The Courier-Mail

Slow and steady bid to get top post right

- JASON TIN MATTHEW KILLORAN

DEPUTY Premier Jackie Trad says she understand­s community concern about how long the Government has taken to find a permanent replacemen­t for former chief justice Tim Carmody.

But Ms Trad has also moved to reassure Queensland that Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath is intent on ensuring the state gets the appointmen­t “right”.

The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed the legal fraternity was concerned about the fact a new chief justice was yet to be appointed.

“As you’re aware, we have an Acting Chief Justice currently and that arrangemen­t is fine,” Ms Trad said.

“I understand the community’s concern about finalising the appointmen­t process, but I think it’s very important that we get the appointmen­t right because we saw what happened last term when we got the appointmen­t wrong.”

The Deputy Premier said Ms D’Ath was “having those conversati­ons that she needs to have in order to get that appointmen­t right”.

While there was initial support for the consultati­ve process within legal circles, the extended length of time taken to make the decision has raised eyebrows.

It is understood the State Government has already finished its consultati­on with the Supreme Court judges, as well as prominent legal bodies such as the Queensland Law Society and Bar Associatio­n of Queensland.

Court of Appeal judge Catherine Holmes is shaping as the favourite to take the job, owing to her long experience on the bench and strong capabiliti­es.

The state’s current top judge Justice Margaret McMurdo, who is president of the Court of Appeal, is also one of the leading contenders for the post but is considered too controvers­ial owing to perceived links to the Carmody unrest.

Newman government appointee Justice David Jackson is also strongly regarded within the judiciary and is in considerat­ion.

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