My Bag

Your bag is currently empty.

Chapter Six

Absent Justice - Legal or Illegal

A kangaroo court is a judicial tribunal or assembly that blatantly disregards recognized standards of law or justice and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides. The term may also apply to a court held by a legitimate judicial authority who intentionally disregards the court's legal or ethical obligations.

A kangaroo court is often held to give the appearance of a fair and just trial, even though the verdict has in reality already been decided before the trial has begun. This could be because of the biases of the decision-maker or because the structure and operation of the forum result in an inferior brand of adjudication. A common example of this is when institutional disputants ("repeat players") have excessive and unfair structural advantages over individual disputants ("one-shot players"). This was exactly what Julian Assange and his hacker maters were trying to warn us COT cases about. 

The statement made on is often held to give the appearance of a fair and just trial, even though the verdict has in reality already been decided before the trial has begun",  is exactly what happened during the various Casualties of Telstra (COT for short) arbitrations, i.e. the arbitrator and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) collaborated with the defendants (Telstra) to use their proposed rules of arbitration instead of the agreed rules that were supposed to have been drafted independently. Out story shows not only did the arbitrator write to the TIO on 12 May 1995 (see Open Letter File No 55-A) telling him the arbitration agreement was not a credible document to be used, he used it regardless of this advice and then concealed this written advice from the COT Cases during their designated appeal period.


Authors Note - July 2021

A newspaper article by journalist Cydonee Mardon, published in the Australian Herald Sun newspaper on 19 June 2021, discusses the frustration and anger felt by retired Detective Frank Sanvitale because he failed to solve a murder that took place some 51 years ago and explains how he still cannot get the memory of that crime out of his mind. 

Now, however, he believes that the fresh evidence he has just uncovered might, at last, reveal the truth.

While my story, on, and the fresh evidence I have disclosed on it is not about to solve a cold case murder, it does demonstrate how both an official arbitrator and the equally official administrator of several government-endorsed arbitrations, back in the mid-1990s, knowingly lied to and deliberately misled a group of Australian small-business owners who were legitimate claimants against the then-government-owned Australian Telecommunications carrier, Telstra, so that we all believed that we were signing an official agreement that had been drafted completely independently of Telstra [the defendants in the process] when, in fact, as it was later discovered, it had been drafted by Telstra’s own lawyers, who were, astonishingly, also Telstra’s defence lawyers assigned to the same government-endorsed arbitrations!  It is also interesting to note that, since then, that arbitrator and that administrator are recipients of the Orders of Australia.

Since the end of our disastrous arbitrations, we, the claimants, have found other information that shows how way back the arbitration project manager John Rundell on 18 April 1995, advising the same arbitrator (Dr Gordon Hughes) the same administrator (Warwick Smith), as well as the legal counsel to the process that:

“It is unfortunate that there have been forces at work collectively beyond our reasonable control that have delayed us in undertaking our work.” (See Prologue Evidence File No 22-A).

The four COT claimants to the first of many arbitrations which followed, Ann Garms, Maureen Gillan, Graham Schorer and I were never told about these “forces at work”, nor were we ever warned that, under the nose of the same administrator, the administrator’s legal advisor and the same illusive arbitrator, that these unnamed “forces at work” were allowed to infiltrate and manipulate the arbitration process to the detriment of the four claimants.

In this 18 April 1995, letter John Rundell advised the TIO (see Arbitrator File No/17) that the Director of the Canada technical consultancy firm which was appointed by the administrator as the Principal technical consultant who was to take charge of the arbitration technical side of the operation arrived in Australia on 13 April 1995. He worked over the Easter Holiday period, particularly on the Smith claim (My Claim) where John Rundell's true colours were exposed when he stated on page 2 of this letter that:  "Any technical report prepared in draft by Lanes (Ex-Telstra technician) will be signed off and appear on the letterhead of DMR Group Inc [the Canadian technical consultancy the four COT Cases had officially agreed would be used].

The COT cases were fully aware of Telstra’s corporate power over most of the Technical Telecommunication Consultants in Australia.  Our research showed that DMR Group Inc (Canada) was possibly the only offshore organization that would handle our matters independently.  

