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Chief Magistrate goes off at the lazy ACT PS

By johnboy - 4 January 2009 14

The Canberra Times is carrying an interesting spray by the ACT’s Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill.

It seems that over the Christmas period the ACT public servants on whom the court relies to process bail applications all pissed off without leaving anyone in charge.

Something a competent Government should be able to stay on top of?

Or to be expected when illiterate dope growers are rising to executive positions?

UPDATED: The CT now has word from an angry John Hargreaves who doesn’t actually dispute the Chief Magistrate’s complaints. Rather Mr. Hargreaves has an interpretation of the separation of powers doctrine which requires judges to keep their traps shut.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Chief Magistrate goes off at the lazy ACT PS
PantsMan 2:42 pm 05 Jan 09

Dude, don’t – like – freak out at the Executive Bong guy. My short term memory is not that good, but I do remember an Acting Commissioner for Revenue who faked is PHD, as well as all his other qualifications.

I’m sure they’re probably employing war criminals as well.

Unbelievable.

Granny 2:22 pm 05 Jan 09

I have a lot of time for Ron Cahill.

He was the first magistrate on our case and he made all the difference in the world to our experience, especially compared with the second guy.

If he is concerned enough about the calibre of those being granted bail due to technicalities to break with convention and speak out publicly, then the community should probably sit up and take notice.

The legal system is really not properly equipped for circumstances such as Fedup’s, and it’s about time we took a good look at what the system could do better for people in these sorts of situations.

BerraBoy68 1:57 pm 05 Jan 09

Fedup – I’m with poptop, your current situaiton is terrible, surely somehting ncn be done about this?

I think the media need to keep up the pressure on the judiciary to let them know that community ewxpectations are that we want better than they are currently providing.

I’m not sure I want our legal system to focus on rehabalition at teh expense of the safety and well-being of law abiding citizens. I’d rather criminals just go away for a very long time. If they can be rehabilited ‘during’ a realistic sentence then all the better. I don’t know how feeling sorry for every social misfit, peadophile or sado-masichist out there helps those of us that just want to live hapy lives.

poptop 1:44 pm 05 Jan 09

Fedup, your story is appalling and I can’t imagine living in the nightmare you describe. I’m surprised to hear the judicial system is not taking note of repeated recidivism and sentencing accordingly; that hasn’t generally been my experience.

It seems that Canberra is too small a place to live in hiding – the perpetrator always seems to find where you live and the whole scenario is played out again.

It sucks if the victim has to deal with all the fall-out of this sort of situation. That said, in the circumstances you describe, I’d leave Canberra behind and go a long, long way away. Living in fear is no life at all.

fedup 1:14 pm 05 Jan 09

I’m sorry but in ACT it is almost impossible to not get bail. I’ve had my ex try and kill me, he killed my dog, trashed two of the houses I live in, groom my child, stalk me, assault me, breach his bail and DVO’s on numerous occasions and more and the law and all the support goes to him. The system is so faulty it encouages vigalanty antic’s. speaking to one parent she said after going through the joke of a judical system she will never go through the court system again and will fix it herself.
I’m the one who had to move, live in hiding, unable to return to my job and I’m the so called victim, yet I have been nothing but punished. The Police have been wonderful but the Sumpreme court judges (Higgins in particular) keep giving them chance after chance and bail after bail even claiming when he got kicked out of rehab for bringing alchol into it that it was harsh.
The DPP have also been great but whilst the Criminal gets the same lawyer through out I’ve had a new one each time. This means I have to rehash my nightmare time and time again or risk the DPP not understanding.
The whole justice system is built on rehabilitation. My ex has a ten year history which gets worse each year and all he does is say he is a drug addict with a bad childhood and he gets a poor baby and sent to rehab. It’s his anual get out of jail free card.
I’ve been advised by profesionals (who he has seen) to leave the state as he will never stop till he finishes the job. So if the poor hard done by ciminals had to spend an extra week in jail bad luck at least this Xmas I could leave the house and see my family without fear.

Wilco 11:35 am 05 Jan 09

More mere puff from the unlearned Mr Hargreaves, who, as evidenced by both his present utterances and his previous sensitive and caring remarks about windscreen washers, can always be relied on not to engage brain before opening mouth.

Ron Cahill was calling the shots as he saw them in his Court on that day. Depriving some one of their liberty is a serious matter. Locking some one up just because the Crown, with all the resources of the State behind it, can’t get its act together, is, as poptop points out, a denial of a fundamental right.

The ACT DPP has a new Director. He has significant cause for concern. His office has the lowest superior court conviction rate of any state/territory DPP. And it’s not all Terry Higgins’ fault. To improve the DPP’s efficiency, Jon White should be not only be critically evaluating the performance of his existing staff, but also considering how he might attract and retain competent advocates.

poptop 6:09 am 05 Jan 09

The golden thread – the presumption of innocence – would be why, willo. Locking up people in advance of determing their guilt isn’t a good way to go; most first world countries are signed up to the presumption of innocence as being one of the fundamental human rights.

There are times I’ll disagree with individual decisions by the judiciary, but this presumption is a good one.

willo 4:10 am 05 Jan 09

“the presumption is normally in favour of bail” ……..why???????…because there is not enough room to house the crims cos acm still has not opened???

miz 11:26 pm 04 Jan 09

PM, I too have heard this. In fact, I hear that all the State and Territory DPPs (as opposed to the Cth DPP) have had to cope with understaffing for a long time. It appears that law and order promises are electorally popular, resulting in increased front-end funding for police, resulting in increased arrests . . . but the esssential follow-on services, such as DPP and offender management services (prisons, drug rehab places, prison programs addressing offending behaviour, parole/post-release services) are expected to manage the significantly-increased flow-on workload without parallel increased funding or availability.

Given this chronic problem, I think the DPP do admirably.

peter@home 10:33 pm 04 Jan 09

Thumper said :

First Rudd, now Cahill.

Anyone else want to take a cheap shot at the PS, remembering of course that without the PS these people could not exist.

oh, if it were only that simple…

Thumper 8:43 pm 04 Jan 09

First Rudd, now Cahill.

Anyone else want to take a cheap shot at the PS, remembering of course that without the PS these people could not exist.

Vic Bitterman 6:48 pm 04 Jan 09

Bit rich of this idiot magistrate cahill who lets everyone off scott-free, having a go at the PS….

Nosey 1:23 pm 04 Jan 09

Bail or no bail.

Who cares???

The crooks don’t get sentenced to time anyway!!!!

Get over ot Ron.

PM 10:58 am 04 Jan 09

It doesn’t help when the DPP’s office is understaffed throughout the rest of the year…

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