Queensland’s premier recently claimed that defence lawyers were “part of the criminal gang machine”, but the Australian Senate does not agree.
The Australian Senate has called on Attorney-General George Brandis to speak up for the legal profession after recent comments by Queensland’s premier.
Campbell Newman claimed that defence lawyers were “part of the criminal gang machine” last week, but those comments have been condemned after an Australian Greens motion succeeded in the Senate.
The motion, which passed the federal upper house on Thursday, said the comments were incorrect and did not acknowledge lawyers’ professional obligations, the integrity of the judiciary or the application of the separation of powers in Australian parliamentary democracy.
Greens Senator Penny Wright said Mr Newman’s comments were ignorant and irresponsible.
“His disdain for the legal profession is alarming and he’s backing it up with extreme legislation,” she said in a statement.
The motion called on federal Attorney-General George Brandis to speak up for and safeguard the integrity of the legal profession and judiciary.
“Mr Brandis must publicly state whether he backs Australia’s lawyers and judges and the foundations of Australian democracy – or whether he backs his Liberal colleague, Mr Newman,” Senator Wright said.