Finkelstein J

Archibald Interrupted

It's not every day that one of the country's leading silks is interrupted during argument by a member of the public. In this astonishing transcript, forwarded by a colleague, a woman who identifies herself as 'Slavica Zegarac' bursts into Court demanding to be heard. Finkelstein J, to his Honour's credit, grants her the benefit of the doubt -- proving that, for better or worse, a courtroom is a public place. In the ensuing minutes before her inevitable escort from the building, his Honour's responses -- and Mr Archibald's interjections -- prove hilarious. (The highlight is probably Finkelstein J's description of the case, a multimillion dollar access dispute over mining railways in the Pilbara region, as: "Well, it's about trains. Trains.") More after the jump.

MR ARCHIBALD: In June of this year, a joint venture was announced between BC Iron and Fortescue. It’s not otherwise in the evidence, but I will provide to the tribunal a copy of the June quarterly report, published by BC Iron June 2009. And on the front page of that, the first item under Highlights. —

MS ZEGARAC: Excuse me, your Honours, this is my case so I would like to speak as well.

HIS HONOUR: Sorry?

MS ZEGARAC: This is my case.

HIS HONOUR: This particular case?

MS ZEGARAC: Yes, this particular case is - - -

HIS HONOUR: Don’t think it is.

MS ZEGARAC: - - - my case my case.

HIS HONOUR: Okay. Well, you just sit you just sit down at the back and have a listen.

MS ZEGARAC: No, I would like to speak as well. It’s my case.

HIS HONOUR: You can speak later on.

MS ZEGARAC: No, during the hearing I want to speak and I want all of these documents discovery of all of these documents. It’s my case. My name is Slavica Zegarac. It’s my case.

HIS HONOUR: I think you might be in the wrong courtroom.

MS ZEGARAC: No, I’m not. Are you Finkelstein J?

HIS HONOUR: Yes, that’s me.

MS ZEGARAC: Yes, that’s my case.

HIS HONOUR: I should have said no.

MS ZEGARAC: That’s my case.

MR ARCHIBALD: It would have been the correct answer.

MS ZEGARAC: I have tried to tell the gentleman but - - -

HIS HONOUR: This one here?

MS ZEGARAC: - - - but he saw me and ignored me, so he didn’t want to come to talk to me. I’m sorry, this is my case.

HIS HONOUR: Yes. Well, you might think it’s your case, but - - -

MS ZEGARAC: No, no, it is my case.

HIS HONOUR: - - - but but I know, but it’s not really.

MS ZEGARAC: I’m sorry, it’s my case.

HIS HONOUR: Yes.

MS ZEGARAC: It’s my cases.

HIS HONOUR: More than one?  Read more »

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Citation: Application by Fortescue Metal Group Ltd & Ors [2008] ACT 5 (Unreported, Finkelstein J, 30 September 2009)
Source: see attachment
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