Professor Frank Brennan SJ addresses the Queensland Law Society dinner, 21 February 2014, 30 years on from his book Too Much Order with Too Little Law.
Mr Ian Brown, President of the Queensland Law Society, Members of the Society, Chief Justice de Jersey, Justice Susan Kiefel, Senator the Hon George Brandis, the Hon Jarrod Bleijie, Your Honour Chief Judge Patsy Wolfe, Judge Tim Carmody, ladies and gentlemen:
I join with you in acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. In doing so, I note that before Mabo such an acknowledgement was rare. But since then community attitudes have been informed by the thinking of our High Court which in developing and applying the common law found that Aboriginal Australians had title to land which pre-existed the assertion of sovereignty by the British Crown and which survived that assertion. That is the firmer legal and social foundation for our relating nowadays.
I congratulate you Mr Brown on your election as president of the Queensland Law Society. These are challenging days in Queensland for taking on this role. President Margaret McMurdo recently had cause to pay tribute to your predecessor Ms Annette Bradfield who had 'presciently raised members' concerns' about some amendments to the criminal law 'which, she argued, transferred judicial power to the executive government' and which were later found 'to be beyond Queensland's legislative power and invalid'. President McMurdo rightly expressed pride in your predecessor's independence.
I had cause to reflect on this independence recently when reading the news of Stephen Keim SC and the complications of his having been offered a government brief in a politically uncontroversial matter in an area of law in which he is known to be expert. Stephen and I first got to know each other when we started secondary school sharing a dormitory in Toowoomba almost a lifetime ago. I have therefore long had cause to watch his career as an independent counsel of the Queensland Bar. On withdrawal of the brief without coherent explanation, I contacted him with a reminiscence. Forty-two years ago there was a state of emergency declared in this city while an all white Springbok rugby team played against the Wallabies. I was a first year law student at the University of Queensland at the time. On 2 August 1971, the Vice President of the Queensland Bar published a letter in The Australian saying:
The contemporary discussion of law and order has been overlaid with other issues: apartheid and football (as to which there is little disagreement), politics and protest (as to which there will always be disagreement). The fact remains that law and order are essential to a civilised community…When legitimate protest degenerates into unlawful disruption, governments are invited to assume powers of doubtful legality, and to condone unlawful actions by police. When governments do not exercise their powers honestly and fairly and with statesmanship, they invite disruptive expressions of protest. In either case both the rulers and the ruled attack the concept of law and order. Is it not time for both to examine their consciences?
When attending the Bar common room for lunch that day, a senior silk told the Vice President that there was now no prospect of his ever being a judge. That Vice President happened to be my father. He did end up a judge — being appointed twice by the Fraser government and finally to the chief justiceship by the Keating government. There is a place for conscience and courage in the law, especially when the prevailing political orthodoxy of those who exercise legislative or executive power is contrary to one's deeply considered assessment of human rights and human dignity.
As Chief Justice, Sir Gerard Brennan when speaking at Bond University had cause to observe:
Montesquieu had pointed out that 'there is no liberty, if the power of judgment be not separated from the legislative and executive powers'. Hamilton, following Montesquieu, described an independent Judiciary as 'the best expedient which can be devised in any government to secure a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws'. In this country, the separation of judicial from legislative and executive power and the separation of the judges from political activity have been rigorously maintained by the High Court. The separation of the political powers from the judicial power and the repositories of those respective powers from one another guarantees not only the independence of the Judiciary but the appropriate responsibility for the exercise of those powers.
He went on to explain:
Responsibility for the state of the law and its implementation must rest with the branches of government that are politically accountable to the people. The people can bring influence to bear on the legislature and the executive to procure compliance with the popular will. But a clamour for a popular decision must fall on deaf judicial ears. The Judiciary are not politically accountable. The Courts cannot temper the true application of the law to satisfy popular sentiment. The Courts are bound to a correct application of the law, whether or not that leads to a popular decision in a particular case and whether or not the decision accords with executive policy.
