Matthew Collins, president of the Australian Bar, told Seven’s Sunrise Wednesday morning that The Project’s host could be in serious trouble.
Lisa Wilkinson hired one of the best lawyers just hours after he said her Logies speech about the Brittany Higgins case was “reckless.”
Matthew Collins, president of the Australian Bar, told Seven’s Sunrise on Wednesday morning that The Project host could be in serious trouble because of ACT Chief Justice Lucy McCallum’s harsh comments.
“Of course, it is possible that the authorities will review the speech she gave in Logies and judge that the speech was contrary to the standard that is applied in this branch of law,” Dr. Collins said.
“That standard is, did anything she did tend to interfere with the course of justice?”
Within four hours of commenting on Sunrise, Dr. Collins was contacted by Ten Network and Wilkinson. Australian reported.
Teng confirmed that Dr. Collins was called to represent the network and Wilkinson, adding that Teng “fully supports Lisa Wilkinson”.
“Both Network 10 and Lisa Wilkinson take their legal obligations very seriously, including preparing and delivering her speech at the Logies event,” a spokeswoman said.
“In light of the ongoing litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
Dr. Collins added in his comments on Breakfast TV that mainstream media representatives “are aware of the risk involved in discussing cases that need to go to court, especially serious and high-profile cases.”
“Clearly it was reckless,” he said.
“The whole point is that everyone in our community who faces such a serious charge is entitled to the benefit of the doubt, which means that when entering the courtroom, there should be no prejudice about this or that, so that the jury just sits and very carefully focuses on the evidence that is revealed in the testimony, and puts out of their minds everything that they might have seen in the media or, God forbid, and often much worse, in social networks.
Meanwhile, a pop-up tweet revealed that Wilkinson was aware of the danger of mentioning the Brittany Higgins trial long before Gold Logies over the weekend.
Wilkinson “completely blurred” the line between a conviction and a guilty plea, according to Chief Justice McCallum, who subsequently adjourned the trial of Higgins-indicted rapist Bruce Lehrmann.
But just a year ago, Wilkinson tweeted that “naming a person on social media and passing a sentence can have dire consequences for the outcome of any trial.”
“Regarding the question of a 26-year-old man who was called for alleged sexual assault of a woman at Parliament House in March 2019, can I implore everyone to respect what is happening here,” she tweeted in August 2021.
Under the ACT Penal Code, a person can be charged with a misdemeanor if they publish “something that could lead to a miscarriage of justice in a trial.”
Intentionally committing this act carries a maximum penalty of 1,000 fine units, 10 years’ imprisonment, or both, while doing so recklessly carries a maximum penalty of 700 fine units, seven years’ imprisonment, or both. both.
Judge McCallum said she gave the order to push back the scheduled start date for the trial to June 27 with “gritting her teeth.” “Unfortunately…recent publicity [of the speech] in my opinion, it changes the landscape,” she said.
“Because of its immediacy, its intensity and its ability to obliterate an important distinction between a statement that remains unverified by law. For these reasons, regrettably and with clenched teeth, I have come to the conclusion that the June 27 trial date, which the parties have carefully sought, must be cancelled.”
Former Ten Ten forecaster Tim Bailey publicly criticized Wilkinson in a recently deleted tweet, demanding that the veteran journalist “get (her) head in”.
Wilkinson received the Logie Award for Most Outstanding Public Relations News Coverage or Report at Sunday’s Logie Awards for her reporting on the Higgins case.