 Warwick Smith’s 9 March 1995 letter to the four COT Cases Introduction File No/1-A to 1-G shows we were promised DMR Inc. Canada would be the principal Consultant

All the draft Lane technical findings, shown in their report of 6 April 1995, were prepared seven days before Paul Howell of DMR Inc Canada arrived in Australia on 13 April 1995. The same findings in that 6 April 1995 draft were used in the DMR and Lane final report of 30 April 1995 which was used by the arbitrator to determine his technical findings on my case. I was given only five days to respond to this 30 April 1995 DMR & Lane report that exhibit [download|58] shows were still incomplete. 

The deception and collusion continues 

On 12 May 1995 (see Open Letter File No 55-A), wrote to advise the administrator but did not copy the letter to the Special Legal Counsel of the arbitrations that the agreement should never have been used in my arbitration, noting:

"the time frames set in the original Arbitration Agreement were, with the benefit of hindsight optimistic”;
we did not allow sufficient time in the Arbitration Agreement for inevitable delays associated with the productions of documents, obtaining further particulars and the preparation of technical reports.

There are some other procedural difficulties which revealed themselves during the Smith arbitration and which I would like to discuss with you when I return".

Why didn't the arbitrator copy this letter to the Special Legal Counsel of the process? Had it been copied to the Special Legal Counsel to the process he would have been duty-bound to have officially advised me during my designated appeal period that my arbitration agreement had been found to have contained many deficiencies in the process, A process that cost me well over $200.000.00 in professional and legal fees in which to participate in. 

The advice and trickery exposed in John Rundell's letter of 18 April 1995 ” (See Prologue Evidence File No 22-A), should also have been provided to me during my designated arbitration appeal period, it was not. That advice and the advice in Dr Hughes letter of 12 May 1995 letter damning the whole arbitration agreement as not a credible document to have used in my arbitration was never released to me until 2002 (Seven Years Later) after the statute of limitations had expired.

Had an appeal judge seen this damning information they would have had to have given grounds for an appeal.

Furthermore, almost all the officials involved in these matters are now claiming that our arbitration matters can never be reopened because of a confidentiality clause in the original agreement but, perhaps deliberately, it seems that all those parties have somehow managed to miss the fact that the confidentiality clause was attached to an agreement that had been, illegally, drafted by Telstra’s own defence lawyers as well as being attached to a different agreement to the one the government and claimants thought was being signed. In simple terms, the arbitration was not conducted under the agreed ambit of the arbitration procedure as the following official advice given to the government shows. 

On 26 September 1997, after most of the arbitration's were concluded, the second appointed administrator to the COT arbitrations, John Pinnock, officially advised a Senate Committee (see page 99 COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA – Parliament of Australia) that:

“Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, the arbitrator had no control over that process, because it was a process conducted entirely outside the ambit of the arbitration procedures.”

Even though this official Senate Hansard record shows our arbitrations were not conducted under the agreed ambit of the arbitration procedures, no one in government dares to find against Dr Gordon Hughes (the arbitrator) or Warwick Smith (the administrator of the arbitrations).

If using this grossly deficient arbitration agreement which the arbitrator, himself, condemned as not a credible document (to have used in my arbitration) but he used it regardless of this knowledge wasn’t the worst type of despicable conduct by an arbitrator, then what is?

Was there a more sinister reason why Telstra accepted Dr Hughes as the COT arbitrator? The following Exhibit GS 565 file GS-CAV 459 to 489 suggests this might have been the case. 

This letter dated 19 May 1995, is from Robyn Waters (on behalf of Telstra’s arbitration liaison officer Steve Black) to AUSTEL see Exhibit 3 - held in government archives discusses that a later document would be provided to the government regarding Telstra’s legal liability and the arbitrator’s comments on my arbitration process.

A second damning letter, dated 24 May 1995, from Warwick Smith (the administrator) to Telstra’s Steve Black see Exhibit 4 - Held in TIO archives  also discusses the arbitrator’s decision and the reconciliation of the arbitrator’s comments on Telstra’s legal liability regarding my claims (i.e., my claims of ongoing billing problems that were still affecting the viability of my business).

