The media suggest that Chief Justice Tim Carmody may be on the point of retiring.
In April, Andrew Lynch wrote in Inside Story (13.4.15) that there was ‘a certain irony in invoking the principle of judicial independence in defence of Tim Carmody. Both before and after his appointment as chief justice it has been alleged that he was unacceptably close to government and also, in respect of the recent Court of Disputed Returns claim, that he was prepared to upset established processes designed to ensure judicial impartiality. It also offers no solution to the enormous problem of what Wilson called “the current experiment” of having a chief justice who “frankly admits” he lacks the legal ability necessary to attract the respect of those serving alongside and under him. As Orr says, the Supreme Court “is in a terrible bind.” Its members not only view Carmody as ill-equipped for his office but also resent him for a range of specific reasons, the validity of which he has been unable to convincingly dispel.’
Lynch writes that the lesson from all this is that it is vital to get things right at the time of appointment. ‘With judicial tenure secure except in the most extreme cases, it is important that those selected for judicial office are unquestionably able and respected.’
Audio recording of Carmody kept secret
‘An audio recording of Queensland’s Chief Justice Tim Carmody reportedly in an expletive-ridden tirade has been kept secret by the State Government.’The ABC applied for the smartphone recording and other documents showing the bitter relationship between Queensland’s most senior judges through the Right to Information process, but was refused.
‘The decision-maker said release would breach the Chief Justice’s privacy and risk undermining public confidence in the judiciary.’