The Spy

Posted on Nov 26, 2015 | 0 comments


Spy

This month, I will let the judgment of Smithers J in Grant v Headland (1977) 17 ACTR 29, speak for itself, other than to say I doubt that Mr Grant (who served 1 month in prison with a 2 year good behaviour bond) would be dealt with so leniently in 2015:

In May 1977 the appellant, James Neil Grant, a probationary trainee of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (hereinafter called ASIO) of about three weeks standing and nineteen years of age, conceived the idea that to improve his competence as an employee and trainee of ASIO he would undertake a personal practical experiment to try to ascertain whether, at what level and in what form, a response could be obtained to an overture to a foreign agency purporting to offer intelligence secrets.

To enter upon such an experiment was obviously an act of great folly…

…The evidence indicates that the appellant is the kind of person who has a compulsive urge to out-perform other people and, being elated at having achieved an ambition to be a member of ASIO, he wished to out-perform his fellow trainees. It is a rational inference that it was of this that the curious idea of a personal practical security experiment was the product. He pursued this idea with determination and imagination. He initiated two attempted communications to a random Polish recipient, included in one of these the information, the subject of this charge, worked out a channel of communication for use by the hoped for Polish recipient. At the same time I do not think he had thought through what was going to happen if there had in fact been a response….

Creative commons acknowledgment for the photograph.
Share Button

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *