Monday, February 24, 2020

ASIO chief Mike Burgess warning about spies & academia puts NSW LPAB, its Chairman Tom Bathurst & AG Speakman's Zhu Minshen & Top Group decision in further doubt: Community standards require Chairman ,senior officers of the NSW LPAB to provide explanation

by Ganesh Sahathevan

From Mike Burgess, Director General ASIO:

"We’ve seen visiting scientists and academics ingratiating themselves into university life with the aim of conducting clandestine intelligence collection. This strikes at the very heart of our notions of free and fair academic exchange.

“Espionage and foreign interference are affecting parts of the community that they did not touch during the cold war.
"And the intent is to engineer fundamental shifts in Australia’s position in the world, not just to collect intelligence or use us as a potential ‘back-door’ into our allies and partners,” he said.

These types of threats are well known even if not previously obvious in Australia.
Despite that fact the Chairman of the LPAB, the Chief Justice Of NSW Tom Bathurst ,and the Attorney General of NSW Mark Speakman ,who oversees the NSW LPAB granted and then renewed a "one and only" license to issue  LLBs to Zhu Minshen and his Top Education Group Ltd, despite the adverse publicity (see story below).

The Chief Justice and AG owe the public an explanation. 


Did the Law Council Australia and the NSW LPAB ignore ASIO advice in granting Zhu Minshen the right to grant LLB degrees, and entree into Australia's legal system?

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Hon George Brandis

AAP reported in November 2019:

Retired ASIO chief Duncan Lewis has accused the Chinese government of using 'insidious' foreign interference operations to 'take over' Australia's political system.
Anyone in political office could be a target, the former spy chief told the political journal Quarterly Essay in an interview to be published next week.
Mr Lewis claimed Chinese authorities were trying to 'place themselves in a position of advantage' by in political, social, business and media circles, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday, citing the interview.

Despite that warning, the NSW LPAB renewed Zhu Minshen's  right to grant LLB degrees, and entree into Australia's legal system:

In fact, questions about Zhu Minshen were raised by the former Commonwealth Attorney General George Brandis as early as 2016:

Former AG George Brandis raised questions about Zhu Minshen and Top Education Group which remain unanswered, but Zhu and Top are today even more entrenched in the NSW and Australian legal system, thanks to the NSW LPAB and its chairman the CJ NSW, and the AG NSW

Despite all of the above, the Law Council Australia as well as NSW LPAB seem determined to continue supporting Zhu and Top Group:

Zhu Minshen's new Chinese website says the Law Council of Australia "officially approved" Top Education Instituter's application to issue law degrees

The NSW LPAB and Law Council Australia may  attempt  to deflect questions about all of the above by asserting that they are not required by law to seek the advice of ASIO when determining who may or many not grant law degrees in Australia. If they did, and even if the answer is legally correct, it would demonstrate poor judgment; entree into the legal system is always a matter of national security:

“....perhaps the only accredited degree program in Australia that counts agitating for a foreign power towards its qualifications": Why the Law Soc Australia & NSW LPAB's business with Zhu Minshen is a matter of national security


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