The second last time there was a new Supreme Court building opened in this city was September 1981. The then Chief Justice Sir Charles Wanstall reflected:
[King] James regarded himself in authoritarian terms as the embodiment of the Divine Right to dictate, but his Chief Justice, Lord Edward Coke, boldly responded to this assertion in words that have become immortal: 'Sire, you are under God and the law.' And so commenced the struggle for the independence of the judges that was won in England in 1701, when the Act of Settlement finally established it. Today, the people of Queensland, the inheritors of that fundamental and priceless constitutional principle, will recognize in this simple ceremony its symbolic restatement as their enduring right.
Last time a new Supreme Court building was opened in this city, your present Chief Justice Paul De Jersey recalled these words of his predecessor on receiving the key to the court from the Attorney-General. The Chief Justice said, 'This symbolic act thereby emphasizes the independence of the judiciary from the other branches of State authority, the legislature and the executive.' This evening, both the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General honour you all by their presence.
Back in 1981, there had been controversy here in Queensland, as there has been recently, about the exercise of executive and judicial power. The then governor was not a lawyer, but a very savvy Navy Commodore, Sir James Ramsay. Opening what proved to be a very unsatisfactory court building, he very satisfactorily stated the relevant principle:
We, in this country today, can be grateful that our predecessors, the colonisers of this land, brought with them and instituted the practices of English law. For it is a dynamic system. It can, and must, and will evolve to solve and meet the changes in social, industrial and international relationships taking place in the world today. 'Law and order' is one of today's important political issues. There is a danger however that we try to achieve too much order with too little law, by bypassing the processes we have inherited from those eight centuries of experience and hard fought battles against tyranny. The people of Queensland look to the law to defend their rights.
That year I was spending a brief time at the Victorian Bar. Over the previous years while studying theology and philosophy, I spent my vacations coming here to Queensland to appear in the Magistrates' Court defending protesters who had fallen into the web of legal regulations being wrongly applied to thwart public protest at the whim of the then premier. I was briefed to appear because it was difficult for young barristers here to take the briefs because there was a directive within crown law that those appearing were never to receive any government work. I remember on one occasion running into a mate from law school days who by then was a judge's associate. He is now a respected Supreme Court judge so I will not name him. He told me that he had just been up to crown law trying to fix up his pay. He met a magistrate who unloaded rather freely. The magistrate said that he was tied up in the 'expletive deleted' demonstrator court: 'We have this flash Jesuit from the south who has come putting all sorts of legal arguments which we cannot understand. But that's not the worst of it. When we reject his submissions, he is just so 'expletive deleted' polite.' I returned to Melbourne that weekend well-satisfied, though troubled that my advocacy was not sufficient to render comprehensible the points being made about onus of proof and the prosecution's undue reliance on averment provisions.
Reflecting on the experience in the demonstrator court, I wrote my first book, drawing the title Too Much Order with Too Little Law from the insightful remarks of the Queensland governor. I was honoured to have the book launched by Bill Pincus then President of the Bar.
Three decades on, Queensland once again has a premier who finds some political advantage in skewing the balance between law and order, impugning the integrity and vocation of the legal profession. He has described defence lawyers as hired guns. I understand litigation is now pending. No doubt the Premier will retain the services of competent paid counsel. Following upon the Premier's claim that defence lawyers 'will see, say and do anything to defend their clients', I was heartened to read the remarks by Justice Peter Applegarth to a jury being empanelled in your splendid new Supreme Court building:
[T]he lawyers who appear before you in this case and the lawyers who appear in all the cases in this building have high duties, duties to prosecute to the best of their ability, duties to defend to the best of their ability, duties to represent the interests of those who they appear for.
But they have higher duties. And they're demanding. And I'm pleased to say that in this country we have, with very rare exceptions, lawyers who will put their duty to the court and their duty to justice higher than the interests of their clients and winning a case.
Undoubtedly there are many challenges confronting our elected leaders in dealing with violent crime and with pathological sex offenders. But long-term sustainable solutions must be based on respect for judicial independence and for the role of the legal profession. Having chaired the National Human Rights Consultation in 2009, I am convinced that Australia's exceptionalism in failing to legislate comprehensively for the protection of human rights will put increasing pressure on the relationship between the three branches of government. Responding to that pressure, our courts are now isolated from courts elsewhere, including those in the United Kingdom which are constrained and directed by Strasbourg and their own Human Rights Act. In the UK, the Tories long concerned about the influence of Strasbourg are no longer suggesting the repeal of their Human Rights Act but the passage of a new Bill of Rights which will include the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights. Our courts are less able to profit from the cross-fertilisation of ideas from other equivalent jurisdictions such as the UK, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.
Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do. Speaking at the London School of Economics on 'Religious Faith and Human Rights', Rowan Williams when the Archbishop of Canterbury boldly and correctly asserted:
The question of foundations for the discourse of non-negotiable rights is not one that lends itself to simple resolution in secular terms; so it is not at all odd if diverse ways of framing this question in religious terms flourish so persistently. The uncomfortable truth is that a purely secular account of human rights is always going to be problematic if it attempts to establish a language of rights as a supreme and non-contestable governing concept in ethics.
No one should pretend that the discourse about universal ethics and inalienable rights has a firmer foundation than it actually has. Williams concluded his lecture with this observation:
As in other areas of political or social thinking, theology is one of those elements that continues to pose questions about the legitimacy of what is said and what is done in society, about the foundations of law itself. The secularist way may not have an answer and may not be convinced that the religious believer has an answer that can be generally accepted; but our discussion of social and political ethics will be a great deal poorer if we cannot acknowledge the force of the question.
Once we abandon any religious sense that the human person is created in the image and likeness of God and that God has commissioned even the powerful to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly, it may be very difficult to maintain a human rights commitment to the weakest and most vulnerable in society. It may come down to the vote, moral sentiment or tribal affiliations. And that will not be enough to extend human rights universally. In the name of utility, society might not feel so impeded, limiting social inclusion to those like us, 'us' being the decision makers who determine which common characteristics render embodied persons eligible for human rights protection. Nicholas Wolterstorff says, 'Our moral subculture of rights is as frail as it is remarkable. If the secularisation thesis proves true, we must expect that that subculture will have been a brief shining episode in the odyssey of human beings on earth.'
Marking the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the late Irish poet Seamus Heaney said:
Since it was framed, the Declaration has succeeded in creating an international moral consensus. It is always there as a means of highlighting abuse if not always as a remedy: it exists instead in the moral imagination as an equivalent of the gold standard in the monetary system. The articulation of its tenets has made them into world currency of a negotiable sort. Even if its Articles are ignored or flouted — in many cases by governments who have signed up to them — it provides a worldwide amplification system for the 'still, small voice'.
The concept of human rights has real work to do whenever those with power justify their solutions to social ills or political conflicts only on the basis of majority support or by claiming the solutions will lead to an improved situation for the mainstream majority. Even if a particular solution is popular or maximises gains for the greatest number of people, it might still be wrong and objectionable. There is a need to have regard to the wellbeing of all members of the community.
The late Professor Louis Henkin, arguably the US's most outstanding international human rights lawyer of the twentieth century, neatly summarised the varying perspectives on the origin and basis of human rights, espousing the centrality of the idea in any society committed to freedom, justice and peace for all:
Although there is no agreement between the secular and the theological, or between traditional and modern perspectives on human beings and on the universe, there is now a working consensus that every man and woman, between birth and death, counts, and has a claim to an irreducible core of integrity and dignity. In that consensus, in the world we have and are shaping, the idea of human rights is an essential idea.
'Human rights' is the contemporary language for embracing, and the modern means of achieving, respect and dignity for all.
At his swearing in to the High Court last year, Justice Patrick Keane took some comfort that the Australian judiciary were not a social elite as in some other countries, being drawn from the egalitarian democracy shaped by those Australians of the Depression and War eras who provided selflessly and generously for the education of their children. He invoked Martin Luther King who said, 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.' With a touch of nationalistic pride, Keane opined that it bends more sharply in that direction here in this part of the southern hemisphere because of the egalitarianism of our forebears.
Soon the Attorney General will toast the Queensland legal profession. I join with your president in saluting those who will be receiving their 50 year membership pins and the President's Medal, as well as the winner of the firm Equity and Diversity award. I applaud especially those who have been attentive to the 'still, small voice'. In the challenging times ahead here in Queensland may all members of the profession including those who have already given 50 years of service to the community take to heart President McMurdo's recent comments to the newly admitted practitioners:
As members of the legal profession, together with the assistance of an independent judiciary, you play an institutional role in Queensland's precious democracy. The independent legal profession operates as a check on the abuse of executive power and ensures that every citizen has access to the rule of law which provides equal justice for all, regardless of gender, race, skin colour, religion, sexual preference, power or wealth.
