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
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
In defence of judges’ Paris trip

In defence of judges’ Paris trip

SOME OF THE nation’s leading legal professionals have vigorously defended the right of judges to attend a recent conference in Paris, claiming it is “perfectly proper and legal for judges…

SOME OF THE nation’s leading legal professionals have vigorously defended the right of judges to attend a recent conference in Paris, claiming it is “perfectly proper and legal for judges to expend allowances on these types of conferences and trips”.

Reports in the major press last week questioned the recent trip to the City of Light. But New South Wales Bar Association president Ian Harrison SC said this week that “as a matter of principle, what needs to be understood is that interaction between any groups of professionals, be they judges or lawyers or architects or plumbers or doctors … is generally productive of the exchange of ideas and information to the betterment of the people they serve”.

Federal Court Chief Justice Michael Black was last week in Paris for a five-day conference on the subject of court architecture and judicial rituals. With him were peers Queensland Supreme Court Justice Paul de Jersey, Victorian Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, and other leading Australian judges.

Harrison rejected suggestions by some newspapers that the judicial line-up is on a taxpayer-funded holiday. “I know it is popular for papers to run articles critical of judges upon the basis that they are getting something at ‘the taxpayers’ expense’, but the fact of the matter is that the parliaments of the states and of the Commonwealth have made it perfectly proper and legal for judges to expend allowances on these types of conferences and trips and, as long as that remains the case, the judges are and must remain beyond criticism.

“I think it’s inadvisable to criticise these meetings between, in this case, judges simply upon the basis that it makes a good story, without having regard to the importance that they inform themselves by overseas trips at conferences and the like, if it is likely to have that result.

“If we become, in the case of judges, particularly insular and isolated in the sort of influences that we permit them to become exposed to and to which they are, according to their salaries and benefits entitled, then we run the risk of reducing the pool of information available to them,” Harrison told Lawyers Weekly.

Harrison SC has previously defended the right of judges to avoid the “wicked agenda” of journalists. Speaking to the Supreme Court earlier this year on behalf of the Bar, he commented on the fashion in the “so-called popular press publicly to assail judges in this state and throughout the country”. This fashion is urged by “an unrepresentative coven of journalists with a wicked agenda”. Harrison SC said that judges’ scrutiny could be avoided by “working seven days a week, accepting no pay, taking no holidays and never making the slightest mistake whether on or off the bench. Overseas travel should be avoided, if at all possible”.

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

In defence of judges’ Paris trip
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...