Newman attacks on judges unacceptable: Palmer

Media release

Palmer United Party federal leader Clive Palmer has called on federal Attorney-General George Brandis to intervene in the increasingly acrimonious dispute between the Newman government and the Queensland judiciary.

Mr Palmer said verbal attacks by Premier Campbell Newman on Queensland judges, including his claim they live in “ivory towers”, were unacceptable and threatened the long-standing separation of powers which was central to democratic government.

“These attacks by Campbell Newman are very disturbing and bring into question the mental fitness for office that he possesses,” Mr Palmer said.

“The judiciary and the separation of powers are a core part of the Westminster system and for him to seek to override the authority of judges and to publicly abuse them is very dangerous.

“Unfortunately, Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie is a lawyer with limited experience who would struggle to get into a top level law firm in Brisbane.

“Mr Brandis, who is a member of the Bar Association of Queensland, needs to have a quiet word to Mr Bleijie and to Mr Newman and explain to them appropriate behaviour for men in their position towards the judiciary.

“Queenslanders don’t want a government that rules by dictatorship and effectively eliminates the rule of law.”

Mr Palmer said the Queensland government, through its laws on paedophiles and bikies, was continuing to pass legislation about revenge rather than the promotion of justice.

“Democracy is more than just elections. Democracy stands for good government for all people regardless of the way they vote,” Mr Palmer said.

“All politicians need to remember that they’ve been voted in to serve the community and hate and blame shouldn’t be tolerated.

“I’ve lost legal cases and I accept those decisions. The courts play an important role in our democracy and the government must not deny the independence and the integrity of judges.

“Judges do a difficult job in trying circumstances and anyone questioning the judicial system from public office must be questioned themselves about their mental fitness to hold office.”