The former Queenland attorney general Kerry Shine was caught red-handed appointing close friends as judges and magistrates. Nothing new here as most judges and magistrates have close political connections and that’s how they are appointed in the first place, not because of their ability, ethics or integrity.
The Kerry Shine story did not get much national attention although it should have. The Brisbane paper The Courier Mail seems to be the only print news company that picked up on it.
On the 15th September 2009 Patrick Lion from The Courier Mail wrote:
“The Courier-Mail has learnt Mr Shine quietly handed former lawyer Damian Carroll the $262,000-a-year role, despite Mr Carroll being a “long-time friend” whom Mr Shine lauded alongside his brothers and sisters in parliamentary speeches.”
“Mr Carroll is the latest judicial figure to emerge with intimate links to Labor, including Premier Anna Bligh’s friend and campaign helper, Caloundra magistrate Di Fingleton, and Mr Shine’s friend and appointee, Cairns judge William Everson.” (click here to read the full story)
Then on the 25th September Patrick Lion wrote in the Courier Mail:
“FORMER attorney-general Kerry Shine is facing more questions over his judicial appointments after handing a $300,000-a-year post to the sister of a close friend who helped him get elected.”
“Mr Shine has already admitted appointing two other friends and campaign workers to lucrative jobs for life within the judiciary.”
“It was the same speech in which Mr Shine also praised two other close friends and campaign workers, Damian Carroll and Bill Everson, both of whom he later appointed as a Toowoomba magistrate and Cairns district court judge respectively.” (Click here to read the full story)
Patrick Lion followed-up the above two articles with a story titled “Push to stop politicians favouring mates” on the 9th of October 2009. (Click here to read the full story)
In the first paragraph he wrote “QUEENSLAND is falling behind the rest of the country in making judicial appointments more transparent as a former judge calls for an overhaul of selection processes to stamp out cronyism claims.”
Well this is not actually true. What should have been written is that Queensland is falling behind the other states in setting up a bullshit smoke and mirrors situation to fool the public into believing that the judicial appointments are unbiased and uncorrupt.
Patrick Lion goes on to say in his story:
“Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland last year introduced an advisory panel to develop a short-list for Federal Court, Federal Magistrates court and Family Court positions.” Well Robert McClellands appointments are corrupt as hell and that was the first posting on this site which is titled “Robert McClelland’s Dodgy Judicial Appointments”. (Click here to read the post)
Patrick Lion then says:
“NSW has a short-list for district and local court appointments while Victoria has an independent panel to provide recommendations for magistrates.”
Well below is what is said in an article on the Lawyers Weekly website in an article titled “Judicial appointments slammed as political”:
“Among those appointed to the bench last week were high-profile Melbourne barrister and human rights advocate Lex Lasry who will sit on the Victorian Supreme Court and former ACTU assistant secretary and Labor Party member Iain Ross to the County Court.”
“However, Clark was less than impressed with the appointment of Ross.”
“Mr Ross has very little practical experience. He appears to have practised barely 20 months as a solicitor; prior to that his career was as an assistant secretary of the ACTU and then as a member and vice-president of the Industrial Relations Commission. The Victorian County Court has negligible industrial relations practice and Mr Ross appears to have negligible experience of general court practice in Victoria,” Clark said.”
“Judicial appointments in all Australian jurisdictions are often subject to allegations of political favouritism. Eyebrows were raised last year when NSW Attorney-General Bob Debus appointed his adviser Jacqueline Trad to the Federal Magistrates Court, two months after being admitted as a solicitor. Similarly, when federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock appointed John O’Sullivan a federal magistrate, there were claims of bias. O’Sullivan was the former adviser to Kevin Andrews when he was Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, and had just three years’ practical legal experience.” (Click here to read the full story)
(As slight correction to the above Jacqueline Trad was actually appointed a NSW Magistrate, not Federal).
As I do more and more posts it will become quite clear how disgusting the judicial appointment process is in Australia.