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.