Scoping the establishment of a federal judicial commission
The Law Council was pleased to make a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department in response to its January 2023 discussion paper, Scoping the establishment of a federal judicial commission.
It is essential to the promotion of the rule of law and the Australian constitutional system that there be a strong, independent and transparent judiciary. It is therefore critical that there is a well-understood means of fairly and punctually addressing complaints directed to the federal judiciary in an independent and structured manner. At the same time, tailored resources, support and education must be provided to the federal judiciary in conjunction with such processes.
This is why the Law Council has been advocating for a standalone Federal Judicial Commission since 2006, underpinned by the key features of independence, coherence, accessibility and transparency.
The Law Council’s submission responds to each question in the discussion paper, as informed by its Policy Statement, Principles underpinning a federal judicial commission, and input from its Constituent Bodies. The submission demonstrates that while there is unanimous support for the establishment of a commission, reasonable minds across the legal profession differ in relation to some of the detailed structural elements of a commission.
The Law Council looks forward to continuing to engage with the Attorney-General’s Department and the Australian Government as consideration of this significant reform progresses.