The Attorney-General for Queensland, the Hon. Jarrod Bleijie, has announced the restoration of the title Queen's Counsel. This is the subject of a report by Michael Madigan in The Courier-Mail on 12 December, 2012.
ACM, who have long campaigned for this, congratulate the Attorney on reversing this rather childish example of creeping republicanism.
Anyone who knows would understand that the title enjoys not only international recognition but also among the general public. There was no good reason to end it.
As we reported in this column in 2009, New Zealand has already restored this rank. Earlier this year we noted that the Queensland Bar Association had given support to the return of the rank in that state.
As senior lawyers converge on Queensland, other states and the Commonwealth will be forced to restore the rank.
A word of warning to senior lawyers in other states. Do not stand between your republican colleagues and getting to Brisbane airport, otherwise you’ll be knocked over in the rush.
…eliminating confusion, international recognition…
Mr Bleijie told Mr. Madigan that replacing Senior Counsel (SC) with Queen’s Counsel (QC) would eliminate confusion.
"The feedback I have received raised concerns that SC was often mistaken for the term Special Counsel, which many law firms have taken to using for solicitors,'' Mr Bleijie said.
While the Newman Government move will be seen as supportive of the Monarchy in the dying days of the Queen's Golden Jubilee year, Mr Bleijie says there are also commercial considerations at play.
“QC is also more widely known and understood by the public as a mark of professional distinction at the Bar and this move will make the distinction much clearer,'' he said.
“It is important that Queensland silks are competitive internationally particularly in Singapore and Hong Kong where the use of QCs is preferred.''
Mr Bleijie said Asian countries employed QCs from as far as the United Kingdom.He said the change would give Queensland leverage over other Australian states, which maintain the SC title, competing for a share of this market.
Current Senior Counsel will be invited to have their title amended should they wish and all new appointments will now be given the title of Queen’s Counsel.