Judge Barry Beazley has refused a temporary appointment to the Supreme Court by the South Australian government.
Though The Advertiser reported that Beazley hasn’t commented on exactly why he made the decision, ‘insiders’ said he believes temporary judges won’t help the backlog and that the government should adequately resource the courts.
Beazley has been praised by the SA Law Society for taking a stand against the ongoing judge shortage in the state.
“Judge Beazley has distinguished himself by refusing this appointment because he has done it for all the right reasons, namely the need for our courts to be rejuvenated with respect to judicial succession and I commend the judge on a decision which puts the public interest ahead of his self-interest,” said Law Society president David Caruso.
“[Appointing auxiliary judges] is a politicisation at least from the point of the public perception about the way our courts operate.”
According to the ABC, Caruso said the appointment of temporary judges is an attempt to save money. The Law Society said Beazley’s rejection of the appointment is good for the independence of the judiciary.
“These appointments are for a limited tenure,” Caruso said.
“Judge Beazley was one of three auxiliary appointments of three District Court judges to the higher Supreme Court — now judges should be appointed on a full-time, permanent basis for the sole reason that it ensure their independence from government.”
He said he hopes the message that permanent appointments should be made will get through to Attorney-General John Rau
“Use of auxiliary judges is a matter for the courts,” said a statement from Rau’s office.
“They are necessary from time to time to hear cases that may require specific legal expertise, or in cases where local judicial officers have a conflict of interest.”