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
Corporate Lawyer
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· 12 months fixed term opportunity
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
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:

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

Independence is king, judge rules
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 & ...