Fe­male judge firms as new Chief Jus­tice

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - MATTHEW KILLORAN SARAH VOGLER

ONE of the Supreme Court’s most se­nior fe­male judges is firm­ing as favourite within le­gal cir­cles to se­cure the Queens­land Chief Jus­tice role.

The Court of Ap­peal’s Jus­tice Cather­ine Holmes – who ran the land­mark Queens­land Floods Com­mis­sion of In­quiry into the 2011 dis­as­ters – is be­ing touted as a likely con­tender.

Jus­tice Holmes was ap­pointed by the for­mer La­bor premier Peter Beat­tie and was last year called upon to swear in Tim Car­mody in a pri­vate cer­e­mony.

Those in some le­gal cir­cles be­lieve that La­bor will use its first chance in 60 years to ap­point a Chief Jus­tice to make a state­ment by ap­point­ing the first woman to the top le­gal job.

There are sev­eral em­i­nent women on the bench with sub-

In par­tic­u­lar, Jus­tice Holmes is con­sid­ered to have a sharp le­gal mind and is one of the long­est stand­ing mem­bers of the

Court of Ap­peal.

stantial ex­pe­ri­ence and abil­ity.

Jus­tice Holmes is con­sid­ered to have a sharp le­gal mind and is one of the longest­stand­ing mem­bers of the Court of Ap­peal.

One mem­ber fra­ter­nity said Holmes was of the le­gal that Jus­tice well- re­spected among her peers, mean­ing that her as­cen­sion would be un­likely to draw the crit­i­cism ex­pe­ri­enced by Jus­tice Car­mody when he as­sumed the top job.

Still in the frame, how­ever, are her male col­leagues Jus­tice Hugh Fraser, Jus­tice David Jack­son and Jus­tice James Dou­glas.

Grif­fith Univer­sity law school se­nior lec­turer Zoe Rathus said the Gov­ern­ment needed to pick the best can­di­date for the job.

“I will be per­son­ally de­lighted if it’s a woman, but I will also be happy to see a man who has all the right qual­i­fi­ca­tions put into that po­si­tion,” she said.

Jus­tice Cather­ine Holmes.

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