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Don't allow ambition to subvert personal integrity: Fitzgerald

Date

Amy Remeikis and Tony Moore

Tim Carmody could be promoted to chief justice.

Tim Carmody could be promoted to chief justice. Photo: Daniel Hurst

Tony Fitzgerald has urged Tim Carmody, who served as the counsel assisting his corruption inquiry, to “not allow his ambition to subvert his personal integrity”.

Just the possibility Judge Carmody will be promoted to Chief Justice has created controversy, with former Solicitor-General Walter Sofronoff publicly criticising the Chief Magistrate as being too close to the government, given his previous public support of the bikie laws.  Mr Sofronoff, who resigned as Solicitor-General in March, also questioned Judge Carmody’s experience.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie is yet to appoint anyone to the role, which is to be vacated by Paul de Jersey, who earlier this year was named as Queensland’s next Governor.  He will take up residence at Government House when Penelope Wensley’s term expires on July 29.

When approached for comment about Judge Carmody, Mr Fitzgerald, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the current state government, urged care.

"I’m confident that no-one who played a significant role in the Inquiry which I conducted would support the current attempts to return Queensland to its dark past,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“I sincerely hope that anyone who actually contributed doesn’t allow his ambition to subvert his personal integrity.”

Judge Carmody served as Counsel Assisting the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption from 1987 until 1989.

Following the inquiry Judge Carmody led high level prosecutions which emerged from the Inquiry, as its Special Prosecutor from 1989 until 1991.

President of the Bar Association of Queensland Peter Davis said the organisation had consulted with Mr Bleijie about the next Chief Justice appointment, but urged the Attorney-General to “bring the controversy to an end by making an appointment as soon as possible”.

“Judge Carmody is a sitting judge, and is the Chief Magistrate,” Mr Davis said in a statement. “He is entitled to the community’s respect as such. However, because of his position, it is impossible for Judge Carmody to respond to public comment made of him. There is a danger that the ongoing debate will unfairly damage the standing and reputation of His Honour and of the Courts more generally.”

Mr Bleijie is expected to make an announcement regarding the position in the very near future.

17 comments so far

  • Wise words from Fitzgerald which the ambitious Carmody should heed.

    Commenter
    concerned
    Date and time
    June 11, 2014, 7:41AM
    • Let's only hope, but the deck is stacked, the dice are rolled (loaded, of course) and the outcome is known to all.

      Jump in the DeLorean, Marty, we're going back to the moonlight 70's!

      Commenter
      Honour
      Date and time
      June 11, 2014, 10:01AM
    • The final days of this LNP government will be very interesting. Given the sentiment across the community, one could campaign on promoting a full judicial enquiry into LNP after the election. It is clear politics in this state are very dirty, and history is going to be extremely unkind to Seeney-Newman.

      This is a very good story I feel people should read.
      http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/seeney-palmer-and-campbell-newmans-straddie-donation,6564

      Commenter
      Drewbitz
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      June 11, 2014, 11:02AM
    • Sounds more like a threat. Tony Fitzgerald should know better and just stay out of it now.

      Commenter
      Four term Tony
      Location
      Whyalla
      Date and time
      June 11, 2014, 12:57PM
    • Four term Tony - yes, a threat. Threatening Carmody to be impartial, act in the interests of justice and keep the judiciary free of corruption.

      We need more people like Tony to make such "threats", we might even get a real democarcy out of it.

      Commenter
      Honour
      Date and time
      June 12, 2014, 8:22AM
  • Everybody concerned about democracy and justice in Queensland should read Matthew Condon's books "Three Crooked Kings" and "Jacks and Jokers" - the history of corruption in the police and among conservative politicians that lead up to the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Watching the moves of Campbell Newman since he came to power and comparing the scenarios recorded in the books fills me with foreboding. Unchecked political power and contempt for due process were both present in the corrupt past and they appear to be making a comeback today. I am afraid we may be doomed to same fate unless we learn from the lessons unveiled by Fitzgerald into the mire of our very recent past.

    Commenter
    PacoBella
    Location
    Samford
    Date and time
    June 11, 2014, 8:09AM
    • You say 'appear to be making a comeback', I say the rot has been embedded and extended. The list is long, but to highlight a few areas where balance of power and matters to uphold ethics and integrity in our system of Government have been watered down or abolished, despite LNP bidding these areas up when in opposition: The role of Speaker; Parliamentary Committees; Parliamentary Standards; Estimates Committee; The drafting of and making of legislation; Right to Information (FOI); Integrity Commissioner; Public Service Commission; Appointment of Senior Public Service Heads; Public Servants to do bidding of Government - no permanency; Oversight and supervision of the Police Force, eg. Police investigating Police, supervision of police by superiors, removal of right of public to sue police officers who abuse their powers; nobbling of CMC; Rule of Law (right to assembly, association, presumption of innocence, equal treatment by the law, criminalising non criminal offences, gaol as a last resort abolished, mandatory sentencing, etc...); Official Misconduct; transparency and accountability of public administration eg public tender, mining laws, environmental laws, child protection laws, etc........The list goes on. The door to corruption is swinging like saloon doors.

      Commenter
      The Owl
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      June 11, 2014, 11:16AM
  • Sad to see the appointment of the Chief Justice of Queensland being politicized, Judge Carmody is very close to the Government and is seen to be very prepared to do the bidding of the Government , though the LNP and the former National Party Government has previous form with the appointment of Judges in the past so in one respect the public should expect this from the LNP as they trample all over Queensland with their brand of ugly government

    Commenter
    John
    Location
    Wynnum
    Date and time
    June 11, 2014, 8:23AM
    • “not allow his ambition to subvert his personal integrity”. Too late.
      Astounding though that Carmody served with Fitzgerald through all the corruption enquiry but quickly fell into bed with Newman and the LNP. To quite a few of us "Joe Public"s, Carmody has already shown himself to be unduly influenced by the edicts of the LNP and as such has ALREADY brought the position of Chief Magistrate into disrepute, so why not besmirch the position of Chief Justice as well. Corrupt politicians will always promote those who will do their bidding.
      Intelligence does not imply common sense or integrity.

      Commenter
      Really
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      June 11, 2014, 8:35AM
      • If you are sensible enough to realise why flies congregate around dung, you should be able to appreciate why men run for office

        Commenter
        Somber realist
        Location
        Brisbane
        Date and time
        June 11, 2014, 9:17AM

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