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Senate condemns Newman hits on judiciary, lawyers

Media Release
Penny Wright 13 Feb 2014

The Australian Senate has formally chastised Queensland Premier Campbell Newman for his disparaging comments on the legal profession, Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said today.

"Mr Newman's recent comments on lawyers and judges have been ignorant and irresponsible," Senator Wright said.

"He clearly has a very limited understanding about the fundamentals of the law that keep our democracy strong.

"His disdain for the legal profession is alarming and he's backing it up with extreme legislation.

"The Senate has voted today to say we do not support his comments and we will not stand for these attacks on lawyers' integrity and the separation of powers."

Senator Wright's motion also called on Federal Attorney General George Brandis not to follow in Mr Newman's footsteps and instead affirm his support for the legal profession and the judiciary.

"The Attorney-General's role is traditionally to speak for and safeguard the integrity of the legal profession and judiciary," Senator Wright said.

"Mr Brandis must publicly state whether he backs Australia's lawyers and judges and the foundations of Australian democracy - or whether he backs his Liberal colleague, Mr Newman." 

Senator Wright's motion passed the Senate with the support of Labor. The full motion can be found here.


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