May this continue to be the case in the Sunshine State no matter what the prevailing ethos of executive government or the populism of the parliament. Without your independence and attention to conscience, the arc of the moral universe will be skewed away from justice when our elected leaders think they can maintain order without law. Together, performing their respective roles, and respecting the roles of others, elected politicians, unelected judges and professional lawyers can deliver that most valuable social good — justice according to law, for all persons. Despite our differences, let's all support each other in discerning and then playing our part in the midst of present controversies.
Fr Frank Brennan SJ is professor of law at Australian Catholic University, and adjunct professor at the College of Law and the National Centre for Indigenous Studies, Australian National University.
Comments should be short, respectful and on topic. Email is requested for identification purposes only.
25 February 2014
Brilliant, Frank. We often hear politicians espouse the value of our 'Judeo-Christian Heritage' (when our Graeco-Roman heritage is probably more important), but seldom do we hear them recognise the importance of the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary, or, for that matter, the rule of habeus corpus. The best current examples of the abuse of these principles are probably the ways we deal with asylum-seekers and 'terrorism'- suspects where, in both cases, our governments (of all political persuasions) seek to manufacture an atmosphere of 'War' to cloak the removal of these basic protections.
Fr Frank Brennan SJ
12 March 2014
It is very unfortunate to learn from Richard Ackland’s Justinian magazine that rumours around legal circles in Brisbane suggest that the President of the Law Society “sought to repair the situation, so he wrote to the two AGs expressing regret at any distress caused by the after-dinner speaker. ??Further, we hear, this apology has not gone down well with some on the QLS council who think that the president should have sought their views before issuing a grovel.” Ackland accurately reported that at the dinner I “sat down to rapturous applause” from the QLS membership after the speech. I am very surprised to learn that anyone thought there was a need to express regret to any of the honoured guests. All very strange. Respect for the separation of powers in Queensland must be even more fragile than I suspected.
Frank Brennan SJ
25 March 2014
Extraordinary developments in Queensland. Here is the letter from the long serving Solicitor General who has resigned.
Anyone who has had experience in a senior position in business or in public service knows that from time to time it becomes necessary to appoint a person to an important position. This cannot be done without obtaining the candid and honest advice of people who are in a position to give an opinion about the merit of various candidates for the job. The giving of such advice is a difficult thing for, if one is to be candid (and the advice is useless if one is not), it may be necessary to say things which condemn the ambitions of close colleagues or even of friends. On the other hand, it may be necessary to suggest a rival or, dare I say it, a spouse. The possibility that such highly confidential conversations could become public would have an instant chilling effect on the willingness of others to participate in an essential process. Mouths would close and tongues would be stilled.
This is particularly so in the field of public service where those who make appointments owe a high duty to the public whom they ought to serve to obtain true advice and to appoint the best candidate who emerges from these consultations. As well, it is the duty of those who are consulted to give advice not only honestly, but also candidly and comprehensively.
It is not just startling but it is also a matter for public alarm that the Attorney General believes that it is permissible to reveal what he claims to be part of his confidential consultation with the President of the Court of Appeal. That he would have done so under any circumstances at all short of legal compulsion is shocking. That he has done so for personal and momentary political gain by attacking a respected servant of the public is unacceptable.
By his statement, evidently made solely to embarrass and undermine the President of the Court of Appeal, he has rendered it impossible for anybody to offer him honest and candid advice in confidence since he has shown that he is prepared to betray his confidence if he thinks that to do so might gain him momentary personal advantage. Indeed, it can be noted that if a public servant had been present at that conference and had revealed the content of the discussion, he or she would have committed an offence because the statutes of Queensland impose duties of secrecy upon public servants in relation to confidential matters learned in the course of duties and they impose criminal punishment for breaches. That is why whistleblowers are often prosecuted. The Attorney General Act 1999, under which the Attorney General was appointed, does not impose a statutory duty of confidence upon him. That is because no one in his right mind would imagine that a statutory duty would be required to remind an Attorney General of his duty. Rather, one expects that the integrity of the Attorney General as a human being should be enough of a guarantee of proper conduct without the need for a criminal law to keep him in line.
