It was only seven months ago that Greg Hunt, Michael Sukkar and Alan Tudge, under threat of contempt of court charges, made an unconditional apology to Victoria’s Supreme Court for comments critical of terrorism sentencing.
In comments that were published in The Australian newspaper, Mr Hunt accused the Victorian legal system of becoming a forum for “ideological experiments”, Mr Sukkar said the judiciary should focus more on victims and less on terrorists’ rights, while Mr Tudge said some judges were “divorced from reality”.
Chief Justice Warren said the court was “gravely concerned” there was a prima facie case that the ministers and The Australian had committed contempt.
“There is one matter we emphasise,” she said.
“The court has accepted in this instance the apologies and retractions proffered. It should not have come to this, namely two court hearings.
“But for the apologies and retractions we would have referred the groups, namely the ministers and The Australian … for prosecution for contempt of Court.”
So how come Peter Dutton is not facing similar censure for saying there was a “problem with some of the judges and magistrates that Daniel Andrews has appointed” who were wrongly allowing bail and imposing “very soft sentences” in the name of political correctness.
And this is not the first time he has made such comments.
When Dutton gave his first speech in parliament on 13th February 2002, he expressed similar disdain for the judiciary and for civil rights in general.
“as a police officer…. I have seen the sickening behaviour displayed by people who, frankly, barely justify their existence in our sometimes over tolerant society.
In society today we are experiencing unacceptable crime rates, causing older Australians to barricade themselves in their homes, all in the name of safety.
The fight for a better place in which to live is today made even more difficult for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that the boisterous minority and the politically correct seem to have a disproportionate say in public debate today. Australians are fed up with the Civil Liberties Council-otherwise known as the criminal lawyers media operative -who appear obsessed with the rights of criminals yet do not utter a word of understanding or compassion for the victims of crime. Their motives are questionable and their hypocrisy breathtaking.
As leaders and representatives of this country, we must facilitate and inform debate, and not be deterred by those who would seek to drive their own hidden agendas.
The terrorist attacks and the attacks on our day-today lives by criminals who have complete disregard for common decency must be dealt with in a measured way. At this point in time it is stating the obvious that in my opinion the courts are not representing the views in the large of the broader community.
Time after time we see grossly inadequate sentences being delivered to criminals whose civil rights have far exceeded those of the victim and others in our society. This imbalance must be addressed, and for the sake of living standards and reasonable expectations for all Australians must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
The Age reported the reaction of the legal fraternity to Dutton’s latest outburst.
The Law Institute of Victoria said it was “extremely concerned by the ongoing political attacks on Victorian judges, magistrates and the legal profession”.
“There is no place for political attacks on the judiciary and undermining the independence of our judges and magistrates,” the institute said.
The Judicial Conference of Australia also raised concerns about “repeated personal attacks on judges and magistrates”.
Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula said: “While Peter Dutton may enjoy going on Adelaide radio to take ill-informed pot shots at Victoria he has clearly not been paying attention. No Victorian government in recent memory has appointed more prosecutors and ex-prosecutors to our courts than this government.”
Obviously Turnbull is incapable of imposing any sort of discipline on this contemptuous creep.
Will the courts demand an apology?
Will they refer him for prosecution for holding them in contempt?
Does anyone still have the power to rein this man in?