Adani has been pretty quiet after the publication of a leaked memo from its newly hired law firm AJ & Co, named for its founder and managing partner, Andrew Johnson. AJ promised to act as an “attack dog” to silence opponents and sue them into bankruptcy, something Adani is already attempting in the case of indigenous leader Adrian Burragubba (I understand that funds have been raised to ensure that this doesn’t happen).

This is what is known= as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and is illegal in many US jurisdictions though not (AFAICT) in Australia. The Environmental Defender’s Office, one of the targets of Adani/AJ action, has a useful guide. This kind of thing used to be covered by the common law offence of barratry (Dante consigned barrators to the Eighth Circle of Hell), but this offence has either been abolished or fallen into disuse.

This and other actions by Adani seem to have finally pushed the Labor Party off the fence. A minority (including the CFMMEU, its longtime enemy Joe Ludwig and Townsville local member Cathy O’Toole) have come out in support of Adani, but the majority correctly see Adani as an enemy to be resisted and defeated.

The right remedy here is political rather than (primarily) legal. Adani and AJ have declared war on the environment and anyone who wants to save it, and should expect no quarter in return. Hopefully, they will suffer the same fate as the most famous (until now) exponent of the SLAPP suit, Gunns in Tasmania and its chairman John Gay.

12 thoughts on “SLAPP

  1. This comment applies to 3 of the last 4 and more OP’s.

    Scandal Sunglasses. And the more expensive “Entitled To Mine” (pun internded) Sunglasses.
    “They are arguably a “force for evil”, purveyors of “immoral profit strategies”.
    One professor has suggested the only way to fix them is to bulldoze them.
    Amorality as a ticket to …”
    Scandal / Slapp preparedness;
    “In short, business school courses serve as rites of passage — shaping the values, commitments, habits and mores of aspiring leaders. Let me be clear. I am not saying they should. I am saying that they already do. The questions are: how mindfully? How skillfully? On whose behalf?”
    2 types of Scandal SLAPP Sunglasses.

    The above articles triggered me to see a vision of Zaphod Beeblebrox – not to see peril ala:
    “The Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses have been designed to help people develop a relaxed attitude to danger. They follow the principle “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” and turn completely dark and opaque at the first sign of danger. This prevents you from seeing anything that might alarm you.”

    I suspect the  “business school courses serve as rites of passage” sunnies, and the more expensive “entitled to mine” sunglasses have the rare feature of psycic exudations attracting attack dogs leading to SLAPP’s.

  2. From the link, Charis Chang, January 4, 2019 – “…However, legal action challenging the registration of the land use agreement was dismissed on August 17, 2018.

    The decision was delivered after the Federal Government passed legislation to override a separate Federal Court ruling that all members of a native title group had to approve of an agreement for it to be valid.

    The law change was important for Adani because its agreement did not get approval from all 12 families represented. The decision was delivered after the Federal Government passed legislation to override a separate Federal Court ruling that all members of a native title group had to approve of an agreement for it to be valid.”

    Yes, a rather memorable event that rapid overiding of a momentous Federal Court decision made on a WA case. Brandis’ reflexive law fix was happily rushed through with 100% backing from the mining/pastoral owned/controlled Shorten ALP; another exceedingly low duopoly act in the history of native title.

    I doubt dodgy Adani has ever come up against a force and determination like that of Adrian and friends. The AJ&Co suits would want to be getting payment in advance from Adani…

  3. There is always the alternative of not making outlandish claims about whatever Greenpeace is opposing. The case should be strong enough.

  4. Further re Adani, sham duopoly native titles, other dogs, and their dogged opponents: Adrian Burragubba et al…
    http ://
    http ://
    https ://
    http ://

  5. “This and other actions by Adani seem to have finally pushed the Labor Party off the fence.”

    Which “Labor” that is depends on the day of the week, the wind direction and the perceived gullibility of the audience.

    Qld Labor has always been all for it in reality.

    “Bill Shorten signalled publicly, and privately to environmental activists at the start of 2018, that federal Labor was looking to toughen its position against the controversial project. ….
    Shorten pulled back from those public signals of equivocation after encountering internal opposition to toughening up the position on Adani, with some colleagues concerned about the implications for sovereign risk, and also the electoral fallout in central Queensland.”

    Tony Burke today [24/2/19 – tomorrow he may say something different for all we know] says Labor won’t pre-judge Adani.

  6. From the “Podesta Emails” leak:

    *Clinton: “But If Everybody’s Watching, You Know, All Of The Back Room Discussions And The Deals, You Know, Then People Get A Little Nervous, To Say The Least. So, You Need Both A Public And A Private Position.”
    * CLINTON: You just have to sort of figure out how to — getting back to that word, “balance” — how to balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today.

    Shorten’s Labor is exactly the same.
    Public position is – maybe we’ll do what you want – just vote for us.
    Private position is – No Way We’re doing that, rest assured!

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