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WA may review judicial appointments

WA may review judicial appointments

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN Attorney-General Jim McGinty says he may consider introducing more transparent appointment processes for judges after he selects a new Chief Justice to replace retiring judge…

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN Attorney-General Jim McGinty says he may consider introducing more transparent appointment processes for judges after he selects a new Chief Justice to replace retiring judge David Malcolm.

Like most jurisdictions in Australia, judges in WA are chosen by the Attorney-General, with little or no public consultation.

McGinty responded to a letter to The West Australian newspaper from Geraldton lawyer George Giudice (see letter to the Editor of Lawyers Weekly) that proposed the state adopt measures similar to the appointment of Supreme Court judges in the United States.

However, McGinty told The West Australian he felt the US model could lead to over scrutiny of potential candidates. Instead, he favoured following the British model where an independent Commission for Judicial Appointments was established in 2001 to review judicial and Queen’s Counsel appointments.

But a spokesperson for the Minister played down the prospect of any changes in the near future and said there were no formal plans in place to introduce new appointment processes. Although, it may be something the Government would look at later this year, he said.

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