Australia's recent treatment of high-profile whistleblowers has been shockingly punitive. Three lawyers speak from intimate experience. Bernard Collaery has faced an ongoing four-year ordeal for representing Witness K, a former ASIS officer who alleged the Commonwealth illegally spied on impoverished neighbour Timor Leste for private commercial gain. David McBride faces life in prison after the Government elected to pursue charges against him for revealing the allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan that led to the Brereton Report. Jennifer Robinson represents Wikileaks founder and abandoned Australian citizen Julian Assange.
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Throughout his distinguished career as a solicitor, advocate and politician Bernard Collaery has been a fearless advocate for human rights. He has acted for clients including the families of victims of the Thredbo landslide, the Royal Canberra Hospital demolition tragedy and the Glenbrook rail disaster. He provided legal advice to the East Timor Resistance for more than thirty years and acted for East Timor at the International Court of Justice in relation to a maritime sea boundary dispute with Australia, experiences he drew on for his book, Oil Under Troubled Waters. Bernard was the Attorney General and Deputy Chief Minister for the Australian Capital Territory from 1989-1991.
David McBride is an Australian whistleblower and former British Army major and Australian Army lawyer who from 2014 to 2016 made information (the "Afghan Files") on war crimes allegedly committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan available to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, who broadcast details in 2017. In 2018, David was charged with several related offences, and is awaiting trial. The allegations were reviewed in the Brereton Report.
Jennifer Robinson is a human rights lawyer and Director of Legal Advocacy at Bertha Philanthropies in London. For more than a decade she has been involved in advocacy related to self-determination and human rights in West Papua. Jennifer is a member of the legal team for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, having acted for Assange in extradition proceedings, advised WikiLeaks during Cablegate and worked with the Center for Constitutional Rights on United States v Bradley Manning.
Andrew Fowler is an award-winning investigative journalist and a former reporter with Foreign Correspondent and Four Corners. He also served as chief of staff and acting foreign editor of The Australian. His books include The Most Dangerous Man in the World, The War on Journalism and Shooting the Messenger: Criminalising Journalism.