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Whetting the whistle

To be a successful lawyer, you need to understand the law, but you also need to know how to fight, especially if you are representing clients before the Court. You must be equipped with a sharp mind and quick tongue to defend your clients and stake claim to your case. To be an outstanding lawyer you also need courage, strength and persistence to stand for what is just. This is what separates the good from the truly great.

When you flee a war-torn country and find yourself in a strange and different world, you can engage and involve yourself in your new community, learning and respecting the culture, thereby finding yourself a new home. Or through shyness or fear, you can keep your distance, taking up residence but never truly feeling at home.


As a migrant Serene made a home for herself in Australia. Having come from war, she knows all too well what corruption looks like and understands what fighting is all about, and most importantly, how to defend and how to win. So, it is no surprise that when Serene sees corruption in her new home, she is compelled to act. To act in the best interests of her family, friends, community, and clients.

When decisions are made that debase human rights and depravity and immorality threaten and harm us, it is generally the law we turn to. But when you confront a system that seeks to protect its own, how can you possibly challenge dubious decisions?

This is what Serene has been doing all her career, defending the innocent, protecting them from harm and in some cases, tackling questionable decisions when needed. To a system that seeks to protect its own, it is called “undermining public confidence in the administration of the law” and seemingly punishable by losing your livelihood.

No wonder many operating within that system are compelled to simply abide and assist. The problem is, this is exactly where corruption seeps in. We should have a justice system, not a legal system.

Within hours of filing her Detention Towers class action in the Victorian Supreme Court, Serene found herself the target of a campaign to suspend her livelihood, by the Victorian Legal Services Board (VLSB).

The complaints within this investigation have come from people in this system who Serene has challenged, but it would appear from the weakness of their claims, and their interest in her National Class Action, their real concern may not be her “undermining public confidence in the administration of the law”, but the strength of her National Class Action. It does make you question who is pulling the strings at VLSB doesn’t it?

In response, Serene has informed her clients of the stated intention from the VLSB to attain their details and consequently lodged a complaint to the Victorian Ombudsman, which we are expecting a response from.

Further to this, Serene has instituted whistleblowing complaints against the Victorian Legal Services Board, Queensland Legal Services Commission, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Family Court of Australia, Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police and Queensland Police on her behalf and on behalf of the clients affected.

But in what appears to be an about-face, after numerous clients from the National Class Action complained directly to the VLSB and the Victorian Ombudsman, Serene received a rather contradictory email from the VLSB late yesterday.

It suggests, rather patronisingly, that their notice to Serene did not contain any request for privileged information, but they will withdraw the paragraph that requests privileged information of the barristers’ opinions on the merits of the case. So, in a show of ultimate hypocrisy, they both deny and admit that they requested privileged information.

There is an entire website dedicated to the corruption of the VLSB, by continuing practitioner Peter Mericka:

https://www.petermericka.com.au/fiona-mcleay-victorian-legal-services-commissioner-vlsc/

“A culture of corruption has developed in the office of the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner. In recent years I have had first-hand experience of retribution, lies, harassment and serious criminal conduct involving perjury and the perverting of the course of justice by VLSC investigators and their supervisors. I have also received what I would describe as an ‘incentive’ of $80,000 to keep quiet and move on.” – Peter Mericka

It is comforting to know that there are others operating within the legal system who recognise and challenge corruption within, and retain their practicing license. Thank you, Peter, for your disclosures.

For clients of the National Class Action, it is too little too late. The VLSB has already intimidated and violated the rights of the clients of Advocate Me, the barristers, and the entire firm. The actions of the VLSB will never be excused and the people behind the decision to sanction this witch hunt of Serene, will be exposed.

However, we reassure our clients that we will stand up for them and never give out their information and details to the VLSB, and Advocate Me will always protect your interests. The VLSB will not hijack these cases with their proxy external intervenors.

Yes, there is a battle being waged, and it’s on many fronts, but Serene is no stranger to war and she hides in no trenches. She is a brave and fierce opponent willing to shine a light in the darkest corners, to ensure justice prevails. And while she engages in battle, our job is simply to stand with her. The question is, are you with her? Show her your support by leaving the comment on this blog.




#advocateme #sereneteffaha

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