Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Life after the Supreme Court

Screen Australia Board
Level 4, 150 William St
NSW 2011                                                                                                               3rd Oct 2012

Dear Members of the Screen Australia Board

Further to my letter of 1st Oct.

Yesterday the Supreme Court of NSW dealt my defamation suit in 10 minutes. No evidence was heard by either side. The presiding judge dismissed my Statement of Claim, not on the merits or lack thereof of my case, but on the grounds that I had not articulated my ‘Pleadings’ and ‘Particulars’ in accordance with the fairly strict rules that apply in the Supreme Court. I am reminded of the saying, “The man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.” C’est la vie!

This particular battle has been won by Screen Australia but I think the victory to be Pyrrhic. My only reason for suing Ruth Harley in the Supreme Court was that I was unable to acquire copies of my ‘intimidating correspondence’ in any other way. Ruth would not provide me with it. The Board (yourselves) would not ask Ruth to give it to me, or identify it and nor would the Ombudsman. And I could not obtain copies of the specific correspondence through FOI.

I find it extraordinary that members of the Board do not find it extraordinary that a filmmaker can be banned, and effectively have his career terminated, on the grounds of intimidating correspondence he has written without the correspondence itself being identified – especially when there is already evidence on file of Fiona Cameron having played fast and loose with the truth vis a vis ‘greenlit’ correspondence. Please read it on my blog and see if you can find evidence of the truth of Fiona’s assertions! And if you can’t, why do you so blithely believe Ruth’s assertions regarding my supposedly ‘intimidating correspondence’?

I no longer expect much in the way of a just resolution from Screen Australia based on facts but I am curious to know what the Board’s reaction is to Mr Nowicki’s ‘concerns’ about my not being allowed to make applications to SA? Does the Board think that I should simply follow Mr Nowicki’s advise, make an application and see what happens? Or does the Board believe that the more appropriate course of action would be for it to either (a) lift the ban on me (in which case an application from me can be made) or (b) vote to retain the ban – in which case there is no point in my making an application with ‘Chanti’s World’ and I may just as well let the broadcaster know that I am not in a position to accept its offer.

I think it inappropriate that I keep the real state of affairs secret from the broadcaster any longer and if the ban has not been lifted by the end of the week I will alert it to the current state of affairs. It may be prepared to wait until the question of the ban is resolved one way or another. On the other hand it may not and I would not blame it for not wanting to get embroiled in a dispute such as this.

best wishes

James Ricketson

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