The Honourable Neil Brown is one of Her Majesty’s Counsel learned in the law, that is a Queen’s Counsel. He was once a Minister of the Crown and was Attorney General of Australia.
He writes in The Spectator (30/3)about the move by various governments to end the appointment of senior members of the legal profession as Queen’s Counsel.
Instead, they are made Senior Counsel, “which everyone ses as downmarket, sort of common and not in keeping with the dignity of our tradition.”
He suggests that this was done by “leftie state governments.” Actually it began with the Liberal government of New South Wales under Premier John Fahey.
…Queensland A-G leads…
Neil Brown commends the recent action of that excellent young Attorney General of Queensland, the Hon. Jarrod Pieter Bleijie, MP to “put a stop to this republican nonsense” and revert to Queen’s Counsel for those Senior Counsel who wish to take it.
We understand that just about everyone will trade in their second rate republican rank for the real thing.
Of course there will be a stampede for those eligible from South of the border.
The New South Wales Attorney General was told some time ago that once one state restored the rank every other would have to follow.
That’s how competitive federalism works – the good drives out the bad.
Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen demonstrated this when he abolished death duties and the elderly are moved to Queensland.
The other states had to follow and so eventually did the Commonwealth.
Now here’s the amusing piece. Neil Brown says there is a fear among the profession in the other states is that clients will think that only Queensland has top drawer barristers and they’ll direct their work north of the border.
Rank and file Australians have more common sense than the republicans.
…Victoria to follow…
So a move has begun in Melbourne for the restoration of the rank of Queen’s Counsel which has the support of two thirds of the eligible barristers. Apparently many think it will be good for business.
Neil Brown thinks there is something more important and that is if the reform goes through, “it will be a pleasant change to undo a piece of republican tinsel restore the Queen to her rightful place in the administration of justice here in Australia."
To which we say “Hear Hear!”