Queensland’s premier has urged judges to “get on with the job” as three justices deny a report they are involved in a revolt against the new chief justice.
Queensland’s premier is urging judges to get on with their jobs amid concerns Supreme Court justices are campaigning against the state’s controversial new chief justice Tim Carmody.
A public welcoming ceremony will be held on Friday for Queensland’s 18th chief justice – three weeks after he was sworn in privately in the company of his immediate family.
Justice Carmody’s elevation to Queensland’s top judicial post, only 10 months after he was appointed chief magistrate, is continuing to cause a stir in the legal profession.
Asked if Justice Carmody should move to a new role, Premier Campbell Newman on Thursday offered this advice.
“All public officials should get on with the job of serving their fellow Queenslanders,” he told reporters in Hervey Bay.
“As public officials, we have a duty, a sworn duty, to serve the people of this state.”
Hours after that news conference, senior Queensland judges Philip McMurdo, Martin Daubney and David Boddice released a statement denying claims they were leading a campaign to make Judge Carmody quit.
A report in The Courier-Mail said the Supreme Court justices were involved in a “revolt”, “push” and “deliberate campaign” against the chief justice.
“Each of these allegations is completely false,” they said in a joint statement.
“It is a matter of concern that The Courier-Mail published these false statements without referring them to us for comment before publication.”
Queensland Labor frontbencher Jo-Ann Miller said the process to appoint Judge Carmody had been bungled.
“The judges have a right to be able to have their views known,” she told reporters in Brisbane.
The media report comes a day after Court of Appeal judge John Muir likened the appointment of Judge Carmody, who had not previously served on the Supreme Court bench, to a suburban GP leading cardiac surgeons through open heart surgery.
Other senior legal figures have slammed the appointment, including corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, former solicitor-general Walter Sofronoff, QC, and former Supreme Court judge Richard Chesterman, QC.
However, Justice Carmody has previously vowed to be an independent juror.
“There will be many times when I disagree with the government’s position,” he said last month.
The chief justice is due to preside over his first matter on August 11 but that case is understood to be an interim criminal matter, where legal argument will be considered.