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Queensland chief justice resigns

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Queensland’s beleaguered Chief Justice Tim Carmody has resigned after a controversial stint as the state’s top judge that has lasted just under a year.

He offered his resignation two months ago on the condition the Government agree to overhaul the “festering” judiciary, including a judicial commission.

In a joint statement, Justice Carmody and Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath announced the resignation.

“We are pleased to be able to announce a dignified end to the controversy that has involved the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court in recent times,” the statement said.

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“Consistent with Justice Carmody’s offer and in a generous and gracious gesture for the greater public good, His Honour has tendered his resignation to His Excellency the Acting Governor.”

Justice Carmody will retain his office and standing as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

He will serve as a supplementary judicial member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

Ms D’Ath said that when the presidency of QCAT became vacant, she would give favourable consideration to appointing Justice Carmody.

The statement said the Justice Carmody would be sacrificing the significant rights, remuneration and privileges of the Office of Chief Justice.

“[That] is recognised as an honourable act,” the statement said.

“Consistent with the principle of the separation of judicial power, this decision was one for His Honour alone and he has shown strength of character in making his decision to do so.”

It has been a rocky road for Justice Carmody since he was sworn in on July 8 last year.

He was promoted under the former Newman government from Chief Magistrate to Chief Justice, despite never serving on the Supreme Court.

The state’s second most powerful judge, Court of Appeal President Justice Margaret McMurdo, said she would not sit with him on any case, and Justice John Byrne is reported to have secretly recorded a conversation with him.

He returned to work on Monday after taking more than a month’s sick leave, for which he cited a bad back.

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