The President of the JCA, Justice Robert Beech-Jones, has expressed concern over the repeated personal attacks on judges and magistrates in Victoria that are occurring as part of the political dispute between the Federal and Victorian governments over law and order in that State.
“The appropriate policing and legislative response to concerns over these issues are matters for those governments” Justice Beech-Jones said, “but personalised attacks on judges and magistrates as opposed to individual decisions are unfair and unwarranted” Justice Beech-Jones stated.
“One Minister has been quoted as saying there is a ‘problem’ with ‘some of the judges and magistrates’ appointed by the Victorian government. “Generalised sledging of the judiciary does not add to the debate” Justice Beech-Jones stated.
“It is unfair in that the judges and magistrates in question cannot respond and it undermines the capacity of the judiciary to apply the law impartially.”