Shane Dowling is the judge of the Kangaroo Court of Australia.
And while the term is a humourous take on the removal of justice from the courtroom, there remains little doubt Mr Dowling is dealing with a very serious matter. The 44-year-old has established a popular ‘WikiLeaks-style’ website uncovering the corrupt conduct of Australian judges, magistrates and politicians.
“It’s an area that’s just gone unreported and nothing has ever been done,” Mr Dowling says. “Nothing has ever really been done in relation to the judicial system.
“You see an odd story from time to time, but the purpose of the website is to collate it all. It’s not until you collate it all, then you can see story after story after story that we’ve got a major problem here.”
Having initiated the concept in January last year after an “unlawful termination” experience with Fairfax Media, the Bondi resident has set his sights on numerous high-profile targets. The hit list includes Julia Gillard, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and Kerry Stokes, among a range of reputable figures.
“My most popular posting is Julia Gillard and her hypocrisy with WikiLeaks,” Mr Dowling says. “She has been accused or alleged that she helped rip off the AWU Union back in the early 1990s, when she was a lawyer at Slater and Gordon. She helped her boyfriend Bruce Wilson do it.
“So in 2007, [Gillard] has complained about how very stressful it was for her to be falsely accused in the media. In 2010, she has done exactly that to Julian Assange. That’s been by far the most popular post.”
Mr Dowling hopes to use Kangaroo Court to instigate change in the Australian judicial system, and is driving towards the adoption of an independent body appointing judges and magistrates. He outlines there is a “two-fold” problem at the moment.
“There is no independent body to make complaints against judicial officers, with the exception of NSW,” he says. “There’s nothing … nothing federally.
“The other biggest problem is that there is no independent body for the appointment of judges or magistrates, so they all appoint their own mates … their own boys and girls, whether it is the Liberal party or Labor party. Once they’re in, they appoint their own friends.”
Despite common threats of defamation lawsuits from Mr Dowling’s opponents – many of whom are well connected – he remains unfazed at the prospect. He says many “will try it on” in relation to defamation.
“None of them come anywhere near me because they know they can’t,” he says. “One exception was I did a post on Kerry Stokes.
“He had his lawyers send me a threatening letter. He had no legal basis to send it and I knew it, so I did another post with the lawyers letter and the picture of the lawyer, and basically told them to get lost. I never heard from them again.”
With almost 1,700 email subscribers to his website, Mr Dowling hopes to increase the number to 10,000 by the end of 2013. Hopping along.
Visit Mr Dowling’s website at kangaroocourtofaustralia.com