Territory Stories

Questions Day 3 - Thursday 8 May 2014



Questions Day 3 - Thursday 8 May 2014

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Parliamentary Record 12


Questions for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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QUESTIONS Thursday 8 May 2014 710 It is a fantastic initiative and it is providing wonderful homebuyer opportunities for those people in Central Australia, after 11 years of neglect. I know you do not like good news, but this is a fantastic story. We are focused on policy and developing Central Australia, and providing great governance and leadership for the people of the Northern Territory. If you do not like it, that is fine. This is your forum to carp, whinge and moan and do everything you do so well. You are a wonderful opposition and I wish you a long reign in opposition for many years to come. Judicial Impartiality Mr GUNNER to CHIEF MINISTER referred to ATTORNEY-GENERAL and MINISTER for JUSTICE Magistrate Peter Maley, appointed by your government, is duty bound to act independently whenever the Crown thinks to prosecute alleged offenders before him. The Chief Justice of Australia says he needs to be, and be seen to be, independent. In the NT, the CLP government is, for all intents and purposes, the Crown when prosecutions are brought forth. We know that Magistrate Maley campaigned for the member for Blain as a former CLP politician, and ASIC records show he is a director of the CLP slush fund, Foundation 51. How can he be perceived to be acting impartially whenever the Crown brings a case before him? What does his affiliation with the CLP say about the administration of justice within the Northern Territory? Do you agree that the separation of powers is fundamental to the administration of justice in the Northern Territory? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I will be handing this question over to the Attorney-General for the answer, but within your question you have provided a slur on the judicial system and those people who operate within the judicial system of the Northern Territory. You should go through Hansard, look at your question and ask your colleagues to look at the tone of your question. I think you provided a slur on those people, but I will hand over to the Attorney-General. Mr ELFERINK (Attorney-General and Justice): Madam Speaker, I pick up on the comment he made about the separation of powers in our system. The only thing a government has to do with the judiciary, whether it is appointing a magistrate or alternatively appointing a Supreme Court justice, is go through the process of vetting potential applicants. Then that matter is taken to Cabinet. Then, with counsel from the Administrator, an appointment is made. At that point, government no longer has any involvement as to what that person does or how they conduct themselves on the bench. This is the fundamental core of the idea of the separation of powers. If there is an issue arising out of the document that the member of the opposition is referring to, that is an issue for the courts to deal with. To suggest that I, or any other member of this House, should waltz over to the courthouse and start directing, in some fashion or another, how the courts should operate is a matter which would amount to a breach of the separation of powers. The Chief Justice of the Northern Territory, alternatively, the Chief Magistrate of the Northern Territory, would correctly show me the door forthwith. Ms LAWRIE: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Standing Order 113: relevance. The question was do you agree that the separation of powers is fundamental to the administration of justice in the Territory, and what does his affiliation campaigning say about the administration of justice? Madam SPEAKER: It is not a point of order. The Attorney-General is answering the question. Mr ELFERINK: I am explaining why the separation of power is so important and why we respect it as much as we do. This is not a matter for government. It is not a Ms Lawrie: You do not respect it, he is campaigning for the CLP. Madam SPEAKER: Opposition Leader, I have asked you to cease interjecting. Mr ELFERINK: matter for the parliament. It is now a matter for consideration among the judiciary. If they draw some inference from conduct of one of their own members, it is up to them to deal with it. There are only two reasons why a parliament or a government could seek to remove Ms Lawrie: Unheard of. _______________________ Suspension of Member Member for Karama Madam SPEAKER: Opposition Leader, I have asked you a couple of times to cease interjecting and you have not done so. Leave the Chamber for one hour, pursuant to Standing Order 240A. _______________________ Mr ELFERINK: and that is because of some proven incapacity to continue sitting on the bench due to health or similar reasons. I am not aware of any parliament in the history of Australia having