Lawyer criticises Gillian Triggs as 18C university case thrown out

Tony Morris QC, representing QUT student Calum Thwaites, speaks to the media outside the Federal Court in Brisbane, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Source: AAP

The Federal Court has thrown out a lawsuit by an Indigenous staffer against three university students who allegedly posted racist comments on Facebook.

The lawyer for one of the Queensland university students who has escaped a lawsuit for allegedly posting racist comments on Facebook has lashed Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs.

Alex Wood, Calum Thwaites and Jackson Powell were being sued by Cindy Prior, an Indigenous administration officer, under the Racial Discrimination Act's controversial section 18C.

The case was thrown out by Brisbane's Federal Court Judge Michael Jarrett on Friday after he found Ms Prior did not have reasonable prospects of successfully bringing a case against the trio.

Outside court, Mr Thwaites' lawyer Tony Morris QC slammed Ms Triggs for allowing the case to get so far.

Mr Morris said everyone involved in the case was a victim, including Ms Prior, and the matter should have never come to court.

"I'm not going to call for her to resign but if the woman had any decency whatsoever, her resignation would be on the attorney-general's desk on Monday," he said.

Mr Thwaites said he was very relieved at the outcome.

"I'm happy to be able to get on with my life," he told AAP.

Ms Prior argued she was unable to continue working face-to-face with white people following a series of Facebook posts made after Mr Wood was asked to leave an Indigenous-only computer lab at the Queensland University of Technology in 2013.

"Just got kicked out of the unsigned Indigenous computer room. QUT stopping segregation with segregation," he wrote.

The post attracted a number of responses, including one from Mr Powell who wrote: "I wonder where the white supremacist computer lab is."

Mr Thwaites is alleged to have written "ITT N***ers" but has denied being responsible for the post.

Ms Prior was not in court for the judgment and is said to be facing a six-figure legal bill if the students recoup their legal costs from her.

Source: AAP

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