Embattled Queensland Chief Justice Tim Carmody has taken a month’s sick leave, citing a back problem.
The leave is to begin on Monday and comes amid public criticism of his handling of the Daniel Morcombe appeal case and a bitter stoush with the state’s second-most senior judge.
“The Chief Justice will be unavailable to preside in court for a month from Monday 18 May 2015 whilst His Honour seeks specialist treatment for an ongoing back problem,” said a statement from Justice Carmody’s office on Thursday.
The controversially appointed chief justice made headlines when he sensationally withdrew from the appeal of Morcombe’s convicted murderer following allegations of perceived bias.
He then made public an email chain revealing the full extent of his spat with Court of Appeal president Margaret McMurdo, who said she couldn’t sit with him on any court.
Some in the legal fraternity, including a retired judge, have called for Justice Carmody’s resignation.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has urged the judges to sort out the rift, and said the public expected more.
Justice’s Carmody’s calendar shows next month’s duties were to include Court of Appeal sittings, administration, judgment writing and other “Chief Justice duties”.