The Attorney General Act 1999 specifies that the Attorney General is the first law officer of the State. This is not a mere technicality. The position of the Attorney General is unlike that of any other Minister of the Crown. He is not merely a politician who, as a Minister of the Crown, forms part of the government. He is, by tradition and by the terms of the statute itself, the State's chief legal representative. The statutes provides that he is responsible to Parliament, and not to the Executive Government, for the administration of law and justice in the State. His legal powers are immense. He can initiate criminal prosecutions and he can terminate them. He can immunise people against prosecution. He can challenge the constitutional validity of laws or decline to do so.
And in practical terms it is he who decides who will be appointed as a judge or a magistrates because the Attorney General Act imposes a duty upon him to advise the Executive Council on judicial appointments. Being a duty imposed by statute, he cannot shirk it.
But having demonstrated that he cannot be trusted to keep discussions held in confidence confidential, even when it was with one of the two most senior judges in the State, how will he discharge that duty now? Who will now be prepared to consult with him candidly about the demerits of candidates for judicial office (except for the coterie of sycophants who surround every person with power to confer advantages)? Who would now be prepared to speak critically about colleagues or friends knowing that the Attorney General might blurt out these opinions when he has shown that his sense of his political needs will override his duty as first law officer of the State as well as his duty, as a decent human being, not to betray a confidence for personal advantage?
The President of the Court of Appeal has publicly denied the accuracy of the Attorney General's claims about what was said between them. But the actual content of the conversation is, in my opinion, of secondary importance. What is much more important is that the Attorney General did what he did and his reason for doing it.
At a meeting of women lawyers last Friday evening, during which the President of the Court of Appeal congratulated some of the female barristers present upon their recent achievements, she also explained the general record of progress of women lawyers in the State and observed that out of 17 appointments to judicial office which were the result of the Attorney General's recommendation to Executive Council in the last two years, only a single one of them has been a woman. This weird statistic is a startling fact that merits notice and deserves rational discussion. The President also observed that there were in fact many women who were suitable for appointment to almost all of these positions; notice, not suitable for all of the positions but almost all of them. These remarks of hers are part of a very long debate concerning the equal treatment of women, a debate in which many of us in the profession were engaged well before the Attorney General was even born and it will be with us long after he departs from his office.
It may well be that there was not a single woman in the State who was qualified to fill the other 16 positions for which the Attorney General chose to recommend men. If so, it would have been easy for the Attorney General to have said so and to explain the basis for this apparently anomalous fact. If, contrary to the statement of the President of the Court of Appeal, there are not many women who were suitable for appointment to almost all of these roles, the Attorney General might have contradicted her with the evidence in his hands. But the Attorney General failed to make any relevant response.
Instead, his reaction was directly to defame a senior and respected Supreme Court judge who had raised a legitimate question for discussion but one which happened to be critical of government policy. As he himself might have put it, he attacked the man and not the ball. His response was to try to embarrass the President by saying she recommended a particular judge and by implying but not stating, that she also put forward her husband in order to advance his interests.
In my opinion, the conduct of Mr Bleijie constitutes a breach of his duty as Attorney General to keep confidential the content of discussions which were held in confidence. It has also prejudiced his capacity to carry out one of the duties of his office. Queensland deserves much, much better from its first law officer. And, what is most unfortunate, his conduct has the hint of a nasty schoolboy's snicker in it."
Walter Sofronoff March 2014
Frank brennan Sj
02 April 2014
And furthermore, see the submission by Tony FitzGerald to the Queensland parliamentary committee at
Frank Brennan SJ
13 June 2014
I knew things were not well in Queensland when I gave this speech four months ago. The appointment of the new Chief Justice this past week has been a complete fiasco. Just compare the statement from the President of the Bar resigning this afternoon with the statement from the Law Society issued yesterday:
“I will today resign as President of the Bar Association of Queensland.
My resignation is related to the appointment yesterday of Carmody QC DCJ as the State’s next Chief Justice. My actions in resigning should not be taken as any personal criticism of the Chief Magistrate.
My concern is with the process which resulted in the appointment. The Government met with me to discuss the appointment of de Jersey CJ’s successor. One such meeting occurred on Tuesday 3 June 2014 at Parliament House with the Attorney-General and one of his senior staff. The meeting was said to be confidential. The possible appointment of Judge Carmody was discussed.