When we consider the following letter of 18 of April 1995 (See Prologue Evidence File No 22-A),  which shows there were "forces at work" that had derailed the arbitration process, Dr Hughes' letter (see Open Letter File No 55-A), that condemned the arbitration agreement used by the arbitrator as not a credible document to have used and the statement made in the 24 May 1995 letter from the administrator to Telstra (who after all were the defendants in my arbitration), stating: “Other matters relating to liability will be dealt with separately. Dr Hughes is in his office from 30 May 1995,” it becomes obvious my arbitration was certainly not conducted transparently. For, Telstra to meet with Dr Hughes (the arbitrator) secretly in his office to discuss issues concerning liability that could have been relevant for me to secure an appeal. These four letters show that justice was denied during my arbitration, as well as after my arbitration.

Telecom Secret

Even worse, a Telstra document which I pleaded with the arbitrator to address in my arbitration on 4 and 5 May 1995 (See  Arbitrator False Evidence File 1 ), but he refused point-blank in his letter to do so because it was too late in the arbitration to address headed TELECOM SECRET see Home Page Part Two Evidence File No/8  which states:

“Legal position – Mr Smith’s service problems were network related and spanned a period of 3-4 years. Hence Telecom’s position of legal liability was covered by several different acts and regulations. … In my opinion Alan Smith’s case was not a good one to test Section 8 for any previous immunities – given his evidence and claims. I do not believe it would be in Telecom’s interest to have this case go to court.

“Overall, Mr Smith’s telephone service had suffered from a poor grade of network performance over a period of several years; with some difficulty to detect exchange problems in the last 8 months.”

In simple terms, the arbitrator and his followers thought it was best to address Telstra’s legal liabilities outside of the arbitration process with the defendants in secret and not in the process; the government ministers who supported my arbitration were told it would be.

All of this means that I find myself in a similar position to the now-retired Detective Frank Sanvitale: I cannot let go of this injustice until these injustices bestowed upon the COT Cases are resolved, hence my attempt to balance the books by exposing all on this website.  

It was also important to link here the purchase by Ericsson of the COT arbitration technical unit Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd with the bribery and corruption charges lade against Ericsson by the US Department of Justice on 19 December 2019 (see Channel Newswhich notes:

"One of Telstra's key partners in the building out of their 5G network in Australia is set to fork out over $1.4 billion after the US Department of Justice accused them of bribery and corruption on a massive scale and over a long period of time.

Sweden's telecoms giant Ericsson has agreed to pay more than $1.4 billion following an extensive investigation which saw the Telstra-linked Company 'admitting to a years-long campaign of corruption in five countries to solidify its grip on telecommunications business"

The US Department of Justice has accused Ericsson of bribery and corruption. Ericsson is the same company whose telecommunication equipment was under investigation by the COT arbitrator. And, as for bribery in the case against Telstra, Senate Privilege Hansard dated 27 February 1998 shows Telstra paid kickbacks and bribes to a number of Australian politicians and government bureaucrats.

It is also important we use the Ericsson link as part of my ongoing attempt to have the Australian government impartially investigate my claims against Telstra and whether Ericsson should have been allowed to purchase Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd during the period John Rundell (see the Authors Note above) allowed Lane to carry out their investigations into my arbitration claim documents and not DMR Group Inc Canada Inc who was officially appointed as the Principal technical consultants.

In John Rundell's 18 April 1995, letter above he advised the TIO (see Arbitrator File No/17) that the Director of the Canada technical consultancy firm was officially appointed by the TIO as the Principal technical consultant. It is the statement made by John Rundell in this letter that: "Any technical report prepared in draft by Lanes will be signed off and appear of the Letterhead of DMR Group Inc.", is of most concern because as it turned out, the DMR letterhead was just added to the draft finding prepared by Lane two weeks before DMR arrived in Australia. 

None of the important Ericsson and billing claim documents submitted by me into arbitration including Home-Page File No/64) and Evidence File No/10-A to 10-f was assessed or commented on by Lane Telecommunications in their draft findings which were then provided to DMR Inc (Canada) and the arbitrator. 

On 26 September 1997, thirty-six months 36 months after the conclusion of my arbitration, the second appointed administrator to the COT arbitrations, John Pinnock, officially advised a Senate Committee see page 96 COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA – Parliament of Australia) that:

"Lane Telecommunications, which is one part of the technical component of the resource unit, has withdrawn from the process as a result of a conflict or perceived conflict of interest after being purchased from Pacific Star by Ericsson Australia, the major supplier of equipment to Telstra, including equipment whose performance is central to some of the claims".

