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Borbidge unfairly abuses the umpire



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No.5/97

f8 February 1997

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SENATOR THE HON NICK BOLKUS

SHADOW ATTORNEY GENERAL SHADOW MI NISTER FOR JUSTICE LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

BORBIDGE UNFAIRLY ABUSES THE UMPIRE

"Mr Borbidge should apply himself to finding a workable and a just resolution to the matters arising out of the Wik decision instead of trying to restructure the highest court in the land to suit his political purposes," Shadow Attorney-General Nick Bolkus said today.

Senator Bolkus said that Mr Borbidge's comments would not help to resolve anything of any substance.

"And it is also most disturbing that the Federal Attorney-General, Mr Williams, has-not dismissed these comments out of hand."

"Mr Borbidge has unfairly abused the independent umpire," Senator Bolkus said. "It has always been a legitimate function of the High Court to determine the rights and interests of Governments and citizens. The recent decisions of the High Court do no more, than that and are based on sound legal reasoning."

"In this context, Mr Borbidge's comments are unnecessarily divisive and unhelpful_ They demonstrate that Mr Borbidge has no respect for the rulings of the independent unipire. The fact-that he has couched his criticism by referring to his respect for the rule of law is simply hypbcritical.."

"Mr Borbidge's propOsals would undermine the independence of the judiciäry. -Ann the

independence of the judiciary is fundamental to the protection and maintenance of our democratic society."

"If our democracy is at risk - it is not from the High Court."

"Instead of trying to take his bat and ball and going home - Mr Borbidge should start being sensible and constructive about the issues facing the people of Queensland and Australia."

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