Queensland Law Society

Government endangers democracy with separation of powers breach

Date 24 Oct 2013
Contact Natalie Graeff, Manager Corporate Communication
Phone 07 3842 5868
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email n.graeff@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society and former Supreme Court justice Richard Chesterman said today the government’s breach of the separation of powers was at odds with its intended aim of protecting the community.

Queensland Law Society president Annette Bradfield said by bringing in arbitrary detention laws and bypassing the judiciary, government had damaged a fundamental democratic principle.

“Government does not have a mandate to undermine the rule of law,” Ms Bradfield said

“I want to be clear that we have no sympathy for criminal conduct, however, this exposes Queenslanders to a situation where those who make the laws are the ones who apply the laws.

“You cannot have a functioning democracy where justice is delivered not on the facts and circumstances of a case, but on assumed popular opinion.” 

Former Supreme Court justice Richard Chesterman agreed saying he supported the rule of law and good government.

“I am not an apologist for those who break the law.

“I oppose arbitrary powers of imprisonment given to politicians.”