Ruffled Eagle Feathers

A clash of Queensland judicial personalities flared earlier this week, with the Courier Mail newspaper reporting on Wednesday a serious difference of opinion between retired District Court Chief Judge Patsy Wolfe and current President of the Court of Appeal Margaret McMurdo. When Judge Wolfe retired in September last year, Justice McMurdo gave a speech at an Australian Association of Women Judges luncheon, held in Judge Wolfe’s honour, in which she lamented what she perceived to be the deepening state of gender inequality on the Queensland bench. The following day Judge Wolfe reportedly wrote a private letter to the Newman government, distancing herself from Justice McMurdo’s comments, and claiming no one at the luncheon agreed with her remarks.

Today another retiring judge fired off an even uglier volley of parting shots, this time at the recently appointed Chief Justice Tim Carmody. In a scathing critique, retiring Supreme Court Justice Alan Wilson claimed the Chief Justice had opted out of judicial duties in favour of public relations, placing a “significant extra burden” on his fellow judges, and accused him of hypocrisy in having publicly urged his fellow judges to maintain civility and courtesy whilst privately referring to his judicial colleagues as “snakes” and “scum.”

Ouch!

Click here to read Justice Wilson’s speech.

Chris Nyst

Gold Coast Lawyer, Novelist and Film Maker

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