Another day, another court case, and the scandal that just keeps on giving… keeps on giving.

Justice Michael Lee has handed down his verdict in Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation suit against Channel Ten and Lisa Wilkinson — and what a curious judgement it is. On the one hand, Lee states what has been obvious from the beginning, that both Brittany Higgins and Bruce Lehrmann are “unreliable historians”. Both, as he notes, have told a great many lies.

He also hints that the case would likely not have passed the bar of a criminal trial.

Yet, for all that, he feels justified in “I just reckon”ing what happened in a senator’s office that night.

‘I’m convinced … that sexual intercourse did take place, and that took place with Mr Lehrmann on top of Ms Higgins on the couch in the minister’s office’

Yet, the only evidence for this is the assertion of a woman whom he also says “was not fully aware of her surroundings”.

Justice Lee states that, as video and witness evidence shows, both Lehrmann and Higgins were drinking and “passionately kissing and posing for selfies taken by Ms Higgins”. Higgins also willingly accompanied Lehrmann on the fateful Uber ride, when everyone else elected to go home. He further just reckons that:

He has found it’s unlikely Brittany Higgins said “no”, and more likely she was passive during the incident.

Those of us unburdened by a prestigious legal career might be given to wonder how the learned judge feels justified in making such a crucial statement, given that he is, as he says, relying on two most unreliable people.

Still, he’s the learned judge, and I’m just a tosser with a keyboard. I guess we’ll just have to defer to his learned wisdom.

Bruce Lehrmann “told deliberate lies” when giving evidence, but is not a compulsive liar, Justice Michael Lee says.

As such, he will not accept any evidence from Mr Lehrmann unless it is corroborated by a reliable witness or a document, or amounts to an admission.

Yet he accepts Higgins’ uncorroborated evidence, despite also finding that she also lied about a great many key matters, and,

“selectively curated material” on her phone before handing it over to the AFP and “told untruths when it suited her”.

At least one of Justice Lee’s findings is indisputable:

Justice Michael Lee says the Bruce Lehrmann defamation matter has become “a proxy for broader cultural and political conflicts.”

He said responses to the judgment would vary, due to a variety of responses and attitudes to sexual assault.

“Some jump to predetermined conclusions because they are disposed to be sceptical about complaints of sexual assault, and hold stereotype beliefs about the expected behaviour of rape victims described by social scientists as rape myths,” he said.

“Others say they believe all women, surrendering their critical faculties by embracing and acting upon a slogan arising out of the #MeToo movement.

“Some have predetermined views as to the existence or otherwise of a conspiracy to suppress a rape for political purposes.”

The claims of a political conspiracy are blown out of the water.

Justice Michael Lee says any allegation of a political cover-up of the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins is “objectively short on facts”.

The Australian

Which, if nothing else, casts a grave shadow on the Albanese government’s weaponisation of the case.

The only thing that’s certain about this whole sordid affair is that the media-political class will continue to exploit it for all they can milk. And that a woman who “told untruths when it suited her” is now at least $2.5m richer, courtesy of the same politicians who falsely peddled a “a conspiracy to suppress a rape”, for their own obvious political gain.

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...