Old 22nd Mar 2014, 01:18
  #11598 (permalink)  
RJM
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Orstralia
Posts: 295
Speaking of getting away with it...

Adelaide Advertiser, Dec 9, 2013

HIT-RUN lawyer Eugene McGee lunched with friends yesterday as Attorney-General John Rau closed the final avenue of justice his victim's family sought.

Mr Rau said he would not refer the 2003 incident, in which McGee hit and killed cyclist Ian Humphrey, to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal for further action.

McGee hit and killed Mr Humphrey on Kapunda Rd between Kapunda and Gawler, fled the scene and then evaded police and alcohol testing before handing himself in hours later. He was fined $3100 for driving without due care.

Independent SA senator Nick Xenophon and the State Opposition urged Mr Rau to release the Crown Law advice that formed the basis of his decision.

"How it can be that a lawyer, an officer of the court, could leave a man for dead on the road, leave the scene of an accident and that not be professional misconduct is just staggering," Senator Xenophon, a long-time supporter of Mr Humphrey's widow Di Gilchrist-Humphrey, said.

"Show us the advice, otherwise his opinion and his decision not to act lacks credibility. He has made Eugene McGee's day, but has just prolonged the nightmare for the family of Ian Humphrey."

Opposition justice spokesman Stephen Wade also called for the release of the documents and said Mr Rau could overturn the Board's ruling not to ban Mr McGee from practising.

"Only by releasing the legal advice will the Attorney-General show that he has a genuine commitment to justice in the McGee case," he said.

The Legal Practitioners Conduct Board said this year Mr McGee was not guilty of "infamous" conduct and could continue practising. Its decision prompted calls for the Attorney General to review the ruling. But Mr Rau said Crown legal advice suggested the decision could not be challenged.

"I am not exactly powerless. I could have ignored my legal advice and done something that was illegal or improper. I chose to follow the advice," he said.

"I'm hemmed in by the law and the facts."

He would review the Legal Practitioners Act next year because the McGee case probe revealed shortcomings.

He had not apologised to Ms Gilchrist-Humphrey for the decision. She is expected to respond today.
RJM is offline