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
Outgoing judge condemns state's chief justice

Outgoing judge condemns state's chief justice

A retiring Queensland Supreme Court justice has used his farewell speech to launch a blistering attack on chief justice Tim Carmody.

In a speech to the Banco Court on Thursday (26 March), Justice Alan Wilson accused Justice Carmody (pictured) of shirking his duties and driving other judges to consider resignation.

In response, Justice Carmody released a statement dismissing Justice Wilson’s claims and labelling the attack “unfortunate”.

In his speech, Justice Wilson referred to Justice Carmody’s appointment as a failure.

“Sadly, the current experiment, involving a Chief Justice who frankly admits he lacks that ability and has signally failed to manifest those skills, is not working – and there is no reason to think that it ever will,” Justice Wilson said.

“I hear judges at all levels of seniority, including quite young ones, speaking seriously of resignation.”

Justice Wilson accused Justice Carmody of shirking his duties, claiming the chief justice has removed himself from trial division sittings in Brisbane and had not heard a case since 15 February.

Instead, according to Justice Wilson, the chief justice filled his calendar with “social and professional engagements”.

“The notion that there is scope for some kind of full-time public relations role for a head of jurisdiction, and little more, is surprising. So is the idea that judge-work takes second place and must give way to these kinds of events – which other judges do almost every day, but outside court sitting hours,” he said.

Political allegations

Justice Wilson also alleged the chief justice had tried to interfere in appointments at the Court of Disputed Returns when it seemed likely that the election result in a key electorate might be contested.

According to Justice Wilson, appointments to this court are made by protocol on a strict seniority basis to “ensure there can never be any suggestion of political influence or motive in the appointment”.

“In the teeth of a possible contest about the outcome of the election in Ferny Grove, the Chief Justice’s initial attempt to contest the automatic operation of that protocol, then his attempts to speak privately with the next nominated judge to that position about what he described in a memorandum as ‘unresolved concerns’, was rightly resisted by the judge and unanimously condemned by the judges,” he said.

While the chief justice ultimately appointed the judge nominated by the protocol, Justice Wilson suggested his actions “caused the judges so much worry”.

He ended by accusing the chief of lowering morale through his public comments referring to the court as “snakes” and “scum”, despite urging judges to maintain civility.

“Both the remarks, and this kind of hypocrisy, have a devastating effect on morale,” Justice Wilson said.

Defence by chief justice

Justice Carmody hit back at the comments and rejected the claims made by Justice Wilson.

“I am disappointed that he would use such an occasion to embroil the court in more controversy,” Justice Carmody said.

“I reject outright his attack on my integrity and performance as Chief Justice. His behaviour is the best argument yet for an independent judicial commission.”

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

Outgoing judge condemns state's chief justice
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 & ...