“Everyone is equal before the law,” warned a Federal Court judge in rejecting Peter Dutton’s claim for indemnity costs against a Twitter user he sued in the “expensive” forum. The Defence Minister sued refugee advocate Shane Bazzi for defamation and was awarded $35,000 in damages following a six-word tweet in February that said Mr Dutton “is a rape apologist”. Justice White ordered Mr Bazzi pay Mr Dutton’s costs on a scale equitable as if the lawsuit was filed in a Queensland magistrates court, querying why he had not done so. Mr Dutton was ordered to pay 50 per cent of Mr Bazzi’s legal costs for Wednesday’s hearing. Barrister Hamish Clift for Mr Dutton submitted his client’s reputation required the vindication of a nationally recognised court, given his stature and prominent position as a cabinet minister. But Justice White said the relatively small defamation claim could have been solved in a lower court saving both parties significant expense.