Federal Court Judge Steven Rares said in his ruling that to continue the case would be "manifestly unfair" to Mr Slipper who in turn stated that he always believed Mr Ashby's action was "about manipulating the justice system to inflict damage on my reputation and political career".
The case centred around his former adviser James Ashby who had accused him of sexual harassment providing evidence of a series of text messages between the two men, and between Mr Ashby and others.
Far Reaching Significance
But the significance of the case has far reaching implications right across the board, in business, the corporate world, entertainment, the arts, sport, the charity sector, churches, missions ….
Playing 'politics' to gain and advantage and, as it were, to bring charges that impute an expression of doubt upon someone's character and or practise in their activities, this court decision has determined that such an action is in itself, political, and moreover, in this case, the judgement named names.
There are countless such actions taken against colleagues and associates from the corporate board room, to the business situation, in the arts world, in every field of endeavour, including churches and missions, and these were cited in a recent Christian Today article spelling out 'political bastardy'. (au.christiantoday.com)
A case is being bought against James Ashby and his lawyer for full costs. It is also noted that Judge Rares' decision is under appeal. (www.smh.com.au)
Judgement important for Churches and Missions
The judgement reveals that playing the political card in actions against someone, even though all the right processes are engaged, along with the various authorities to ensure the protocols were correct and actionable, yet in spite of all that - the primary judgement swings the sword against the 'political' ploy.
Reverend Dr Rowland Croucher has been dealing for 30 years with ministers and mission leaders who have been "attacked politically". He has 23,000 hours of clinical pastoral care and counselling and his John Mark Ministries web sites case after case of such heartache and despair. (jmm.org.au)
Should anyone play political games in such situations today, there is every indication that now, the person attacked can counter claim, win, and have their opponents, hitherto the 'faceless men', named.
The Christian Today articles sites: The heartache and anguish that accompany such false and misleading accusations are legion. Dr Croucher recently noted that for decades Pastors and Mission leaders took all this, saying very little, suffering in silence while their reputations were thrashed in the ecclesiastical swill.
Again, Dr Croucher says, that today, "a very different story is emerging where it's no longer being tolerated. A type of reverse 'political correctness' is coming to the fore where bad behaviour is no longer tolerated. There will come a time that false and misleading accusations will head toward litigious outcomes. It will not be pretty."
No truer words were spoken by Federal Court Judge Steven Rare. It was not pretty. It is not dissimilar to what cyclist Bradley McGee said about drug cheats and how they "stole rightful honours and Olympic berths". (au.christiantoday.com)
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html