|Queen's Counsel to come back|
|Written by Professor David Flint AM|
|Thursday, 07 June 2012|
Creeping republicanism seems to be not only at an end. It is being reversed. It seems likely that the rank of Queen's Counsel will be restored in the northern state. And if they return in one state, the pressure to make the appointments at this rank will be irresistible in other states and in the Commonwealth.
At a meeting of barristers in Brisbane, the Bar Association has given in principle support for the reintroduction of the rank.
Having long campaigned for this, we are delighted.
There was of course no good reason for its abolition save for the determination of Republican politicians to push their republic against the wishes of the people made so clear in the landslide defeat of the referendum in 1999.
The Bar Association has made a number of points which it regards as critical to the introduction. One is that the recommendation of the chief justice be essential for an appointment and another is that existing Senior Counsel be entitled to upgrade their appointment to the rank of Queen's Counsel. The full text of the resolution is set out below. 1. That the Bar Association of Queensland gives in principle support to the reintroduction ofthe office of Queen’s Counsel.2. Recognising that the proposal is in its early stages and that much will depend upon its finalform, that the President inform the Honourable the Attorney-General that the BarAssociation would regard as critical to any firm proposal:a. That the integrity of the existing process of appointment is maintained;b. That the essential features of the present process (save as it may be from time-to-timealtered by the Bar Association and the Chief Justice) be maintained, recognisingthat the ultimate act of appointment will involve some change;c. Thus, that the existing Protocol (and the Protocol as, from time-to-time, it may bythe Bar Association and the Chief Justice be determined to be) for the Appointmentof Senior Counsel is recognised as an essential part of the process of appointment ofQueen’s Counsel;d. The process of consultation and recommendation remain within the control of theBar Association and the Chief Justice;e. There be appointed to the office of Queen’s Counsel all and only those counselrecommended for appointment as Queen’s Counsel by the Chief Justice;f. Consistently with recognising the integrity of the existing system, all present SeniorCounsel be appointed Queen’s Counsel upon request;g. The relative seniority of Counsel is maintained; and
h. The Bar Association has a reasonable opportunity to consider any more detailed and the final proposal
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