Improving public confidence in judges is only possible if the state government moves to establish an independent commission, the president of the Queensland Law Society has said.
Last week, Queensland Law Society (QLS) president Christine Smyth renewed calls for state political parties to get behind the establishments of a new judicial commission.
A primary mandate of the body should be to formulate a list of potential judicial appointments from which the Queensland Attorney-General must choose from.
“Any deviations from this list must be openly reported to Parliament,” she said.
While Queensland has an excellent judiciary, Ms Smyth said that the evolution of the state’s justice system is at stake, should it continue without a proper system to hold judges accountable. She added that a new commission would give an avenue to address any questions about political appointments.
“A judicial commission would ameliorate the perception of political appointments, introduce a level independence not currently evident, address allegations of judicial misconduct and provide ongoing education to judicial officers,” Ms Smyth said.
“In addition, the very existence of the commission would go a long way to blunt ill-informed attacks on the integrity of the system.”
The QLS has taken the position that a judicial commission will improve the strength and independence of the judiciary.
The society published its calls for the new body in a document entitled 2017 State Election Call to Parties, which outlined how a commission would “fortify […] all processes surrounding the judicial appointments, conduct and education are open, transparent and independent”.