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Callinan decision - Democrats cautiously sceptical.

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja

Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats

Attorney-General and Justice Spokesperson


26 August 1998





The Australian Democrats have reacted cautiously to the announcement by the Attorney-General, The Hon Daryl Williams QC, that he would not inquire into the appointment of Justice Jan Callinan of the High Court, said their Attorney-General and Justice Spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.


“Unlike the Government, the Australian Democrats do not rule out the possibility of an inquiry into the conduct and appointment of Justice Callinan. However, we need to be very sure there are very serious issues at stake before we undertake any such inquiry.


“We are very conscious of the potential for the appeals processes to affect the interpretation of what is alleged to have happened. This is a decisive factor, but may not be final to our position.


“I am still waiting to hear from the Opposition, and their reasons for wanting an inquiry. They have not yet contacted me or my office.


“The Australian Democrats recognise that faith in the judiciary and judicial appointments must be maintained, but in these delicate circumstances, existing processes must be followed and any hint of political bias avoided,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.


For comment, contact Senator Stott Despoja on 0418 812 589

or Dr Charles Lawson on (02) 6277 3645