Tony Fitzgerald attacks bikie laws, accusing Campbell Newman, Jarrod Bleijie and magistrate Tim Carmody of weakening the CMC
- The Courier-Mail
- February 04, 2014
Mr Fitzgerald, writing with his Fitzgerald Inquiry offsider Gary W Crooke, QC, accuses the Newman Government of turning the CMC from "watchdog to lapdog".
He also likens Mr Newman to former Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, adding last September's bikie brawl on the Gold Coast was used by the Government as a scapegoat for the new anti-bikie laws.
"That brawl was used to justify ill-considered, rushed, badly drafted and inevitably controversial legislation targeting bikies," the duo wrote.
Over the same period, the Government transformed the Crime and Misconduct Commission from a watchdog to a lapdog and peremptorily sacked the independent Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee."
Mr Fitzgerald and Mr Crooke, writing for the ABC, also took aim at Mr Carmody, who last week told colleagues to stop using the laws to make political statements.
"Organised crime, which is a major international problem, won't be eradicated by local political vigilantes fantasising about Dirty Harry or enacting extreme laws which ignore evidence, experience and expertise; endorse anecdote-based ignorance and mindless fundamentalism; and oblige courts to act unfairly," they wrote.
"Lectures about the duty of other judges from ambitious junior judges whose decisions are liable to be overruled are presumptuous and divisive.
"No doubt South African judges were similarly reminded of their obligation to enforce apartheid. Respect for the courts is inevitably diminished if courts are instruments of state injustice."
Mr Fitzgerald criticised the laws in October, describing them as "foolhardy".
At the time senior ministers dismissed the comments but they were yesterday targeted again by Mr Fitzgerald and Mr Crooke.
"Arrogant, ill-informed politicians who cynically misuse the power of the state for personal or political benefit are a far greater threat to democracy than criminals, even organised gangs," they wrote. "Primitive punishment theories from the past based on the fallacy that state brutality and cruelty will deter crime have long been discredited and abandoned.
"It's easy to ignore injustice when we're not personally affected, especially if we disapprove of those involved, but history shows that it's also unwise to do so."