- 1154 – Henry II was crowned King of England in London's Westminster Abbey.
- 1828 – Nullification Crisis: Vice President of the United States John C. Calhoun (pictured) wrote theSouth Carolina Exposition and Protest to protest the Tariff of 1828.
- 1932 – The BBC's World Service was launched as BBC Empire Service.
- 1964 – The Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the ruling junta ofSouth Vietnam led by Nguyen Khanh, initiated a coup, dissolving and arresting members of the High National Council, a civilian advisory body.
- 1997 – SilkAir Flight 185 crashed into the Musi River in Indonesia in what was determined to be a murder-suicide by the captain.
- 211 – Publius Septimius Geta, co-emperor of Rome, is lured to come without his bodyguards to meet his brother Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla), to discuss a possible reconciliation. When he arrives the Praetorian Guard murders him and he dies in the arms of his mother Julia Domna.
- 324 – Licinius abdicates his position as Roman Emperor.
- 1154 – Henry II of England is crowned at Westminster Abbey.
- 1490 – Anne, Duchess of Brittany, is married to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor by proxy.
- 1606 – The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery depart England carrying settlers who found, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States.
- 1776 – Thomas Paine publishes one of a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal titled The American Crisis.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: George Washington's Continental Army goes into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
- 1796 – French Revolutionary Wars: Two British frigates under Commodore Horatio Nelson and two Spanish frigates under Commodore Don Jacobo Stuart engage in battle off the coast of Murcia.
- 1828 – Nullification Crisis: Vice President of the United States John C. Calhoun pens the South Carolina Exposition and Protest, protesting the Tariff of 1828.
- 1843 – Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol goes on sale.
- 1900 – Hopetoun Blunder: The first Governor-General of Australia John Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun, appointed Sir William Lyne as premier of the new state New South Wales, but he is unable to persuade other colonial politicians to join his government and is forced to resign.
- 1907 – A group of 239 coal miners die during a mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.
- 1912 – William Van Schaick, captain of the steamship General Slocum which caught fire and killed over 1,000 people, is pardoned by U.S. President William Howard Taft after three-and-a-half-years in Sing Sing prison.
- 1916 – World War I: Battle of Verdun – On the Western Front, the French Army successfully holds off the German Army and drives it back to its starting position.
- 1920 – King Constantine I is restored as King of the Hellenes after the death of his son Alexander of Greece and a plebiscite.
- 1924 – The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England, United Kingdom.
- 1927 – Three Indian revolutionaries viz. Ram Prasad Bismil, Roshan Singh and Ashfaqulla Khan were executed by the British government.
- 1932 – BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service
- 1941 – World War II: Adolf Hitler becomes Supreme Commander-in-chief of the German Army.
- 1941 – World War II: Limpet mines placed by Italian divers sink the HMS Valiant (1914) and HMS Queen Elizabeth (1913) in Alexandria harbour.
- 1946 – Start of the First Indochina War.
- 1956 – Irish-born physician John Bodkin Adams is arrested in connection with the suspicious deaths of more than 160 patients. Eventually he is convicted only of minor charges.
- 1961 – India annexes Daman and Diu, part of Portuguese India.
- 1963 – Zanzibar gains independence from the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy, under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah.
- 1964 – The South Vietnamese military junta of Nguyen Khanh dissolved the High National Council and arrested some of the members.
- 1967 – Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt is officially presumed dead.
- 1972 – Apollo program: The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth.
- 1975 – John Paul Stevens is appointed a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- 1981 – Sixteen lives are lost when the Penlee lifeboat goes to the aid of the stricken coaster Union Star in heavy seas.
- 1983 – The original FIFA World Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, is stolen from the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro,Brazil.
- 1984 – The Sino-British Joint Declaration, stating that China would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the United Kingdom would restore Hong Kong to China with effect from July 1, 1997 is signed in Beijing, China by Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher.
- 1986 – Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union, releases Andrei Sakharov and his wife from exile in Gorky.
- 1995 – The United States Government restores federal recognition to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indian tribe.
- 1997 – SilkAir Flight 185 crashes into the Musi River, near Palembang in Indonesia, killing 104.
- 1998 – Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives forwards articles I and III of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to the Senate.
- 2000 – The Leninist Guerrilla Units wing of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey/Leninist attack a Nationalist Movement Party office in Istanbul, Turkey, killing one person and injuring three.
- 2001 – A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg) is recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl, Mongolia.
- 2001 – Argentine economic crisis: December 2001 riots – Riots erupt in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- 1554 – Philip William, Prince of Orange (d. 1618)
- 1587 – Dorothea Sophia, Abbess of Quedlinburg (d. 1645)
- 1683 – Philip V of Spain (d. 1746)
- 1699 – William Bowyer, English printer (d. 1777)
- 1714 – John Winthrop, American astronomer (d. 1779)
- 1778 – Marie Thérèse of France, daughter of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI of France (d. 1851)
- 1784 – Marcus Morton, 16th and 18th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1864)
- 1796 – Manuel Bretón de los Herreros, Spanish playwright (d. 1873)
- 1817 – James J. Archer, Confederate general (d. 1864)
- 1820 – Mary Livermore, American journalist and women's rights advocate (d. 1905)
- 1825 – George Frederick Bristow, American composer (d. 1898)
- 1831 – Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Hawaiian philanthropist (d. 1884)
- 1849 – Henry Clay Frick, American industrialist and financier (d. 1919)
- 1850 – Friedrich Lüthi, Swiss sports shooter (death date unknown)
- 1852 – Albert Abraham Michelson, Prussian-born American physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1931)
- 1853 – Charles Fitzpatrick, Canadian politician, lieutenant-governor of Quebec (d. 1942)
- 1861 – Italo Svevo, Italian author (d. 1928)
- 1863 – Wallace Bryant, American archer (d. 1953)
- 1865 – Minnie Maddern Fiske, American actress (d. 1932)
- 1873 – Alphonse Kirchhoffer, French fencer (d. 1913)
- 1875 – Carter Woodson, American historian and author, founder of Black History Month (d. 1950)
- 1881 – John Fraser, Canadian football player (d. 1959)
- 1888 – Fritz Reiner, Hungarian-born American conductor (d. 1963)
- 1894 – Ford Frick, American baseball commissioner (d. 1978)
- 1895 – Werner Dankwort, German diplomat (d. 1986)
- 1895 – Ingeborg Refling Hagen, Norwegian author and teacher (d. 1989)
- 1899 – Martin Luther King, Sr., American Baptist minister and father of Civil Rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr. (d. 1984)
- 1901 – Rudolf Hell, German inventor (d. 2002)
- 1901 – Fritz Mauruschat, German footballer (d. 1974)
- 1902 – Sir Ralph Richardson, English actor (d. 1983)
- 1903 – George Davis Snell, American geneticist, Nobel laureate (d. 1996)
- 1905 – Irving Kahn, American financial analyst and investor
- 1906 – Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union (d. 1982)
- 1907 – Jimmy McLarnin, former Welterweight Champion (d. 2004)
- 1909 – W. A. Criswell, American (Baptist) preacher (d. 2002)
- 1910 – Jean Genet, French writer (d. 1986)
- 1915 – Édith Piaf, French singer and actress (d. 1963)
- 1916 – Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, German political scientist (d. 2010)
- 1916 – Roy Ward Baker, English film director (d. 2010)
- 1918 – Professor Longhair, American blues musician (d. 1980)
- 1920 – Little Jimmy Dickens, American country singer
- 1920 – David Susskind, American TV talk show host (d. 1987)
- 1922 – Eamonn Andrews, Irish-born television presenter (d. 1987)
- 1923 – Gordon Jackson, Scottish actor (d. 1990)
- 1924 – Carlo Chiti, Italian race car engineer (d. 1994)
- 1924 – Doug Harvey, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1989)
- 1924 – Gary Morton, American comic; widower of Lucille Ball (d. 1999)
- 1924 – Edmund Purdom, English actor (d. 2009)
- 1925 – Tankred Dorst, German dramatist
- 1925 – Robert B. Sherman, American songwriter (d. 2012)
- 1925 – William Schutz, American psychologist (d. 2002)
- 1926 – Bobby Layne, American football player (d. 1986)
- 1926 – Herb Stempel, American game show contestant
- 1927 – James Booth, English actor and screenwriter (d. 2005)
- 1928 – Eve Bunting, Irish children's author
- 1928 – Nathan Oliveira, American artist (d. 2010)
- 1929 – Bob Brookmeyer, American jazz musician (d. 2011)
- 1929 – Howard Sackler, American screenwriter (d. 1982)
- 1932 – Salvador Elizondo, Mexican writer
- 1933 – Kevan Gosper, Australian athlete
- 1933 – Cicely Tyson, American actress
- 1934 – Rudi Carrell, Dutch entertainer (d. 2006)
- 1934 – Al Kaline, American baseball player
- 1934 – Casper R. Taylor, Jr., American politician
- 1934 – Pratibha Patil, 12th President of the Republic of India and first woman to hold the office
- 1935 – Barbara Bostock, American actress
- 1935 – Bobby Timmons, American jazz pianist (d. 1974)
- 1935 – Joanne Weaver, American baseball player (d. 2000)
- 1936 – Marian McKnight, American beauty pageant contestant (Miss America 1957)
- 1940 – Phil Ochs, American folk singer (d. 1976)
- 1941 – Maurice White, American singer and songwriter (Earth, Wind & Fire)
- 1941 – Lee Myung-bak, South Korean politician
- 1942 – Rufus, French actor
- 1942 – Cornell Dupree, American session guitarist
- 1942 – Dennis E. Fitch, American pilot (d. 2012)
- 1943 – Ross M. Lence, American political scientist (d. 2006)
- 1943 – James L. Jones, American military figure
- 1944 – William Christie, American-born French musician (Les Arts Florissants)
- 1944 – Mitchell Feigenbaum, American mathematical physicist
- 1944 – Richard Leakey, Kenyan paleontologist, conservationist and politician
- 1944 – Alvin Lee, English singer and musician (Ten Years After)
- 1944 – Tim Reid, American actor
- 1944 – Zal Yanovsky, Canadian guitarist (The Lovin' Spoonful) (d. 2002)
- 1945 – Elaine Joyce, American actress
- 1946 – Rosemary Conley, English businesswoman, author and broadcaster
- 1946 – Robert Urich, American actor (d. 2002)
- 1947 – Jimmy Bain, Scottish musician
- 1947 – Charlie Van Dyke, American actor and radio disc jockey
- 1948 – Ken Brown, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1949 – Nancy Kyes, American actress
- 1949 – Sebastian, Danish musician
- 1950 – Eleanor J. Hill, American Inspector General for the United States Department of Defense
- 1951 – Alan Rouse, British mountaineer (d. 1986)
- 1952 – Walter Murphy, American composer, pianist and arranger
- 1955 – Lincoln Hall, Australian mountaineer (d. 2012)
- 1955 – Rob Portman, American politician, senator from Ohio
- 1956 – Tom Lawless, American baseball player
- 1956 – Phil Harris, American fisherman (Deadliest Catch) (d. 2010)
- 1957 – Cyril Collard, French film director (d. 1993)
- 1957 – John Gulager, American film director
- 1957 – Kevin McHale, American basketball player
- 1958 – Limahl, English singer (Kajagoogoo)
- 1958 – Steven Isserlis, English cellist
- 1959 – Ivan Vallejo, Ecuadorian mountaineer
- 1960 – Mike Lookinland, American actor
- 1960 – Michelangelo Signorile, American writer
- 1960 – Derrick Jensen, American author and activist
- 1961 – Eric Allin Cornell, American physicist, Nobel laureate
- 1961 – Matthew Waterhouse, English actor
- 1961 – Reggie White, American football player (d. 2004)
- 1962 – Gary Fleder, American film director
- 1962 – Jill Talley, American actress
- 1963 – Jennifer Beals, American actress
- 1963 – Til Schweiger, German actor
- 1964 – Arvydas Sabonis, Lithuanian basketball player
- 1964 – Béatrice Dalle, French actress
- 1965 – Chito Martínez, Belizean baseball player
- 1965 – Jessica Steen, American actress
- 1966 – Chuckii Booker, American singer, musician and producer
- 1966 – Robert MacNaughton, American stage and screen actor