I believe the Australian government should answer the following questions:

  1. How long was Lane Telecommunications in contact with Ericsson, the major supplier of telecommunication equipment to Telstra before Ericsson purchased Lanes? 
  2. Is there a link between Lanes ignoring my Ericsson AXE claim documents and the purchase of Lanes by Ericsson during the COT arbitration process?

Australia must be the only country in the Western world that allows a witness (Lane Telecommunications was a witness to what the COT claimants and arbitrator had uncovered against Ericsson and their faulty installed telephone equipment during the COT arbitrations) to be purchased by the very same company under investigation by the arbitrator and the Australian government (refer to 26 September 1997 Senate Evidence File Senate Evidence File No/61)


On 3 August 2016, Karina Barrymore, a journalist at the Melbourne Herald Sun newspaper, had an article published in relation to her thoughts about whistle-blowers in general. If the government had truly listened to the COT whistle-blowers in 1995 and 1996, mainly in relation to the telephone faults that were supposed to have been fixed during their government-endorsed Telstra arbitrations, perhaps the long-running NBN blowout would not have gone billions of dollars over budget. Ms Barrymore, on the other hand, tells it the way it really is when she writes:

“Dobber, Snitch, Rat, Squealer. It’s insightful how the words used to describe a whistleblower are so negative. 

Yet being honest and speaking the truth is supposed to be a cornerstone of our society—a cornerstone of our families, communities, corporate world and government.

So why aren’t we applauding and raising up these people, instead of shutting them down and ruining their lives.

These ‘truth tellers’ are shunned and rejected. Telling the truth often means they lose their jobs, their reputations are deliberately trashed, their finances suffer, their mental health fails, and all these factors flow on to damage their family, social and professional relationships.

The whistleblowers have done their job, spoken the truth, suffered the consequences, lived the hardship and financial burden. But our corporate leaders, our regulators, our governments have not done their job.”

Ms Barrymore’s comment that our corporate leaders, our regulators, and our governments have not done their job is exactly on target. The Australian Establishment, which includes ex-government ministers and regulators, are all aware that the arbitrator at the first four COT arbitrations, together with the administrator of those same arbitrations, both secretly allowed Freehill Hollingdale & Page (Telstra’s arbitration lawyers) to draft the original COT arbitration agreement when it was supposed to be drafted by an agreed, independent and impartial party. Why didn’t the arbitrator immediately withdraw this Telstra-drafted arbitration agreement as soon as he had officially advised the administrator of the arbitrations that it was not a credible document to have used in my arbitration because of the many deficiencies in the agreement (refer  Open Letter File No 55-A )?

Are the security issues uncovered in the lead-up to the signing of our government-endorsed arbitrations related more to protecting the gravy train these bureaucrats have been on for decades rather than recording the real truth? Is ignoring my ongoing telephone problems during my arbitration a situation that is more related to the bureaucrats wanting to keep these problems covered up so they won’t be exposed as a national network problem and therefore a decision made by the Establishment instead of the arbitrator


Next Page ⟶
Absent Justice Ebook

Read Alan’s new book
‘Absent Justice’

In Alan Smith’s new book he shows us the twisting path of government arbitration,
the ways it can go wrong and how to make sure it doesn’t go wrong for you...

Buy Now

All of the main events as quoted in this unbelievable true crime story are supported by copies of the original freedom of Information documents linked in the text.

Clicking on these links with your cursor will automatically open a PDF of the exhibit/evidence that a crime was committed. Using this method and following the various file numbers discussed in our various pages, you will verify our story. Without those documents, most people would really struggle to believe that public officials and their lawyers committed the illegal offences they did.

Using the acquired evidence the way we have is possibly a world first.


Quote Icon

“A number of people seem to be experiencing some or all of the problems which you have outlined to me. …

“I trust that your meeting tomorrow with Senators Alston and Boswell is a profitable one.”

Hon David Hawker MP

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“…the very large number of persons that had been forced into an arbitration process and have been obliged to settle as a result of the sheer weight that Telstra has brought to bear on them as a consequence where they have faced financial ruin if they did not settle…”

Senator Carr

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

The Hon David Hawker MP

“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

– Edmund Burke