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
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Bar president slams Dutton for saying ‘the law is an ass’

Bar president slams Dutton for saying ‘the law is an ass’


The president of the Australian Bar Association has criticised Acting Minister for Justice, Peter Dutton, for making “uninformed comments” and undermining confidence in the judiciary.

The condemnation from bar president Fiona McLeod SC comes after Mr Dutton told 2GB Radio he agreed with coverage of a court case in The Courier-Mail last Thursday.

The Courier-Mail included an editorial arguing against a decision from the Queensland Court of Appeal to overturn a murder conviction, with the words ‘The law is an ass’ featured on the front page on 9 December.

Mr Dutton said the editorial was “dead right”, concluding that “the law’s an ass and sorry to say that’s the reality”.

“Judges should have independence but they should reflect community views,” he said.

Ms McLeod said the role of the judiciary is to apply the law impartially and independently, not to reflect the views of particular interest groups or political interests.

“Unfortunately, the acting minister’s comments fail to recognise the crucial role of our courts in making judicial decisions by applying the law to the particular facts before them,” said Ms McLeod.

“Uninformed comments like these only serve to undermine public confidence in the judiciary. Appeal processes exist to ensure oversight of judicial decisions.

“A strong, independent judiciary is a cornerstone of our system of government, and I call upon the Minister to retract his irresponsible and damaging comments.”

Mr Dutton’s remarks follow a decision by the Chief Justice Catherine Holmes and Justices Hugh Fraser and Robert Gotterson to change last year’s murder conviction of Gerard Baden-Clay to manslaughter last Tuesday.

Mr Baden-Clay was convicted of murder last year after he killed his wife Allison in 2012.

Bar president slams Dutton for saying ‘the law is an ass’
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
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 & ...