Dear Attorney, 

In the litigation between Andrew Laming and Louise Milligan the ABC apparently failed to act honestly and fairly as required by the Model Litigant Rules (Merritt C, 2021, ‘Taxpayers pay the price for an unapologetic ABC’s defamation disaster’, The Australian, 13 August).

This failure would normally be subject of the legal proceedings at the time, but by section 55ZG of the Judiciary Act, compliance is not legally enforceable except by or upon your application.  Here the failure has not been made enforceable in the courts.  Instead, there are self-reporting requirements to you by the agency which has breached the rules and by sanctions for non-compliance.

Direction 14.1 provides:

The Attorney-General may impose sanctions of non-compliance with the Directions

In the absence of legal proceedings, and consistent with your responsibility for Commonwealth agencies to behave as model litigants, what sanctions have you imposed or do you intend to impose?

Kind regards,

Robin Speed,  Rule of Law Institute of Australia