A very disgraceful abuse of parliamentary privilege occurred in the Australian Senate in 2002 when a Liberal senator made serious charges against a sitting High Court judge based on a forged document.
Senator Heffernan, in a carefully crafted speech, detailed his allegations for about 15 minutes, without naming the judge, knowing that Senate standing orders meant that he would have to sit down if he named any current member of the judiciary.
But after making his false claims that the judge "regularly trawled for rough trade" at a notorious pick-up spot for male prostitutes, the senator finally named him in the last five words of his speech: "The Honourable Justice Michael Kirby."
An excellent report of the incident and the subsequent apology is available on Channel Nine's web site.
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