Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has claimed that a move towards elected judges is almost inevitable, if courts keep handing down lenient sentences.
According to an ABC News report, at a community forum in Brisbane last night (10 November) Abbott said too many judges are handing down sentences that do not reflect community anger at crime.
"I never want lightly to change our existing systems but I've got to say if we don't get a better sense of the punishment fitting the crime, this is almost inevitable," Abbott said.
"If judges don't treat this kind of thing appropriately, sooner or later we'll do something that we've never done in this country. We will elect judges and we will elect judges that will better reflect our sense of anger at this kind of thing."
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said moving to a system of elected judges would constitute a backwards step and warned of political influences.
"There is a real risk that if we appointed judges who have some allegiance to a political outcome, that we may see political decisions on the bench and that would be entirely undesirable," he said.