By Friday morning (6 June), news was filtering back to me from various sources, including details of what I had discussed with the Attorney-General on Tuesday. Some of that information could only have come from a participant in the meeting. Some of the information was a distortion of what had been said.
An urgent meeting of Bar Council was called for lunchtime on Friday and it was resolved that I ought to write to the Attorney-General, restating the position stated at my meeting with him on the Tuesday. It is not appropriate to disclose the content of that letter, save to say that it did not urge the appointment of Judge Carmody.
Many of you know our colleague Ryan Haddrick. He is a member of John Jerrard Chambers, the former chambers of Judge Carmody and other recent appointees, Magistrates Shearer and Simpson. Haddrick is known as being close to both Judge Carmody and the Attorney-General. Indeed, he acted as Mr Bleijie’s Chief of Staff for a period. He was later retained by the State to act as junior counsel assisting the Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection of which Tim Carmody QC (as the Chief Magistrate then was) was commissioner.
On Friday afternoon, Haddrick sent a text message to Bar Council member Mark Plunkett. That text message said “Okay. I have obviously heard what happened at the Bar Council meeting”. Plunkett had, in fact, not been at the Bar Council meeting because of another commitment. He texted back to Haddrick to that effect. Haddrick then responded “Common sense needs to prevail. There are two more Supreme Court appointments, three District appointments and about five Magistrates to go this term. I want some of them to be barristers!! and not solicitors!!!”.
I have absolutely no reason to believe that Haddrick was speaking on behalf of Judge Carmody.
Plunkett and Haddrick then had a telephone conversation in which Haddrick reiterated what he said in the text message and added that the statutory power of the Bar Association to issue practising certificates could be removed.
Plunkett sent me an email setting all this out, which I then sent on to one of the Attorney-General’s advisers, together with a strong objection. I was told, in effect, that what Haddrick had said was untrue and not authorised by the Government.
On Sunday the 8th of June Haddrick rang Plunkett. Haddrick told Plunkett that the appointment of Judge Carmody was a fait accompli and the Bar Association should support the appointment.
On Monday morning in the Courier-Mail there appeared an article concerning Judge Carmody and on Tuesday there appeared in the paper an article concerning a letter that had been written by Sofronoff QC regarding the potential appointment of Judge Carmody. I telephoned Judge Carmody on the Tuesday morning. It is not appropriate for me to disclose the details of the conversation, but it was evident that the judge had been told the substance of the confidential conversations I had had with the Attorney-General concerning him.
As accurately predicted by Haddrick, Judge Carmody’s appointment was announced yesterday afternoon.
The Government has said that they consulted widely on the appointment. My sense though is that there was little, if any, support for the appointment within the legal profession and little, or none, within the ranks of sitting Supreme Court judges. Senior figures warned against the appointment and some have spoken out against it since its announcement.
All this culminated in a formal announcement by the Premier and Attorney-General at the Supreme Court Library yesterday. Judge Carmody gave an acceptance speech, and answered some questions where, remarkably, his Honour thought it necessary to tell the audience gathered that he was independent – something no new judge has ever felt it necessary to do.
Throughout the process, I have attempted to ensure the maintenance of the dignity of the courts and protect, not only the office of Chief Justice, but also the office of the Chief Magistrate, and of the courts generally. Of course, it is the institutions which are important, not the personalities.
The Bar Association ought to be involved in the process of appointment of judges. That is done through the President. As I have no faith in the integrity of the process, I cannot engage further in it. I have concluded, with great regret and sadness, that I ought not continue to hold the office of President.
I have been honoured to lead you.”
Meanwhile here is the statement from the Queensland Law Society: “The QLS today warmly welcomed the appointment of the Chief Magistrate, The Honourable Judge Tim Carmody QC, to the role of Chief Justice. The appointment was announced today by the Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman. President Ian Brown said Judge Carmody has served the profession with great distinction and will be a fine leader of the Queensland judiciary and the legal profession. ‘The position of Chief Justice is of central importance to the community as the leader of the Supreme Court, the judiciary and the profession. I am sure Judge Carmody will serve with dignity, integrity and compassion in the best tradition of the role of Chief Justice. This is an important day for the profession, and for Queensland.’”
An important day indeed.