Melbourne Member of Parliament accuses judges of 'standing in the corner of terrorists'
This is a lively issue at the moment with overheated claims by some that the politician should be prosecuted for what he said. So the Law Council has emailed out a comment on the matter which begins as follows:
The Law Council, speaking on behalf of the Australian legal profession, is calling for an end to political attacks on the judiciary, especially in cases where they might be perceived to interfere with matters currently before the courts.
Law Council of Australia President, Fiona McLeod SC, said recent comments from Government MPs referring to "ideological experiments" supposedly being carried out by the judicial system were gravely concerning.
“It is inappropriate to suggest that judges decide their cases on anything other than the law and the facts presented to them by the parties,” Ms McLeod said.
“Attacking the independence of the judiciary does not make Australia safer, in fact it erodes public confidence in the courts and undermines the rule of law.
“It is Australia's robust adherence to the rule of law that has underpinned this nation's status as one of the most peaceful, harmonious, and secure places in the world.”
Ms McLeod said the Law Council has particular concerns about comments made in the media today by Government MPs about a terror-related case currently before the courts in Victoria.
Respect cannot be commanded. It must be earned. So Fiona might do well to look at the CAUSES of disrespect for the judiciary. Almost the whole of Australia would find leniency for terrorists obnoxious so it is about time that the judiciary responded to that. They have plenty of leeway in their sentencing options to enable that. And the right to criticize judges is democracy at work too.
If Fiona wants to end "political attacks" on judges, let her urge the judges concerned to come down from their ivory towers. Let her urge them to have discussions with the family members of those who have been killed at random by Jihadis
I am afraid that to me Fiona just sounds like another mentally isolated Leftist twit. She would probably have done better to keep her mouth shut. She herself is provoking disrespect for the judiciary
A federal Liberal Party MP has launched an extraordinary attack on Victoria's Chief Justice and her judges, accusing them of 'standing in the corner of terrorists'.
The state's top judge Marilyn Warren is under fire following a controversial sentence for a teenager who had plotted to behead a police officer on Anzac Day.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is appealing the Victorian Supreme Court's seven-and-a-half year non-parole jail term imposed last year on Sevet Ramadan Besim.
The 19-year-old criminal had plotted to cut off a police officer's head in 2015.
Melbourne-based Liberal MP Michael Sukkar, who is also Assistant Treasurer, said judges needed to be called out for soft sentences when it came to terrorists.
'As far as I’m concerned, we need to be asserting as much pressure as we can on lawmakers and calling out judges who seemingly are standing in the corner of the terrorists and not in the corner of our society and the victims,' he told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Tuesday.
The conservative Liberal PARTY MP, who studied law, clarified his comments to say judges cared more about the welfare of terrorists than the public. 'Seemingly, more interested in their rehabilitation than in the safety and security of our society,' Mr Sukkar said.
'There are multiple numbers of cases where you’ve got people who are planning the most heinous acts and the only reason they’re stopped is because we’ve got amazing law enforcement agencies that stop them from happening.'
He added that as the chairman of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security committee, he believed 'the prospects of rehabilitation, particularly for Islamic terrorists is extraordinarily low'.
Last year, Besim pleaded guilty to an act in preparation of planning a terrorist attack, which would involve running down and beheading a police officer, an offence that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
UPDATE: Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar have been ordered to front the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday to explain "why they should not be referred for prosecution for contempt".
Free speech, anyone?