Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has continued his hardline approach to law enforcement by announcing a ban on troublesome lawyer groups.
The move follows ongoing criticism of his LNP government by lawyers and judges, including a recent opinion piece from the president of the Law and Justice Institute (Qld) Inc comparing Mr Newman with Vladimir Putin.
“Lawyers and judges in Queensland are out of control,” said the Premier. “They’re clogging our courts and they’re constantly in the company of criminals and bikies. They’ve literally become a law to themselves and now they’re telling the popularly elected government of this state what to do. It’s outrageous.”
“Well, I’ve got a message for these so-called law organisations. My government was elected to do a job on Queensland and, like the Starship song says, nothing’s gonna stop us now.”
Under new legislation to be put before the parliament, lawyer groups – including the Law and Justice Institute and the Queensland Law Society – will be made illegal. Former members of these organisations will be banned from working in state government unless they publicly profess their allegiance to the Premier. In addition, any group of three or more lawyers seen congregating in public can be arrested and detained for up to 48 hours without a warrant.
Mr Newman said that he was confident that the new laws would be supported by ordinary Queenslanders.
“I don’t know anyone who likes lawyers. However, if there is some crank out there who is upset by the new laws, they will have their chance to do something about it at the next election, if or when another one happens.”
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