Proposed Federal Judicial Commission ‘moving in the right direction’
The Law Council is pleased to see that the Morrison government is seeking independent legal advice on the establishment of a Federal Judicial Commission, which the advocacy body has long called for.
In a statement issued last Friday, LCA president Dr Jacoba Brasch QC – who last week appeared on The Lawyers Weekly Show – said that a commission such as this “needs to be at arm’s length” from the government of the day, so as to ensure the independence of the judiciary and for the purposes of separation of powers.
“Since 2006, the Law Council has supported the establishment of an independent Federal Judicial Commission to promote transparency and accountability for judges. Recent reports indicating that the government is now considering a standalone entity is a positive move,” she said.
“Like the Attorney-General, the Law Council has long promoted the model operating in NSW, which enables an independent, procedurally fair, and transparent means of dealing with complaints against judicial officers, as providing the best solution.”
It is “essential”, Dr Brasch continued, for the protection of the rule of law that there be a “strong and independent judiciary”, that is separate to – rather than subject to – review by the executive arm of government.
“A separate Federal Judicial Commission would alleviate this serious concern while ensuring crucial accountability and the maintenance of public confidence in the judicial process,” she posited.
“We look forward to working with the government and the federal judiciary to bring the Federal Judicial Commission to fruition.”