THE Bar is threatening to end the legal career of former National Crime Authority chairman Peter Faris QC because he wrote articles about drug-using lawyers.
* Interesting, isn’t it? Here’s a guy who exposes rampant drug abuse in the legal profession and the legal profession wants to burn him at the stakes instead of taking a long hard look at themselves.
The Australian newspaper says Mr Faris faces possible disbarment after linking the drug-related death of Melbourne silk Peter Hayes to a wider problem of cocaine use in Victoria’s legal profession.
The assertions of cocaine use within the profession have been confirmed by disgraced former solicitor Andrew Fraser, who says he witnessed widespread drug use.
Mr Faris told The Australian yesterday he had done done nothing wrong and accused the Bar of misusing its regulatory powers to intimidate a critic.
“I am a member of the Victorian Bar but I am also a journalist and media commentator,” Mr Faris said.
“I have exercised my right of free speech. This is an attempt to get rid of me by possible disbarment if they can establish it.”
But Bar Council chairman Peter Riordan SC was quoted as saying if Mr Faris has not broken the Legal Profession Act, he has nothing to fear and should give any evidence of lawyers taking drugs to the committee so it can take appropriate action.