Home / World News / Palmer, McGowan court stoush set to begin

Palmer, McGowan court stoush set to begin

A legal stoush between Clive Palmer and WA Premier Mark McGowan over defamation claims is set to get underway in the Federal Court.

Mr Palmer is suing Mr McGowan claiming public comments, including labelling him the “enemy of West Australia”, made in July 2020 had damaged the Queensland businessman’s reputation.

The premier has lodged a counter-claim claiming the billionaire defamed him in several interviews.

Both Mr McGowan and Mr Palmer are expected to testify in person in the Sydney courtroom after Justice Michael Lee earlier said that was his preference especially during defamation proceedings.

“I think that’s important for a range of reasons, including my best assessment of matters such as subjective hurt and the like,” he added.

In response to concerns by Mr Palmer’s lawyer that his client was not vaccinated, Justice Lee said he would not deny anyone access to his courtroom because of their vaccination status.

Justice Lee also refused a request by Mr McGowan and WA Attorney-General John Quigley to give evidence remotely.

Instead he agreed to delay their evidence until later this month to ensure they won’t miss parliamentary sittings while self-isolating for seven days when they return to WA.

In giving his decision Justice Lee said the case involved a “high profile businessman and one time (and aspiring) politician” suing a head of government.

But “if the claimant witnesses were butchers, bakers or candlestick makers (on the unrealistic premise they could afford defamation proceedings)” he would have the view it would be best their evidence be given in person.

“There is nothing about the identity of the present proposed witnesses that means a different course should be adopted,” he added.

“I consider I have a better prospect of understanding the subtleties and nuances of the sort of evidence to be given in the present case, if it is given in person.”

The trial will run for up to four days from Monday this week – with Mr Palmer expected to testify – before recommencing on Saturday, February 26.

Background to the case includes claims relating to the circumstances surrounding WA legislation which prevented Mr Palmer and his company Mineralogy from suing the state for billions of dollars.

Mr Palmer in October lost a separate High Court battle with WA over the legislation preventing him and his company Mineralogy from suing the state.

He was seeking up to $30 billion from WA taxpayers, claiming legislation – introduced by the McGowan Labor government and hastily passed with opposition support – is unconstitutional.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

Kennedy Center honours George Clooney, U2

At a reception for this year’s Kennedy Center Honours, President Joe Biden has praised the …

%d bloggers like this: