The Project: “No one emerged unscathed”

On a day of victory The Project finds time to acknowledge it was not without criticism for its own shortcomings.

In reporting on the verdict in yesterday’s defamation trial, The Project acknowledged it too had been criticised in Justice Michael Lee’s findings.

While it detailed the scathing conclusion of Bruce Lehrmann and the inconsistencies of Brittany Higgins, The Project aimed for transparency and told viewers it was not faultless.

“Justice Lee (was) also critical of The Project for failing to investigate certain inconsistencies in Higgins’ story, failing to question the motivation of her boyfriend David Sharaz, and for not doing more to reach Lehrmann before the story aired,” said Waleed Aly.

“While the judge accepted she was let down by 10’s legal advice, Lisa Wilkinson was also criticised over that Logies speech.”

In an interview he also posed a question to lawyer Justin Quill, who was part of the law firm representing 10.

“It’s really clear that Bruce Lehrmann is the big loser out of today’s judgment, but it’s also clear that no one else emerged unscathed. Brittany Higgins didn’t, we mentioned an unreliable witness on certain aspects finding before, Channel 10 didn’t, The Project didn’t. Everyone involved has lost something as a result of this. What do you think we should take from this whole experience?” Aly asked.

Justin Quill replied, “You know, I hate to say it, but it is often true that the only winners when anyone goes to court are the lawyers and that is often the case. Ultimately, though, I just don’t think it’s right to say that 10 isn’t and The Project isn’t a big winner. I know I’m appearing on The Project so it seems like I’m just saying it for this reason, but I’m not.

“10 had a big win today. It is really, really difficult to prove the truth of these sorts of allegations and it is a significant win to have done so. And hopefully it’s a warning to other plaintiffs who want to come to court and con the court. There are rarely complete winners in legal cases. But 10’s as big a winner tonight as as you could hope for.”