8. Advice is just advice - what the lawyers knew about Robodebt

The Westminster Tradition

01-07-2023 • 29 mins

In this episode, Caroline takes us through the many different ways in which lawyers in the Commonwealth Government knew that Robodebt was illegal well before the Federal Court settlement in late 2019.
You might not remember who wrote the constitutional law text book, but you would remember going to a conference where an eminent KC dismantles your program point by point.
Danielle's deep loathing of ritual data collection proves sensible when we discuss the work that DHS lawyers did in reviewing AAT decisions.
Meanwhile, Alison's blood boils as we hear 'advice is just advice', and we learn how the Government was in possession of legal advice declaring Robodebt unlawful from mid 2018 and did nothing.

This podcast was recorded on Kaurna land, and we recognise Kaurna elders past and present. Always was, always will be.

Intro grab features Ms Annette Musolino, 1 March 2023

Now for some appropriately bureaucratic disclaimers....

Those of us in the employ of the State Government speak in a strictly personal capacity, consistent with the Public Sector Code of Ethics that permits public servants to promote an outcome in relation to an issue of public interest - in this case, the betterment of the public service.

Nothing we say should be taken as representing the views of the Government or our employers.

While we have tried to be as thorough in our research as busy full time jobs and lives allow, we definitely don’t guarantee that we’ve got all the details right.

If you want rigorous reporting on Robodebt, we recommend the work of Rick Morton at the Saturday Paper, Chris Knaus and Luke Henriques-Gomes at the Guardian, Ben Eltham at Crikey, Julian Bajkowski at The Mandarin, and of course, the Robodebt Royal Commission itself.

Please feel free to email us corrections, episode suggestions, or anything else, at thewestminstertraditionpod@gmail.com.

Thanks to PanPot audio for our intro and outro music.

'Til next time!

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