News State QLD News Newman is the one out of touch: lawyers

Newman is the one out of touch: lawyers

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Lawyers say Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is the one who is out of touch when it comes to protecting the community.

Mr Newman says the state’s legal fraternity is living in ivory towers and tough laws are needed because the judiciary is failing to protect the community.

But the Queensland Law Society says the government shouldn’t be tinkering with laws designed to protect the community.

The peak solicitor group also says Mr Newman’s ivory tower comments are a bit rich.

“It couldn’t be further from the truth in the sense that solicitors in Queensland… deal with members of the community on a daily basis,” Queensland Law Society president Annette Bradfield told AAP.

“In fact they are probably in more closer and regular contact with members of the community than the government.”

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Newman called on former Supreme Court justice Richard Chesterman – and members of the legal fraternity – to come out of their ivory towers.

“They go home to their comfortable well-appointed homes, they talk among themselves, they socialise together, they don’t understand what my team and I understand is that Queenslanders have had enough,” he told 4BC radio.

Mr Chesterman wouldn’t comment on Mr Newman’s ivory tower remarks, but has labelled the sex-offender laws as bad policy.

Queensland Law and Justice Institute president Peter Callaghan SC says there are valid concerns.

“There are legitimate concerns about the fact powers have been taken from judges and given to politicians,” he told ABC Radio.

Ms Bradfield agreed.

“That’s our concern, that they are trying to take on that (judiciary) role when they are not appropriately trained to do so,” Ms Bradfield said.

“It’s going back to our colonial roots where people were detained at the pleasure of the government.”

Queensland Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mr Newman had lost the plot.

“He doesn’t understand the separation of powers and it’s about time he actually got a copy of the Fitzgerald report and read it because he’s actually taking Queensland back to a darker day,” she said.