- 1966 – Alberto Tomba, Italian alpine skier
- 1966 – Eric Weinrich, American ice hockey player
- 1967 – Criss Angel, American illusionist
- 1967 – Frankie Lam, Hong Kong actor
- 1968 – Ken Marino, American actor and comedian
- 1969 – Richard Hammond, English television presenter
- 1969 – Tom Gugliotta, American basketball player
- 1969 – Kristy Swanson, American actress
- 1969 – Villaño IV, Mexican professional wrestler
- 1970 – Tyson Beckford, American model
- 1971 – Liz Cho, American television reporter
- 1971 – Amy Locane, American actress
- 1972 – Alyssa Milano, American actress
- 1972 – Rosa Blasi, American actress
- 1972 – Warren Sapp, American football player
- 1973 – Michalis Grigoriou, Greek footballer and coach
- 1973 – Takashi Sorimachi, Japanese actor
- 1973 – Zulfiya Zabirova, Russian cyclist
- 1974 – Mikko Paananen, Finnish bassist (HIM)
- 1974 – Joe Jurevicius, American football player
- 1974 – Felipe Lopez, Dominican basketball player
- 1974 – Jake Plummer, American football player
- 1974 – Ricky Ponting, Australian cricketer
- 1975 – Makis Belevonis, Greek footballer
- 1975 – Russell Branyan, American baseball player
- 1975 – Michiel van den Bos, Dutch composer
- 1975 – Jon Smith, British writer
- 1975 – Olivier Tébily, Ivorian footballer
- 1977 – Jorge Garbajosa, Spanish basketball player
- 1978 – Patrick Casey, American screenwriter and actor
- 1979 – Kevin Devine, American musician
- 1979 – Paola Rey, Colombian actress
- 1980 – Iman Ali, Pakistani model and actress
- 1980 – Jake Gyllenhaal, American actor
- 1980 – Chris Haslam, Canadian skateboarder and bassist (Kobra Triangle)
- 1980 – Marla Sokoloff, American actress
- 1982 – Mo Williams, American basketball player
- 1982 – Tero Pitkämäki, Finnish javelin thrower
- 1983 – Nektarios Alexandrou, Greek-Cypriot footballer
- 1983 – Casey Crescenzo, American Rock Artist
- 1983 – Matt Stajan, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1984 – Ian Kennedy, American baseball player
- 1985 – Gary Cahill, English footballer
- 1985 – Neil Kilkenny, English-born Australian soccer player
- 1985 – Lady Sovereign, English musician
- 1986 – Ryan Babel, Dutch footballer
- 1986 – Miguel Lopes, Portuguese footballer
- 1986 – Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Greek footballer
- 1987 – Karim Benzema, French footballer
- 1987 – Cédric Baseya, DR Congolese footballer
- 1988 – Peter Winn, English footballer
- 1988 – Paulina Gretzky, American singer and model
- 1988 – Alexis Sánchez, Chilean footballer
- 1989 – Valdimar Bergstað, Icelandic horse rider
- 1989 – Hamza Riazuddin, English cricketer
- 1990 – Greg Bretz, American snowboarder
- 1991 – Declan Galbraith, English singer
- 1992 – Iker Muniain, Spanish/Basque footballer
- 1994 – M'Baye Niang, French footballer
- 211 – Publius Septimius Geta, Roman Emperor (b. 189)
- 401 – Pope Anastasius I
- 1111 – Al-Ghazali, Islamic philosopher (b. 1058)
- 1075 – Edith of Wessex, wife of Edward the Confessor
- 1327 – Agnes of France, Duchess of Burgundy
- 1370 – Pope Urban V (b. 1310)
- 1737 – James Louis Sobieski, son of John III Sobieski, and pretender to the throne of Poland (b. 1667)
- 1741 – Vitus Bering, Danish-born explorer (b. 1681)
- 1745 – Jean-Baptiste van Loo, French painter (b. 1684)
- 1749 – Francesco Antonio Bonporti, Italian priest and composer (b. 1672)
- 1751 – Louise of Great Britain, wife of Frederick V of Denmark (b. 1724)
- 1807 – Friedrich Melchior, Baron von Grimm, German writer (b. 1723)
- 1813 – James McGill, Scottish-born Canadian businessman and philanthropist (b. 1744)
- 1814 – Joseph Bramah, British inventor and locksmith (b. 1748)
- 1819 – Sir Thomas Fremantle, British naval officer and politician (b. 1765)
- 1848 – Emily Brontë, English author (b. 1818)
- 1878 – Bayard Taylor, American author and poet (b. 1825)
- 1915 – Alois Alzheimer, German neuroscientist (b. 1864)
- 1916 – Thibaw Min, King of Burma (b. 1859)
