Bleijie should 'hand his resignation in'

The Attorney-General is more worried about "leaking than listening" and can't do his job if people "won't speak to him".

Academics say it’s unlikely the legal fraternity will “put a sock in it” about the appointment of Tim Carmody as Queensland’s Chief Justice, calling for greater transparency in the process.

Newman government minister Ian Walker, a solicitor and former member of the QLS, said on Sunday commentary about how and why Judge Carmody was elevated to the state’s top judicial job weren’t helpful. Not helpful to whom?

“The war of words that’s out there has got to stop, people have got to put a sock in it, they’ve got to shut up and they’ve got to let Justice Carmody get on with the job,” he said.
The logic of the criminal trying to stop people focusing on their crime.

Tim Carmody has been promoted to chief justice. Tim Carmody has been promoted to chief justice. Photo: Daniel Hurst

Peter Davis QC quit as the president of the Bar Association of Queensland last Friday citing a lack of faith in the appointment process, and claimed that private consultations he’d had with Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie were leaked.
The Bar Association of Australia, Queensland Law Society and Australian Lawyers Alliance have all backed Mr Davis’ stand.

Associate Professor at the University of Queensland’s School of Law Anthony Cassimatis said that showed the depth of dissatisfaction.

“I don’t think something as fundamental as the independence of the judiciary is something you can really ‘put a sock in it’ about,” he said.

“I think these issues do need to be ventilated.”

Professor Cassimatis said the main issue was the perceived closeness of Judge Carmody to the LNP government. But also important was Mr Davis’ claim that a member of the Bar Association was told its ability to issue practising certificates could be revoked if the organisation didn’t support Mr Carmody.

“The government’s said that’s not true, but the threat I think was clearly made by someone close to the government, and that’s very distressing and concerning,” he said.

“When you have the issue of confidential communications being leaked, when you have threats to the Bar Association to support a particular candidate, those are all warning signals.”

QUT Justice School Senior Lecturer Mark Lauchs said the government should show its hand to regain public confidence in the appointment of the Chief Justice.

“In a position like this, we don’t know what the qualifications are, we don’t know who else was considered, so we don’t know whether the person was qualified and whether they were the best person for the job,” he said.

“From a point of view of public accountability, we’re taking the word of a whole lot of other people… we’re in no position to make a judgement call of our own.”

Dr Lauchs said other senior public service positions would have facility for review should anyone feel aggrieved by the selection process.

“In this very serious issue that affects everyone in Queensland, governments of all party political persuasions should be ensuring that we have the confidence that the decisions were made correctly,” he said.

Dr Lauchs said if it laid its cards on the table, the government might have more luck with its sock strategy.

“They could say we’ve made our decision, here’s the reason for it, now shut up, but until they do that the rest of us normal people who don’t have the ear of the senior legal profession don’t really know.”

“The public’s still going to disagree when they have that information, but right now we don’t even have the information.”