice Moore takes bribes. The photos were tendered as part of an affidavit in court before Justice Moore. The book has further information on history of the photos.

One thought on “Love Letters from the Bar Table

  1. Phillip Taylor says:


    An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE of Richmond Green Chambers

    I’m always interested in the cross section of law books depicting the working of the common law across its jurisdictions. When I came across this curious self published work, ‘Love Letters from the Bar Table’, from Shane Dowling, who has a certain number of ‘issues’ with the legal establishment in Australia, I thought it was worth looking at further.

    A doctrine which is gaining international popularity at present is called ‘judicial recusal’ where a judge stands aside (or is made to stand aside) in certain circumstances based on the two main rules of natural justice: namely, a judge may not act in his own cause; and both sides must be heard. New Zealand academic Grant Hammond has written a definitive work on the current state of the law.

    I think it’s a fair comment to say that we do not have any recognised corruption within the judiciary in the United Kingdom. I, for one, have grave reservations about the strength of any argument suggesting forms of corruption elsewhere amongst judges because of the catastrophic constitutional implications involved.

    So, what I am saying here is that I have no idea of the rights and wrongs of Shane Dowling’s detailed case. I don’t offer an opinion although I have read his documents and his views in the book in some detail. What I do say, however, is that I feel the worth of this book merits some consideration in relation to the basic concepts we hold true in the common law tradition, namely upholding rules of natural justice.

    This book is described as ‘a true story about the systematic scandalisation of the Australian Federal Judicial System’. In 18 chapters and just over 300 pages, a case is being made out that certain people are, by definition, ‘corrupt’ and ‘taking bribes’. But it is one-sided with silence and inaction on the other

    The problem remains that when judicial decisions are made where one party becomes aggrieved by the outcome, the phrase ‘sour grapes’ springs to mind. I feel Dowling doesn’t suffer from sour grapes but has that other perennial, ‘being ignored’.

    It’s only relatively recently in UK that judges now give interviews or sometimes reply to correspondence (through their clerks) so I am not surprised by the tactics employed in the ‘stop (or rather ignore) Dowling’ campaign. Frankly, I doubt whether he will ever get closure on his matter, but he raises a most important principle – that is: ‘when should a judge retire from a hearing’, or, in other words: ‘when can we question a judge?’

    I came away from this book with very perplexed feelings. Mr Rudd will do nothing; the Australian judiciary would never acknowledge any form of corruption as I see it; and the case for a Royal Commission (or whatever name you want to call it in the future) is many years away, if ever it is convened, and gives any form of realistic appraisal to be acted upon. So, what to do?

    Well, Dowling has raised the consciousness of the issue in parallel with increases in judicial recusal applications as the wider public become more aware of the failings of judges. Frankly, it’s a can of worms with no winners on the horizon here.

    But I would like to think that the ironically named ‘Love Letters’ is a marker setting a future agenda for international human rights and upholding the rules of natural justice in the tradition of a discussion on a new ‘Table Talk’ theme- it’s a valuable contribution to the debate about how we face the future in the global discussion age of the internet … and where judges (and politicians) will have to face up to a new agenda of jurisprudential responsibility by answering their critics if our accepted concept of natural justice is ignored.


Please comment down below