Following comments made by the Deputy Premier on Thursday 9 February about a decision made by the Townsville Children’s Court, Queensland Law Society is concerned a sustained attack on judicial independence may undermine public confidence in the judiciary and in the broader administration of justice.

These comments described the Magistrate’s decision as a “media stunt”, the Magistrate as “someone who clearly does not agree with our laws” and suggests that Townsville residents are being “held to ransom by rogue courts and rogue justices”.

Queensland Law Society President, Chloé Kopilović said because of their position, judges are not able to defend themselves and it is ordinarily not appropriate for them to answer criticisms of their decisions in the media.

“While there may be disagreement about judges’ decisions, it is critical to be aware that there are robust checks and balances in place to guard against improper judicial decisions,” Ms Kopilović said.

“Parties to a matter who are unhappy with a judicial decision have appeal rights, and in the case of bail decisions about young offenders, the ability to have these decisions appealed in the Childrens Court of Queensland.

“We urge the Government to uphold the doctrine of separation of powers and to preserve the independence of our judiciary.”