find the latest legal job
Partners and Senior Specialist Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Australia
· Earn 70% of billings and fixed referral incentives · Full practice flexibility & freedom
View details
Partners and Senior Specialist Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Australia
· Earn 70% of billings and fixed referral incentives · Full practice flexibility & freedom
View details
Litigation Associate / Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· 4 years + PQE · Varied work
View details
Commercial Litigation Lawyer
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· 3 - 7 years PAE with very strong technical skills · Technical and personal development
View details
Senior Lawyer
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Haymarket NSW 2000
· Play an integral part in launching Employsure's law firm
View details
Independence is king, judge rules

Independence is king, judge rules

Queensland's top judge has spoken out about judicial independence. His comments come as Fiji's courts and judiciary are overhauled.

QUEENSLAND’S top judge has spoken out about judicial independence, claiming the executive as “paymaster” model demands that judges enjoy security of tenure, financial security and freedom to control the court. 

The Hon Paul de Jersey, the Chief Justice of Queensland, told new members of the Legislative Assembly in Parliament House last week that the judiciary depends upon the other arms of government to respect that judges are not public servants. 

“Judges deliver justice according to law, at no one’s behest, independently,” he said. “The judiciary must be completely immune from political pressure.”

Queensland’s judges need to continue to enjoy security of tenure in order to ensure they are not concerned with making decisions to please the body responsible for their reemployment, he said. 

 “Sometimes the rule of law means courts must make judgements which governments find distasteful: the courts must be in a position to apply the law fearlessly, fearlessly to stand between citizen and State.”

The Chief Justice defended judges’ typically bulky pay packets, noting they ensure judges are not tempted to accept bribes. 

De Jersey told his audience that judges needed the security of control over the administration of their courts to prevent, among other things, other branches of government from influencing the allocation of judges to particular cases. 

While he made no reference to it, his comments come as the independence of the judiciary in Fiji is being tested. President Ratu Josefa Iliolo abolished the constitution, fired all the judges and declared a state of emergency in response to a senior court ruling that Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s regime was unlawful. 

Fiji’s Ministry of Information said in a statement that there would be a “slight disruption” to the country’s courts Tuesday because Iliolo was in the process of appointing new judges and magistrates. The appointments were expected “soon”. 

Peter Williams, a New Zealand lawyer who has tried cases in Fiji’s courts, told TVOne News that any imposed judicial system would be “a sham”. 

“The independence of the judiciary is the most important quality of all. How can any person become a judge if that person is to agree to be a slave to a pirate government?” he said. 

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Independence is king, judge rules
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
new role with SA judicial appointment, scales of justice
Jan 15 2018
Worker's comp expert takes on new role with SA judicial appointment
An Adelaide barrister has been appointed deputy president of the South Australian Employment Tribuna...
Scales of Justice, NSW Bar Association
Jan 16 2018
New case management approach won’t beat backlog: NSW Bar Association
The New South Wales Bar Association says a new case management approach will fail to make a signific...
Jan 12 2018
E-discovery predictions for 2018
Promoted by Law In Order The outlook for early adopters of e-discovery in legal looks bright in 2...
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'...
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...
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 & ...