From Justice Michael Walton
President of the Australian Judicial Officers Association
23 June 2023
The Australian Judicial Officers Association wishes to make comment in relation to recent media coverage of the appointment of Justice Mordecai Bromberg as President of the Australian Law Reform Commission.
While the AJOA acknowledges the vital role of the media in reporting on and providing commentary about the work of the courts and judges, this does not give the media licence to denigrate the work of judges, or to engage in personal and unwarranted attacks on members of the judiciary where those attacks arise out of the exercise of their judicial function. It should be borne in mind that judges cannot respond.
Justice Bromberg is a senior and very experienced member of the Federal Court of Australia who, over his 14 years on the Bench, has been called upon to decide many complex cases, some of which have been the subject of substantial public interest. The exercise of the judicial function in applying legal principle to the facts of each case is sometimes controversial, and is often difficult. The fact that members of the community may have different opinions about the manner in which judges undertake this task, and that their decisions may sometimes be unpopular in the eyes of some in the community, provides no sound basis to question their integrity or suitability for office. Likewise, that judges may be overturned on appeal is an ordinary and essential feature of the legal system at work; it is an experience of which all judges are familiar.
The Australian Judicial Officers Association is the professional association of judges and magistrates in Australia. For further information, contact Karen Sloan, Australian Judicial Officers Association Secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org | 02 6125 5763.
The President of the AJOA is not available for broadcast or television interviews on this matter.
To view the statement as a PDF, please click here.