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Judicial appointments under new tight rein

Judicial appointments under new tight rein

The nation's first legal officer today outlined a package of measures aimed at improving access to justice, and the effectiveness of the justice system.

THE nation’s first legal officer today outlined a package of measures aimed at improving access to justice, and the effectiveness of the justice system.

An access to justice website, increased funding of $154 million over four years for legal assistance services, and the new Civil Dispute Resolution Bill, add to a formalised policy for federal judicial appointments.

Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, today formalised the policy for judicial appointments with the launch of ‘Judicial Appointments: Ensuring a Strong and Independent Judiciary Through a Transparent Process’.

The Government implemented a new process for the appointment of federal judicial officers in 2008, aimed at improving transparency and ensuring that all appointments are based on merit. The process has received significant support and positive feedback.

Today’s new policy underlines the formal policy, an 8-step process which includes sending letters to the heads of courts and tribunals seeking nominations for vacant positions, and an advisory panel considering expressions of interest, as well as the Attorney General considering an report and writing to the Prime Minister seeking his and the Cabinet’s approval.

Speaking at the commencement of National Law Week today, McClelland said that through this open and transparent process, people can be confident that the Government is making the best possible appointments, that those appointments are based on merit, and that candidates are fairly and properly considered.

“A strong and independent judiciary is a cornerstone in the administration of justice and plays a fundamental role in upholding the rule of law.”



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