- 1927 – Ashfaqulla Khan, Indian Revolutionary (b. 1900)
- 1927 – Roshan Singh, Indian Revolutionary (b. 1892)
- 1932 – Yoon Bong-Gil, Korean activist (b. 1908)
- 1933 – George Jackson Churchward, British locomotive engineer (b. 1857)
- 1938 – Stephen Warfield Gambrill, American politician (b. 1873)
- 1939 – Hans Langsdorff, German naval officer (b. 1894)
- 1944 – Abbas II of Egypt (b. 1874)
- 1944 – Rudolph Karstadt, German entrepreneur (b. 1856)
- 1946 – Paul Langevin, French physicist (b. 1872)
- 1953 – Robert Millikan, American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1868)
- 1962 – Warren Brittingham, American soccer player (b. 1886)
- 1968 – Norman Thomas, American socialist (b. 1884)
- 1982 – Dwight Macdonald, American social critic (b. 1906)
- 1984 – Joy Ridderhof, American missionary (b. 1903)
- 1986 – V. C. Andrews, American author (b. 1923)
- 1988 – Robert Bernstein, American comic book writer (b. 1919)
- 1989 – Stella Gibbons, English author (b. 1902)
- 1991 – Joe Cole, American rock music roadie (b. 1961)
- 1993 – Michael Clarke, American drummer (The Byrds) (b. 1946)
- 1996 – Marcello Mastroianni, Italian actor (b. 1924)
- 1997 – Masaru Ibuka, Japanese industrialist (Sony) (b. 1908)
- 1997 – Jimmy Rogers, American blues guitarist (b. 1924)
- 1998 – Mel Fisher, American treasure hunter (b. 1922)
- 1998 – Antonio Ordóñez, Spanish bullfighter (b. 1932)
- 1999 – Desmond Llewelyn, Welsh actor (b. 1914)
- 2000 – Rob Buck, American guitarist (10,000 Maniacs) (b. 1958)
- 2000 – Milt Hinton, American jazz double bassist (b. 1910)
- 2000 – John Lindsay, American politician (b. 1921)
- 2000 – Pops Staples, American singer (The Staple Singers) (b. 1915)
- 2000 – David Dewayne Johnson, American convicted murderer (b. 1963)
- 2002 – Arthur Rowley, English footballer (b. 1926)
- 2003 – Peter Carter-Ruck, English lawyer (b. 1914)
- 2003 – Hope Lange, American actress (b. 1933)
- 2003 – Les Tremayne, English-born American actor (b. 1913)
- 2004 – Herbert C. Brown, English-born American chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1912)
- 2004 – Renata Tebaldi, Italian soprano (b. 1922)
- 2005 – Keith Duckworth, English mechanical engineer (Cosworth) (b. 1933)
- 2005 – Vincent Gigante, American mafioso (b. 1927)
- 2008 – James Bevel, American civil rights activist (b. 1936)
- 2008 – Kenny Cox, American jazz musician (b. 1940)
- 2008 – Dock Ellis, American baseball pitcher (b. 1945)
- 2008 – Carol Chomsky, American linguist (b. 1930)
- 2008 – Michael Connell, American political consultant (b. 1963)
- 2009 – Giridharilal Kedia, Indian entrepreneur (b. 1936)
- 2009 – Hussein-Ali Montazeri, Iranian dissident cleric (b. 1922)
- 2009 – Kim Peek, American savant (b. 1951)
- 2010 – Trudy Pitts, American jazz organist, pianist, and vocalist (b. 1932)
- 2010 – Anthony Howard, English journalist (b. 1934)
Holidays and observances
Terry O’Connor QC is a former head of Western Australia’s Anti-Corruption Commission. Unlike the Julia Gillard clique in the ABC, he believes Gillard did something very wrong indeed in helping to register a slush fund for her boyfriend with a deceptive name and deceptive articles of association:
Gillard drafted the rules of the association. As drafted they set out a number of general objects for the association including things such as securing benefits for and, contributing to the safety and training of, workers. Significantly, as required by schedule 1 of the act paragraph 3(2) of the objects provides “no part of the property or income may be paid or otherwise distributed, directly or indirectly, to members"…
