Thursday, June 12, 2014

Should Queensland CJ be the smartest lawyer in the room?

“I’ve often said and I’m sure nobody will argue that I may not be the smartest lawyer in the room, and if you were in a room with me and I was the smartest lawyer it would be a good time to leave it,” he said.
“But there’s more to being a Chief Justice than a black letter lawyer. There are plenty of them already on the Supreme Court, and I don’t aspire to compete with them for intellectual rigour.”
So said Tim Carmody, the Newman Government’s appointment for the position of Chief Justice of Queensland. 
Call me old-fashioned, but I’d have thought that being the smartest lawyer in the room, or amongst the smartest, was at least one of the criteria to be the State’s top judicial officer.  Isn’t the public of Queensland entitled to expect intellectual rigour (whether or not a black letter lawyer)? Shouldn't the Queensland Government be looking for someone of the calibre of Bathurst, Spigelman, Gleeson, or Street?

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