Pow­ers sep­a­ra­tion should be up­held

Townsville Bulletin - - Letters Extra -

WHAT a sad day for our sys­tem of law.

When a pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor, af­ter con­sid­er­ing all the ev­i­dence, comes to the con­clu­sion that there is not enough ev­i­dence to war­rant a pub­lic trial and goes pub­lic with that con­clu­sion, that should be the end of the mat­ter.

We, the pub­lic, do not know the facts of the case. We can be in­flu­enced by our emo­tions and by other opin­ions put for­ward by peo­ple with vested in­ter­ests in the out­come, but that is pre­cisely why we have an in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment built into the sys­tem.

It is un­der­stand­able that the fam­ily and the politi­cians would like to see a dif­fer­ent out­come for there is deep hurt on the one hand and self­in­ter­est on the other.

How­ever, the pres­sure from the pub­lic should never ever be al­lowed to in­ter­fere with our sys­tem of jus­tice.

The Fitzger­ald in­quiry stressed the need for an ab­so­lute sep­a­ra­tion of the pow­ers of the po­lice, the power of the politi­cians and the power of the ju­di­ciary if we wish to live in a stable so­ci­ety ruled by law.

With the de­ci­sion by the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor to hand over the doc­u­ments which led her to her con­clu­sions, this prin­ci­ple is now un­der siege.

The prece­dent has been set and we can ex­pect more of the same. Any­one who is not sat­is­fied with the ar­biter’s de­ci­sion is now free to whip up pub­lic sen­ti­ment and over­ride the find­ings of the per­son that this so­ci­ety has set in the po­si­tion of author­ity on such mat­ters.

This will be a tragedy which only time will fully dis­close. The very ba­sis of our sys­tem of law is un­der great threat and we let it go un­chal­lenged at our peril, no mat­ter what we might think about the rights and wrongs of the case in ques­tion.

DONBARTER, South Townsville.

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