Ab­so­lute power of DPP is dis­turb­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - Letters Extra -

THROUGH news­pa­per re­ports and let­ters, I have fol­lowed the dis­cus­sion con­cern­ing the death in cus­tody of Mr Doomadgee.

Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est is the sta­tus of­ten at­trib­uted to the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions.It seems that for some the DPP is and should be the ab­so­lute crim­i­nal law author­ity of Queens­land.

I would even ven­ture to sug­gest that some re­gard the DPP as in­fal­li­ble, in­ca­pable of er­ror.

In his book TheFearofFree­dom, Erich Fromm quoted John Dewey who, in 1940, wrote, ‘‘The se­ri­ous threat to our democ­racy is not the ex­is­tence of for­eign to­tal­i­tar­ian states ... the bat­tle­field is also ac­cord­ingly here — within our­selves and our in­sti­tu­tions.’’

Abra­ham Lin­coln, in his Get­tys­burg ad­dress, gave the world a suc­cinct and pro­found def­i­ni­tion of democ­racy as ‘gov­ern­ment of the peo­ple, by the peo­ple, for the peo­ple’.

If there are no mech­a­nisms to en­sure that de­ci­sions made by de­ci­sion-mak­ers can be re­viewed, then our democ­racy is threat­ened from within.

There will be gov­ern­ment of the peo­ple but not nec­es­sar­ily by the peo­ple or for the peo­ple.

Even mag­is­trates and judges are ac­count­able for their de­ci­sions which are re­ported for pub­lic scru­tiny and pos­si­bly sub­ject to ap­peal.

As an An­glo-Celtic Aus­tralian.I am dis­turbed by sug­ges­tions that de­ci­sions of the DPP should be im­mune from re­view es­pe­cially in mat­ters of pub­lic in­ter­est such as Abo­rig­i­nal deaths in cus­tody. RAYHORN,


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