Attack on State's Judiciary concerning
The Law Society of NSW, which represents the interests of the state’s 34,000 solicitors, has voiced its concerns about media criticism of the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW.
NSW Law Society President, Elizabeth Espinosa, said one of the legitimate roles of a legal association is to be defender of the integrity of the independence of judicial officers and the courts.
This, the Law Society President said, is “fundamental to a democratic civil society”.
Ms Espinosa today said she found the media claims of ‘judicial overreach’ in relation to a recent and extensive judgment by the Honourable Chief Judge Brian Preston SC, very concerning.
“It is for this reason, I believe it is important to speak out on behalf of the state’s solicitors and express our support for His Honour,” she said.
“His Honour has held the position of Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court since 2005 and his remarkable and long career as a judicial officer of the court, notably within the land and environment jurisdiction, has been characterised by his commitment, skill and integrity.
“His Honour’s commitment to the administration of justice in NSW is immeasurable.
“Like many others, we see this the recent media criticism as an attack on both the integrity and character of the Chief Judge and an attack on the independence of the judiciary.
“As the NSW Attorney-General, Mark Speakman SC, rightly pointed out, if there was any concern about judicial bias, in any matter before the courts, it was open to the parties to raise that and to ask the judge to recuse himself.”