Friday, April 30, 2010

CLERP article and a review from the vault

I recently submitted an article to my friends at the Alternative Law Journal entitled “The first ten years of CLERP: the codification of the Business Judgment Rule and other catastrophes in Corporate Australia’s lost decade”.

The article itself is a detailed and masterful critique of failed government policy but the stoush I had with the editor who tried to trim back the 176 page conclusion reminded me of a previous battle I’d had with the shadowy figures behind this publication.

In 2007 I had a lucrative beneficial interest in the release of a musical compact disc by an intrepid group of Sydney musicians trading as the Vexatious Litigants. Their album was met with almost universal acclaim: Ian “Molly” Meldrum described it as “the best jurisprudential jam since L.A.W by Dr Dre”, with the notable exception of a hatchet piece by my many enemies at the Alternative Law Journal. This review included such slanderous remarks as:

“There is much mystery around the formation and foundations of the band. They claim to be merely a hip hop unit made up of four University of New South Wales students (being two vocalists, a DJ and a percussionist/cellist) who decided to form a band after ‘years of attending gigs and not attending class’. But rumours abound that they have had their ’props‘ (hip hop term for credentials) established through the strong physical and financial support of the legendary Bullstrode Whitelocke KC — a barrister, politician, and philanthropist who is supposedly the enigmatic backer for the band.”

This line certainly did me no favours with my old sparring partners at the Australian Tax Office! Even worse was to come with the final kick in the teeth being this:

“The only real letdown was having to sit through the final track on the CD/EP, ‘The leper on the doorstep of equity’ a 19 minute lecture on the differences between ‘Notices to Perform’ and ‘Notices to Complete’, which reeks of a desperate clamber for mainstream acceptance by the legal fraternity. To me, this goes against the spirit of the rest of the CD, as the opening lines of the first track state: ‘Better shout out cos I’m the lawyer your mum warned you about, I push the boundaries of reasonable doubt, I never cite cases from the authorised reports, I ignore the compensatory nature of damages in torts’.”

I found this remark particularly disappointing as dealing with the difference between “notices to complete” and “notices to perform” in popular music has been taboo for far too long. Mainstream media criticism of artists brave enough to confront this issue has probably set back the movement any number of years. In fact, I can’t think of a single song or moving picture film since this review which has dealt with this important distinction.

The Full Text of this scandalous review can be found at:

I continue to reserve my rights but look forward to the publication of CLERP article in the next edition of Alternative Law Journal.

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