Queensland’s next governor, chief justice Paul de Jersey, says he will resist the urge to offer his opinions when giving assent to new laws.
Queensland’s chief justice and next governor doesn’t think the rift between the judiciary and the Newman government is major or long-lasting.
Premier Campbell Newman announced on Wednesday that Paul de Jersey would become the state’s 26th governor from July 29, taking over from Penelope Wensley.
At a news conference announcing his appointment, Justice de Jersey defended Mr Newman’s right to express his opinions and played down the fallout from his criticisms.
The premier has incurred the wrath of the legal profession for suggesting some defence lawyers acting for bikies are hired guns who are part of the criminal gang machine.
He was also accused of breaching the separation of powers when he urged the judiciary in 2013 to start realising what the community wanted and act accordingly.
“A degree of tension is a healthy incident of a democracy which respects the rule of law as ours does,” Justice de Jersey said on Wednesday.
“I do not see any persisting adverse effect on the independent legal profession or court system.
“I don’t think there is a major problem in the relationship between the court system and the executive legislative branches of the government at all.”
Justice de Jersey said that as governor, he would resist any urge to offer his opinions when giving assent to new laws.
“A governor makes a mark in other ways, principally through interaction with the people,” he said.
Mr Newman said Justice de Jersey had served the people of Queensland well throughout his legal career.
“His extensive experience and service to the people of Queensland makes him not just qualified but the perfect fit (as governor),” he said.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said Justice de Jersey was a good choice and his appointment would have the support of the community.
“It’s a decision that we can all agree on,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Australian Monarchist League’s Queensland branch welcomed the appointment of Justice de Jersey, a constitutional monarchist.
“Justice de Jersey has spent a lifetime in the service of the Queensland people and there is nothing more fitting than his appointment to signify an outstanding career dedicated to our community,” spokesman Ben Collison said in a statement.