Attorney-General to consider new judge selection protocol

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Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath is looking at making the judge selection process in her state more open, the Courier Mail reported this morning.

“I know there are great people right across the state who I’m sure would make very good appointments but they might not be getting put forward because there is not a lot of openness to the process,” she told the Courier Mail.

“I want to make sure that we are identifying good people across the state and also looking at diversity. Not just gender diversity but cultural diversity as well.

“Our courts should be reflective of our broader community, just as our Parliament should be reflective of our broader community.”

A commission to oversee both judicial discipline and appointments is unlikely to be established this term, she said.
“My department is working on a brief for me on this at the moment,” said D’Ath.

“There are a number of appointments to come up this year at all three levels.

“I think it’s important to get whatever protocol we decide on in place as soon as possible but there will be further consultation with the heads of the jurisdictions and also the Bar Association and the Law Society before we decide on that.”

According to the Courier Mail, it’s one of several election commitments made by D’Ath, who announced a timetable for the reintroduction of the Murri Court system on the weekend as well as the reintroduction of the special circumstance court diversion program which is due to begin rolling out next month.

The Government introduced laws to re-establish the Sentencing Advisory Council last week, which will be tasked with reviewing the application of the new domestic violence laws.

“Late last year we increased the sentencing range of breaches of domestic violence orders so into the future we will be able to look at the research and see whether by increasing that sentencing range we have had any change in the way the courts are issuing those sentences,” D’Ath said.

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