Queensland Chief Justice Tim Carmody
Queensland Chief Justice Tim Carmody Rae Wilson

Chief Justice rejects accusations of being a hypocrite

QUEENSLAND Chief Justice Tim Carmody interrupted his visit to Papua New Guinea to defend his name after an outgoing Supreme Court judge accused him of hypocrisy.

Through the Justice Department, Chief Justice Carmody wrote:

"I refer to the unfortunate remarks made by Justice Wilson this morning.

"I am disappointed that he would use such an occasion to embroil the court in more controversy.

"I reject outright his attack on my integrity and performance as Chief Justice.

"His behaviour is the best argument yet for an independent judicial commission.

"I will not be making any further comment at this time."
 

 

EARLIER: Chief justice calls colleagues 'snakes' and 'scum', says judge

A RETIRING Supreme Court judge revealed major tensions within the Queensland court system, saying Chief Justice Tim Carmody had referred to judges as "snakes" and "scum".

In his retiring speech on Thursday, Justice Alan Wilson told a room full of Brisbane's best legal minds there was a lack of morale in their workplace and many judges had considered quitting because of it.

"It will be recalled that the Chief Justice, in his public remarks last Christmas, urged the judges to maintain stability and courtesy," Justice Wilson said.

"But he has, on different occasions, referred to us collectively as snakes and scum. Both the remarks and that kind of hypocrisy have a devastating effect upon morale.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Top barristers urge Carmody to refuse post

"I hear judges at all levels of seniority, including my counter ones, speaking seriously of resignation," he said.

"The problem is bad and getting worse, that is why I'm driven to speak today."

APN approached the Justice Department to determine whether Justice Carmody wished to respond to the comments but the office did not reply by Thursday night.

In his speech, Justice Wilson said the Chief Justice had removed himself from all trial sittings in Brisbane and had not sat in a hearing since February this year.

"He has withdrawn himself from all published court calendars so nobody knows when or whether he intends sitting again.

"That is an extraordinary state of affairs."

Justice Wilson also told the room of more than 250 people about a "shocking sacking" Justice Carmody had planned for senior judge administrator John Byrne.

Justice Wilson said this attracted the unanimous condemnation of judges and their resistance led to the decision being overturned.

He also hit out at Justice Carmody for not having the skills for the job.

Justice Wilson said judges had to be respected and have some administrative, political and personal skills.

"In the case of the Chief Justice they must also attract some respect for their legal ability," he said.

"Sadly the current experiment involving a chief justice who frankly admits that he lacks that ability and has singly failed to manifest those skills is not working. And there is no reason to think that it ever would."

Mr Wilson said his comments were his own and that other judges did not know what he was going to say in his speech.

He also said he had agonised about what he would say.

Despite the accusations of Justice Carmody, Justice Wilson had the room in stitches during parts of his speech.

He said his diverse judicial career had been fascinating and satisfied his "short attention span". He said you had to keep these types of judges interested or they would start chewing off the furniture.

He also thanked associates and colleagues for their support and for educating him about new technology and using modern English. "I'm, like, totally grateful," he said. - APN NEWSDESK



That council issues that split Gympie over 25 years

premium_icon That council issues that split Gympie over 25 years

We look back at the region's five biggest controversies.

Gympie region quarry will hurt property values and lifestyle

premium_icon Gympie region quarry will hurt property values and lifestyle

Council puts company ahead of ratepayers if it approves: letter

GALLERY: Gympie netball stars shine at carnival

premium_icon GALLERY: Gympie netball stars shine at carnival

GALLERY: Gympie netball stars shine at carnival

Local Partners