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Sir Terence O'Rort
1 July, 2010  
Situation vacant

Update ... Sir Terence O’Rort’s story bemoaning the failure to find a new Supreme Court judge for Queensland has produced results … David Boddice discovered to be the missing “Justice A” ... Hallelujah


imageK. Rudd is not the only Queenslander who has lost his mojo.

Daphnis de Jersey has also been finding it hard to take a trick.

First, he endured the defection of Pat Keane from the Court of Appeal to sit as CJ of the Federal Court.

It may just be me, but Daphnis’ valedictory remarks for Keane seemed rather contained:

“The Federal Court is fortunate indeed to have been able to attract such a talented judge from the Supreme Court.”

Keane’s departure paved the way for the appointment of Margaret White to the Court of Appeal in April, but that created a vacancy in the trial division.

The search began to find a replacement trial judge – and that’s where the problems began.

Offers of appointment were made to a number of prominent silken ones only to be met with a distinct failure to be excited by the glittering opportunity.

It’s perfectly understandable that the senior members of the bar would find it insufferable to be expected to scrape along on the penurious $348,830 a year doled out to Supreme Court judges.

This led to the rather comical arrangement whereby a mythical “Justice A” was listed to sit in the Supreme Court Calendar.

A few weeks ago at a bar function the CJ raised his concerns that senior practitioners had not answered the call to serve.

Once again it’s the local punters who suffered.

The applications list had only been assigned a single judge for a number of weeks. The non-existent “Justice A” was also scheduled to hear applications earlier this month.

It seems that Daphnis and the government ultimately had to cast the recruitment net wider than married couples.

At the moment we have Mr & Mrs McMurdo, known as McMurdo P and P McMurdo J, as well as Mr & Mrs Lyons, known as A. Lyons J and P. Lyons J.

To add to the confusion the Supreme Court also has Justice Margaret Wilson and Justice Alan Wilson, respectively known as M. Wilson J and A. Wilson J.

imageThey are neither married to each other or related – which is a great relief.

To everyone’s relief David Boddice SC has been lured in time for the pomp and circumstance of the opening of the new Supreme and District Court building (pic) next year.

According to Daphnis, this Palais de Justice will be:

“A material manifestation of the grandeur of our joint mission, the delivery of justice according to law.”

I’m sorry that the experienced and able silk A. Vasta was overlooked.

Sir Terence O’Rort reporting