Australian Lawyers Alliance supports the stand taken today by QLD Bar

13th Jun 2014

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) Queensland branch has, this afternoon, offered its support for the principled stand taken by Bar Association Queensland President, Peter Davis QC, in relation to the process undertaken in the appointment of Queensland’s next Chief Justice.

ALA Queensland spokesperson, Rod Hodgson, said that if the events documented in Mr Davis’s resignation letter this afternoon were accurate, then those events amounted to an appalling abuse of process for the most important legal position in the State.

“The consultation process detailed by Peter Davis QC today shows a complete lack of propriety and judgment by the Attorney-General and the State Government in the choice of the State’s next Chief Justice,” Mr Hodgson said.

“What has happened this week and in recent months, however, raises fundamental concerns for the administration of justice in this State.

“Mr Davis’s account suggests the occurrence of political interference in the appointment to a position that ought to transcend party politics.

“While the government may pat itself on the back for getting a result, they are, unfortunately, oblivious to the damage they are doing to the very institutions on which we, as a society, depend.

“As a number of very highly respected individuals have pointed out this week, the position of Chief Justice is of paramount importance in the administration of justice in Queensland.

“It is a role that not only ensures that checks and balances remain in place between the Executive and the Judiciary but also that the right balance is struck regarding the rule of law for the citizens of this State.

“It is a crucially important role, and proper processes to ensure that the person best fit for such a role is chosen are even more important.

“Australians are justly proud of the quality of the administration of justice historically displayed by our courts and integral to that quality are the underlying processes which are now being undone by a fiercely partisan approach to the appointment.

“Shamefully, our Attorney General appears incapable of working to ensure the integrity of that process in Queensland. This comes against a background of numerous attacks upon the rule of law and the separation of powers doctrine by the Newman Government and the Attorney General, in particular, over more than six months.

“Mr Davis’ resignation, this afternoon, shows that he does understand the values which are integral to his role and which we, as members of a community, share. He also understands the importance of this role. This insight and understanding places him apart from others involved in the actions of this week.

“In the interests of restoring integrity to the process, the Attorney-General should do the same,” he said.

Tags: Queensland Access to justice