The Courts they are a Changing

Jazz 30 July 2007 2

The ABC has this article on our illustrious Attorney General Simon Corbell annoucing that the ACT courts will be changing for the better, so that the DPP can appeal when a judge alone acquits. Has anyone told the magistrates this yet? They might have something to say on the situation.

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2 Responses to The Courts they are a Changing
chester chester 12:41 pm 30 Jul 07

Sorry should have read “ex-CT journo”.

chester chester 12:38 pm 30 Jul 07

I’d be very surprised if you saw any magistrates disputing this. The magistrates and their staff seem to be heavily weighted towards promoting the government’s agenda and pay only lip service to the concept of judicial independence. They need to recognize that, in so doing, they give newly-created political ratbags like me license to undermine the court’s authority. And in the long run that hurts all of us.

There are mavericks like Doogan. She spelt out the reasons behind the readiness for the Magistrates Court and the DPP to be subject to political interference in the Firestorm Report (funding arrangements, surprise, surprise).

But this really seems to be aimed at the Supreme Court anyway. As for whether any SC judges have the pluck to show their independence in regard to this or anything else, I’d count Crispin out. He seems to be a “government man”. Other than that, I can’t say. But it’s a question I’d like an answer to. So I’m going to put them to the test and blog about it here (insert unashamed plug):

I’m sure seeing the ACT justice system in practice will provide a thrill a minute over coming weeks.

This policy change also assumes mistakes are the fault of the courts. But at least one ex-CJ journo has commented to me that the DPP has made a real hash of some cases (sorry Richard old boy, but you know paybacks are sweet LOL). The murder of that dude at Kingston was one case I recall being mentioned.

If that is so, watering down double jeopardy laws could well give the prosecution more excuse to not only bring frivolous cases but to be sloppy in their case presentation the first time round.

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