Statement by the Prime Minister in the Christian Porter matter regarding rape allegations

March 4, 2021

Kenja has defended itself from false allegations of sexual abuse over many years and Mr Ken Dyers defended allegations in court spanning over 15 years. He was found not guilty. He took his life as a result of intense pressure from police arising from further false allegations when he was aged 85.

Kenja has decided not to participate in the National Redress Scheme because of its previous involvement in the court cases which dealt with the allegations as a matter of law. Kenja believes that allegations of these kinds should be dealt with through the processes of the legal system and the courts, which ensure the fairest procedure for both an accused and an alleged victim, notwithstanding the trauma inevitably involved in that legal process.

The Prime Minister’s Statement

Today the Prime Minister made a statement in relation to the allegations against Christian Porter, the Attorney General in the following terms:

Christian Porter, the Attorney General, has made it very clear in his statement yesterday, that he has rejected absolutely the allegations that have been made. That is the same rejection that he made to me last week.

In this country there is a lot at stake. You don’t go too far from here, you will find countries where the rule of law does not apply. And you will be aware of the terrible things that can happen in a country where the rule of law is not upheld and is not supported, in whatever the circumstances. The rule of law is essential for liberal democracies and we weaken it at our great peril. And it can be hard at times. And I understand particularly under these circumstances, it can be hard to understand just how important that principle is, in how we deal with these, the most sensitive and the most traumatic and the most personal of issues.

But we must reflect on that principle, because it is that principle that undergirds our democracy itself - the presumption of innocence; investigation of allegations involving criminal activity by competent and authorised bodies, that is, the police. And to act in accordance with the decision of those bodies and indeed the courts that deal with any allegations that are taken forward for prosecution.

That is our rule of law. It is something that every single citizen of this country depends upon. And that is the principle upon which I seek to support, to ensure the good governance of our country.

And so, as traumatic as these events are, that principle must continue to guide us and will certainly continue to guide me and my government as we deal with these very sensitive issues.

Kenja strongly supports the rule of law

Irrespective of the merits of whether or not there should be some other mode of inquiry given Mr Porter’s position as an Attorney General, and the question of whether he is a fit and proper person to hold office, insofar as the Prime Minister’s statements regarding the rule of law and the criminal justice system is concerned, these are sentiments which we have expressed vigorously over three decades as we have battled allegations of sexual abuse.

It is important in our view that Mr Morrison’s fine words are not spoken for the exclusive benefit of Mr Porter, but are seriously held by the political leadership of this country.

Our experience over the last 30 years does not reveal to us a deep commitment by State and Commonwealth governments to defending vigorously the presumption of innocence and the rights of an accused, and we are not aware of Mr Porter’s record as a Crown Prosecutor in Western Australia in that regard.

It is in many respects unfortunate that it has taken the personal tribulations of a member of the political elite for warning bells to be sounded about the rule of law and fairness to an accused. We have not heard anything like Mr Morrison’s words said in a political speech by any political leader in 30 years.

We hope that recent events lead to greater discussion and support for democratic rights of all Australians and the upholding of the presumption of innocence for the thousands of people who face criminal allegations every day. It is, we believe, not so much a matter of the Attorney General being treated like everyone else under the law - but everyone else being accorded the fundamental justice of the legal system as the Prime Minister and Attorney General have invoked for themselves.

Click here for the Kenja Response to the National Redress Scheme

Click here for the Christian Porter allegations and the National Redress Scheme

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