find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Daubney wrong on judicial appointment reform

Daubney wrong on judicial appointment reform

JUNE McPHIE, president of the Law Society of New South Wales, has strongly disagreed with supporters of judicial appointment reform in Queensland.“The Law Society is totally against the…

JUNE McPHIE, president of the Law Society of New South Wales, has strongly disagreed with supporters of judicial appointment reform in Queensland.

“The Law Society is totally against the establishment of an official body or committee for the selection of judges,” McPhie said in a statement to Lawyers Weekly.

This came in response to the new president of the Queensland Bar Association, Martin Daubney’s comments last week that the Bar’s chief aim was to reform the judicial appointment process.

He said in The Australian that it was time to consider numerous options, with priority given to a commission of judicial review, for “the issue is now squarely in the public arena and we think it responsible to advance possible solutions”.

The president of the Queensland Law Society, Rob Davis, supported the call for a commission, claiming that a panel of legal representatives of barristers, solicitors, the chief justice, head of the Court of Appeal and the head of the District Court was essential for the nomination of suitable candidates for appointment, as reported in the Courier Mail.

Yet McPhie believed that a commission of the sort proposed in Queensland might act as a deterrent for those wishing to advance to the judiciary.

“Many eminently suitable candidates would be reluctant to go through a public process of selection,” she said.

Daubney replaced outgoing president Peter Lyons on 19 July, following his resignation after the furore caused by the 7 July appointment of his wife, Ann Lyons to the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Ann Lyons is only the third former solicitor in Queensland to be appointed to the Supreme Court who was not first a member of the Bar.

Yet a spokesperson said that the NSW Law Society has nothing against solicitors being appointed to the bench, so long as they are suitably qualified.

According to McPhie, “the fundamental criterion for selection must be merit — qualities which constitute merit include legal skills, experience and personal attributes. No other consideration should be allowed to interfere with this paramount criterion if the Australian judiciary is to continue to maintain its eminence and independence”.

Daubney, a staunch critic of Ann Lyons’ elevation to the Supreme Court, said that it was “appropriate for the Bar to still be the primary resource when seeking appointments to the bench”.

Daubney had also expressed concern over the power of the executive government to appoint candidates to the judiciary in the absence of any real accountability.

This followed a heated exchange with Queensland Attorney-General Linda Lavarch over her apparent lack of consultation with the Bar about the appointment of Ann Lyons.

Lavarch went some way to appeasing the situation with a promise to engage in a “meaningful consultation with the Bar in relation to future judicial appointments”.

The Attorney-General admitted that the Queensland Bar Association and Law Society’s “perspective on possible appointments will add to the robust nature of the process”.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Daubney wrong on judicial appointment reform
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...