find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
NSW judicial body backs judge in terrorism case

NSW judicial body backs judge in terrorism case

THE NSW body that handles complaints against judicial officers has backed Justice Michael Adams against Federal Government calls for the judge to be disciplined. Justice Adams ruled that two…

THE NSW body that handles complaints against judicial officers has backed Justice Michael Adams against Federal Government calls for the judge to be disciplined.

Justice Adams ruled that two Australian secret service agents had kidnapped and falsely imprisoned Sydney doctorIzhar ul-Haque, a student at the time, on trumped-up terrorism charges.

Chief executive of the NSW Judicial Commission, Ernie Schmatt, told Lawyers Weekly that in fact no formal complaint has been received about the judge. He said the commission received a letter from the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. “It wasn’t a formal complaint and I made a response to that inquiry from the department. The response was really a matter between me and the person I communicated with.”

Media reports have stated that head of the federal Attorney-General’s Department, Robert Cornall, had made a formal complaint to the judicial commission, but both Cornell and now Schmatt have denied this. Both state that Cornell had made an inquiry of Schmatt as CEO of the commission, who then responded.

“What it boiled down to was that there was a letter from the [Attorney-General] to me as the chief executive of the commission. That was really the end of it. As you would appreciate, there are provisions within the Judicial Officers Act for the making of complaints but those are formal procedures that have to be followed in accordance with the legislation,” said Schmatt.

The letter from Schmatt has been leaked and extracts from it have been published by the Sydney Morning Herald. Schmatt refuses to comment on the content of the letter, which states that Justice Adams had acted within his rights in ruling that the detention of Dr ul-Haque and interviews carried out by the two unnamed Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers had been improper and illegal.

Schmatt’s response to the government is the latest in a series of blows to the ASIO and the Australian Federal Police over what have been labelled heavy-handed methods used to deal with suspects.

The Justice Adams ruling caused the case against Dr ul-Haque to collapse, and he was freed after being held in detention for more than three years.

ASIO director-general, Paul O’Sullivan, complained late last year that the agents had not had a chance to rebut the charges. But the two ASIO officers had in fact given evidence to Justice Adams, who found their testimony unconvincing and, at times, untruthful, Fairfax reports.

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

NSW judicial body backs judge in terrorism case
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Quentin Bryce
Oct 18 2017
DV has worsened in a generation: Quentin Bryce
Former governor-general of Australia Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO has spoken of her deep distress about...
Lawyers
Oct 18 2017
Academics entertain the idea of law without lawyers
Researchers from Queensland will explore some of the most disruptive trends tipped to transform the ...
Please, Continue (Hamlet), Melbourne Festival
Oct 16 2017
Hamlet suffers slings and arrows of top Victorian barristers
Victorian judges and barristers have performed the unique play Please, Continue (Hamlet) at the Melb...
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 & ...