MEDIA RELEASES

Letter to the West Australian Bar Association

Aug 10, 2021 | AIJAC

(Credit: Shutterstock)
(Credit: Shutterstock)

Mr. Martin Cuerden SC
WA Bar Association

10 August 2021

Dear Mr Cuerden

I write to express my personal and professional astonishment, and profound disapproval of the contents of your recent letter to Senator Sarah Henderson.

I am genuinely baffled that, as President of the West Australian Bar Association, you would see it as appropriate to rebuke an Australian Senator for suggesting that a high-profile member of the profession, who makes an undeniably antisemitic comment via social media, should face professional consequences.

That your letter should contain no condemnation of Julian Burnside’s blatantly antisemitic post, but rather seek to defend his actions using the principle of free speech is, at best, disingenuous. Let’s be clear, no one is seeking to limit Julian Burnside’s freedom of speech.

By deleting the tweet, it would seem that even Burnside himself recognised, after the fact, that his comments had crossed the line into antisemitism. A fact that seems to be readily recognised by virtually all public commentators from the far left to the right. The sole exception seems to be the WA Bar Association.

I agree that the WA Bar should have no view on Israeli-Palestinian affairs, as you state in your letter, but it most certainly should have a view on whether it is appropriate for a member of the profession to engage in antisemitism, racism or deeply offensive hate speak of any kind.

As someone who experienced antisemitism some 50 years ago as a young lawyer in this country, it is inconceivable to me that in the year 2021, the president of a State bar association would suggest that a respected member of the Bar spreading antisemitic hate is “a matter of public interest”.

Section 8 of the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015 specifically provides that a barrister must not engage in conduct which is “likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession or the administration of justice or otherwise bring the legal profession into disrepute.”

On that basis, I call on you to promptly withdraw the letter, apologise to Senator Henderson and issue an unambiguous condemnation of Julian Burnside’s antisemitism. I also invite you to visit the Holocaust Institute of Western Australia and meet with a Holocaust survivor, who can offer you some much-needed education on this subject.

In the interests of transparency and personal integrity, I intend to make this letter public.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Leibler AC
Senior Partner
Arnold Bloch Leibler

RELATED ARTICLES


Aryeh Shechopek, the teenager killed in the terrorist attack (Image:Twitter)

AIJAC Condemns Jerusalem Terror Attacks

Nov 24, 2022 | Featured, Media Releases
Image: Shutterstock

After Israeli vote, AIJAC expresses hope for period of stable government

Nov 3, 2022 | Featured, Media Releases
Labor MP Josh Burns speaking at the launch of the IHRA Parliamentary Friendship Group

AIJAC welcomes establishment of IHRA Parliamentary Friendship Group

Oct 28, 2022 | Featured, Media Releases
UNHRC

AIJAC condemns latest “deplorable” report by UNH permanent Commission of Inquiry

Oct 27, 2022 | Featured, Media Releases
Image: Shutterstock

AIJAC expresses deep disappointment over government’s reversal on Jerusalem

Oct 19, 2022 | Featured, Media Releases
Image: Shutterstock

AIJAC mourns Queen Elizabeth II

Sep 9, 2022 | Featured, Media Releases

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Image: Twitter

Apparent mass amnesia at Brighton Secondary College hearing

Left to Right: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

The Russo-Iranian alliance comes to Europe

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi (source: Dean_Calma)

UN nuclear watchdog head’s shocking statement on Iran

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The World Cup and Qatar’s Hypocrisy

Image: Twitter

New Government will confront terror wave 

Image: Twitter

Apparent mass amnesia at Brighton Secondary College hearing

Left to Right: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

The Russo-Iranian alliance comes to Europe

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi (source: Dean_Calma)

UN nuclear watchdog head’s shocking statement on Iran

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The World Cup and Qatar’s Hypocrisy

Image: Twitter

New Government will confront terror wave 

SORT BY TOPICS