Importantly, nowhere in either the rules of the association or the application for incorporation is the real purpose of the association set out, namely to raise funds to pay for officials’ re-election campaign. Indeed as noted above paragraph 3(2) of the rules expressly prohibits that…Section 170 of the Criminal Code WA provides that “any person who, being required under a written law to give information to another person, knowingly gives information to the other person, that is false in a material particular is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for three years”.Section 43 of the Associations Incorporations Act also makes it an offence for a person to lodge a document with the commissioner which the person knows is false or misleading in any material respect.In this case the rules lodged did not state the real object of the association. The application, which certified compliance with the act, falsely certified that the association was eligible for incorporation under subsection 4(1e) of the act as an association of more than five members formed for political purposes when in fact it had only two members - Blewitt and Wilson.Under either of these provisions Blewitt, as the person who made the application for incorporation, in my view could have been charged with knowingly giving false information to the commissioner ...Section 7(b) of the Criminal Code provides that where an offence has been committed, a person who does or omits to do any act for the purpose of enabling or aiding another person to commit an offence, is also guilty of the same offence and is liable to the same punishment as if he or she had committed the offence. A lawyer who advises a client to do something that would constitute an offence would be caught by this provision.Gillard advised Blewitt on the incorporation of the association and prepared the rules of the association and, following a query from the commissioner, wrote arguing for the incorporation of the association…However, without some explanation from her as to what occurred, there is, in my opinion, a prima facie case that she could have been charged along with Blewitt as she drafted the rules of the association for Blewitt knowing that the rules did not disclose the purpose for which the association was being incorporated.
Tony Thomas on the abusive and not so very accurate Anne Summers, whose absurdly Manichean views so appeal to the ABC that it rattles the can for her. Maybe some of the proceeds can go to the Medicare staff she falsely accused of vilifying Gillard.
Jonathan Holmes on the abusive and not very accurate Anne Summers, whose absurdly Manichean views - this time applied to the Media Watch host - so offend that he rattles her cage.
Thomas discovers Summers has published a foul comment suggesting not only that I am a Nazi but that my father would die of shame. Not only are both insults grotesquely false and offensive to Dad and me, I find it monstrously hypocritical that Summers should publish them after the fuss she made over Alan Jones saying Julia Gillard’s father died of shame. Has Summers no shame herself?
Teachers, next time you read a story about heartless vandals, ask yourself "What would kind vandals have done?"
SWOOPING EAGLE LIFTS UP BABY INTO THE AIR
A man has filmed the terrifying moment a golden eagle swooped on a baby in a park and lifted the child into the air.
Watch the amazing video: http://bit.ly/ZMwjDU
How much longer will the Labor Party foul its reputation by endorsing Ms Gillard's behaviour by Michael Smith
THERE has been considerable recent media discussion about the 1992 incorporation of the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association Inc and the involvement of Julia Gillard in its incorporation.
In particular there has been conjecture as to whether or not Gillard has committed any offence in her role in the incorporation of the association.
Before discussing that question, it is necessary to establish the facts. While some of the facts surrounding the incorporation are uncertain, there is sufficient on the public record to reach a view on what might be the legal position of those involved.
