Law Society hits back at Newman

QUEENSLAND Law Society president Annette Bradfield has hit back at claims made by Premier Campbell Newman who said the legal system was failing Queenslanders.

The public spat has evolved after the State Government introduced tough new laws last week targeting criminal motorcycle gangs along with new legislation that effectively allows the government to keep certain types of criminals inside jail if they feel it is warranted.

Mr Newman took to the airwaves on Thursday with the legal fraternity clearly in his sights.

"They (the legal fraternity) are living literally in an ivory tower," Mr Newman said.

"They go home at night to their comfortable, well-appointed homes, they talk amongst themselves, they socialise together, they do not understand what my team and I understand, and that is Queenslanders have had enough.

"What we are saying is, the community says enough is enough, they are not being protected, we are saying, here is a new set of laws to try and protect Queenslanders.

"If Queenslanders do not like it, they will vote us out," he said.

Ms Bradfield said the legal system was not failing Queenslanders, but protecting them from an overzealous State Government.

"We have definitely gone back to our colonial roots where people are detained at the pleasure of the Governor," Ms Bradfield said.

"The issue we have is the laws are taking the decision making power away from the judiciary and putting it in the hands of a politician.

"The legal system is not failing Queenslanders.

"It is protecting the community against politicians who not only want to make the laws, but want to apply them as well.

"The possibility these laws could be open to abuse by politicians is of very real concern to us," she said.

Ms Bradfield said the notion that the legal fraternity was out of touch with the community was simply not true.

"We see everyday Queenslanders each and every day in offices right across the state," she said.

"What the community is concerned about is separation of powers have been muddied."



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