The child sexual abuse advocate said she had obtained expert legal advice that showed Malcolm Turnbull falsely cited “significant constitutional limitations” as the reason a Royal Commission could not proceed.
Mrs Johnston met with the PM in October to discuss her belief that a commission is the only legal framework capable of overcoming the significant hurdles needed to thoroughly investigate the family law system, including State and Federal bodies such as police and child protection agencies.
“I got a letter signed by the Prime Minister (outlining why a Royal Commission was not feasible) and we believed it and said we would work with him.”
“(But) we also got constitutional advice to be sure and just as well because both those very well-known, esteemed, clever people disagreed with the Prime Minister. We were fed a furphy.
“(The Prime Minister’s office) saw us fold and we were tricked and lied to by the Prime Minister and that is betraying Australia’s children … it’s not he can’t protect Australia’s children. It’s that he won’t.”
In his letter to Bravehearts, Mr Turnbull said the Government was committed to ongoing improvements to the family law system but a Royal Commission was “not a viable pathway for these improvements to occur”.
“There are significant constitutional limitations in respect of any executive inquiry into the courts arising from the principles of judicial independence in Chapter III of the Constitution,” he wrote.
Mrs Johnston said this was contrary to advice received by Curtin University Law School’s Professor Gerard Carney and University of NSW Law Dean George Williams.
“This attempt by the office of the Prime Minister to derail calls for a Royal Commission into the family law system is deceptive and alarming,” she said.
“One day a Royal Commission into the family law system will be conducted and our current Prime Minister may be called upon to explain why, when he knew of the horrors being faced by these children and their protective parents, he did nothing to save them.”
Mrs Johnston said she was now calling on the Opposition to push for the Royal Commission.
“We don’t need to wait for this man to find his backbone,” she said. “(The Opposition) has nearly got the numbers and I’m asking every parliamentarian in there to stand up for our children.
“Trust is my big button and when I sit with the Prime Minister in his office … you want to believe this is a man who cares about children.”
Read More: Gold Coast Bulletin
By: Dwayne GrantBack to News
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