A Queensland barrister says sour grapes is behind some of the opposition to Tim Carmody’s appointment as the state’s new chief justice.
A Queensland barrister has come out in support of the appointment of Tim Carmody as the state’s new chief justice, saying opposition from some judges may be just sour grapes.
Tony Morris QC says there’s no doubt Mr Carmody, who is being promoted from his current role as chief magistrate, can do the job.
Some in the judiciary have expressed concern that Mr Carmody lacks the necessary experience, and there’s been a suggestion that some judges will refuse to attend his swearing in ceremony.
Mr Morris says there’s an element of sour grapes from some in the judiciary who may feel they’ve been overlooked for the job.
“I think there’s a number of different motives in the mix here. In some instances it’s political, in some instances it’s a very sincere view that what’s happened isn’t the correct way to do things,” Mr Morris told ABC radio.
“There’s also a fair amount of sour grapes.
“Carmody’s going to be there for another 12 years. Those who are approaching the age when you get the seniors card are thinking well that’s the rest of my career.”
Mr Morris also defended Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, who has faced savage criticism for appointing Mr Carmody.
Peter Davis QC quit as president of the Queensland Bar Association last week, accusing Mr Bleijie or his chief of staff of leaking to Mr Carmody details of private discussions they about who should be the next chief justice.
Mr Davis cited a similar breach of confidence, involving Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo earlier this year, as evidence of a damaging breakdown in trust between the attorney-general and the judiciary.
Mr Bleijie has denied he or anyone from his office breached Mr Davis’s confidence.
Mr Morris said the leak could have come from anyone in government, and the attorney-general did not strike him as someone who would deliberately leak confidential discussions.
He said it wouldn’t be a good look if judges refused to turn up for Mr Carmody’s swearing in.
“It would be unfortunate for public confidence in the judicial system, but each individual judge will have to have it on his or her conscience about whether that’s the right thing to do,” he said.
“There are some who will tell you there might have been better choices, but I don’t think anyone doubts that Tim Carmody is capable of doing the job.”