In 1992 Gillard, then a salaried partner in the law firm Slater & Gordon, advised her partner, one Bruce Wilson, then an AWU official, and another official, Ralph Blewitt, on the incorporation of an association under the Associations Incorporations Act WA.
In 1995 Gillard was interviewed by Slater & Gordon's then senior partner Peter Gordon. It is implicit in what she said in that interview that Wilson and Blewitt, who were senior officers in the AWU, came to her seeking advice on how to deal with funds to be raised by them to pay the cost of their campaign for re-election to their branch executive.
...It would appear that her advice was to incorporate the association, which would open a bank account to hold the funds. In the interview with Gordon, she said that, "thinking behind the forming of the association (was that) it was better to have an incorporated association that was the holder of the account" to avoid disputes between officials as to who was entitled to the funds. Gillard prepared the necessary documents for the incorporation of the association.
Section 4 of the act sets out the limited objects for which an association can be incorporated. If the purpose of the association does not meet the requirements of section 4, incorporation will be refused.
The Corporate Affairs commissioner has a discretion to refuse incorporation in certain other circumstances. For these reasons it is important he is not misled as to the objects of any proposed association.
Section 5 of the act requires that application for incorporation be made on the prescribed form, accompanied by the rules of the association and a certificate verifying that certain requirements of the act have been met.
Gillard drafted the rules of the association. As drafted they set out a number of general objects for the association including things such as securing benefits for and, contributing to the safety and training of, workers. Significantly, as required by schedule 1 of the act paragraph 3(2) of the objects provides "no part of the property or income may be paid or otherwise distributed, directly or indirectly, to members".
In the formal application for incorporation, which was in the name of Blewitt, the main purpose of the association was described as being "development of changes to work to achieve a safe workplace". The application also certified that the association was not formed for the purpose of providing a pecuniary benefit to members.
Importantly, nowhere in either the rules of the association or the application for incorporation is the real purpose of the association set out, namely to raise funds to pay for officials' re-election campaign. Indeed as noted above paragraph 3(2) of the rules expressly prohibits that.
There has been no explanation from those involved as to why the real object or purpose of the association was not set out in the documents. In the absence of such explanation it appears that the proponents may have believed that, if the real object was disclosed the association would not have been incorporated because of subsection 4(2) of the act which prevents the incorporation of an association where the members receive a pecuniary benefit from the activities of the association. Whatever the reason for the failure to disclose the real object, the fact remains it was not disclosed, as required by the act.
The association was duly incorporated.
Section 170 of the Criminal Code WA provides that "any person who, being required under a written law to give information to another person, knowingly gives information to the other person, that is false in a material particular is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for three years".
Section 43 of the Associations Incorporations Act also makes it an offence for a person to lodge a document with the commissioner which the person knows is false or misleading in any material respect.
In this case the rules lodged did not state the real object of the association. The application, which certified compliance with the act, falsely certified that the association was eligible for incorporation under subsection 4(1e) of the act as an association of more than five members formed for political purposes when in fact it had only two members - Blewitt and Wilson.
Under either of these provisions Blewitt, as the person who made the application for incorporation, in my view could have been charged with knowingly giving false information to the commissioner as he was aware that the objects set out in the rules were not the real objects of the association and that the certification in the formal application was false.
Section 7(b) of the Criminal Code provides that where an offence has been committed, a person who does or omits to do any act for the purpose of enabling or aiding another person to commit an offence, is also guilty of the same offence and is liable to the same punishment as if he or she had committed the offence. A lawyer who advises a client to do something that would constitute an offence would be caught by this provision.
Gillard advised Blewitt on the incorporation of the association and prepared the rules of the association and, following a query from the commissioner, wrote arguing for the incorporation of the association.
The letter has not been disclosed so it is impossible to draw any conclusions about it. Gillard has maintained that she did nothing wrong but has not explained why she says that.
However, without some explanation from her as to what occurred, there is, in my opinion, a prima facie case that she could have been charged along with Blewitt as she drafted the rules of the association for Blewitt knowing that the rules did not disclose the purpose for which the association was being incorporated.
Terry O'Connor QC is a former head of Western Australia's Anti-Corruption Commission. >