Penalty/'remedy' for the Catch the Fire Ministries case
Following the decision handed down by Judge Higgins in December 2004 on the Catch the Fire vilification case, a 'remedy' hearing was held in May 2005 to see what remedies or 'penalties' might be imposed.
The 'remedy' decision was handed down on 22 June 2005.
4 May 2005: Penalty hearing - on proposed remedies
A FULL report on the penalty hearing is available. Pastor Scot was put on the witness stand in an attempt to find out if he would continue to say the same things in the future - it makes interesting reading!
22 June 2005 - Penalty handed down in Catch the Fire Ministries religious vilification case
Judge Higgins announced the 'remedy' or 'penalty' at a hearing in the Victorian and Civil and Administrative Tribunal at 10 am on Wednesday 22 June 2005.
Judge Higgins basically endorsed all the requests made by the Islamic Council of Victoria at the penalty hearing on 2-3 May with the exception that he did not order that a link be placed on the Catch the Fire Ministries website to direct people to the Islamic Council of Victoria - so that visitors to the CTFM website could obtain the ICV's descriptions of Islam and their view of the complaint!
The full Reasons and Orders of the Tribunal as well as the 'Annexure' or statement that the Tribunal is asking the pastors to publish as described in summary below are available from the Austlii website:
Also available on our website: Remedy Decision from VCAT - 22 June 2005 - Islamic Council of Victoria v CTFM
Judge Higgins ordered ...
* That the statement be placed on the Catch the Fire Ministries website by 31 August and be maintained there for a period of 12 months.
* That the same statement be placed in advertisements in The Age and the Herald Sun on a Saturday and a Monday over TWO consecutive weeks by 31 August.
* That within 30 days the respondents make an undertaking to the Tribunal that they will not make, publish or distribute in Victoria any statements or information that have the same or similar effect as those found by the tribunal to have breached the Act.
Judge Higgins noted, in his statement before reading his 'Orders', that the complainants had submitted that if an undertaking was not given then Judge Higgins should grant an injunction to stop such comments being made. Judge Higgins said it had been noted during the penalty hearing that an undertaking was not offered at that time.
Then Judge Higgins said "I have given this matter careful thought and I have determined that I propose to give the respondents an opportunity to re-think their position, given the findings of the Tribunal and, should they indicate upon reflection that they will not give the undertakings, then it will be necessary for further orders to be made."
Judge Higgins then made the same order applicable to all other States and territories in Victoria.
* Judge Higgins made a order releasing the parties and their lawyers from 'the usual implied undertaking' not to use evidence and documents from the case.