QLD AG, Law Society slam Dutton slight

by |
Queensland’s attorney-general and its Law Society have returned fire after federal minister Peter Dutton shot at the state’s judiciary saying lenient sentences shouldn’t be surprising given Labor appointed the judges and magistrates.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath pointed to tougher sentences for certain crimes and more transparency in the judiciary.
“We’ve already increased sentences for domestic and family violence offences and announced a raft of changes to strengthen laws around all forms of organised crime, including child exploitation, drug trafficking and financial crimes,” she said, according to the Australian Associated Press.
“We know the LNP have trouble with understanding the separation of powers – Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Ian Walker and now Peter Dutton,” D’Ath said.
Speaking to 2GB radio show about the recent “lenient” sentences for terror suspects, Dutton said it was “no wonder” sentences like that were being handed down “when you look at who appointed the judges and magistrates.”
“Have a look at the background of some of these appointments, some of their friendships, their affiliations,” he said.
“Look at the appointment of magistrates by Attorneys General (Rod) Welford, (Linda) Lavarch, Yvette D’Ath.
“Have a look back at the appointments and the backgrounds of these people and then ask yourself why are we getting some of the decisions we’re getting at the moment it’s no wonder.”
The Queensland Law Society was also dismissive of Dutton’s comments.
“No amount of populist can-kicking can take the place of a proper appeals process and an independent third judiciary,” said Law Society president Bill Potts.
“He does himself and his government little service by this kind of demagoguery,” he added.
The Law Society president said that Dutton should be prepared to name judges and magistrates when he’s talking about “lenient” sentences.
“Mr Dutton is prepared to wound, but not to kill, as he does not name names,” Potts told the AAP.
“If Mr Dutton feels so strongly then the authorities should appeal the decision.”