Separation of Powers

Perhaps his judgement is fading in his later years.  Perhaps he never had any judgement.  But here is a neat piece of indiscretion from Graham Richardson in today’s Australian:

When the dark clouds were encircling him, I was dispatched by Bob Hawke and Gareth Evans to tell him (Lionel Murphy) he would have to resign as a member of the High Court. While there was no obvious sign of the brain cancer which would soon kill him, I will never forget the look of a man who knew it was all over.

So let’s get this right.  The executive has the power to dismiss members of the judiciary.  Right.  Yeah right from the banana republic playbook.

If this is true, it is a disgrace.  But disgrace and Richardson seem never far apart.

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32 Responses to Separation of Powers

  1. H B Bear

    Probably the most timely death Australian history. Plenty of sighs of relief too in the Liars party room.

  2. Bronson

    Separation of powers – yeah nah.

  3. Professor Fred Lenin

    Are they still keeping a Richo away from the match box ? Can he still insure anything after the last claim .

  4. shatterzzz

    No doubt, pension entitlements and the subsequent affect of bad publicity were mentioned ..
    … just a hint though … LOL!

  5. shatterzzz

    Are they still keeping a Richo away from the match box ? Can he still insure anything after the last claim .
    He made that much he bought the insurance company & made a 2nd fortune … HIH LOL!

  6. Jock

    I suspect that they had “stuff” on him and could force his hand. That makes sense in terms of the corruption that surrounded Murphy.

  7. David Brewer

    I’m not sure it’s really a separation of powers issue. He was just given a friendly tap on the shoulder. The look on his face is no surprise. Murphy was under official investigation because of his behaviour, and knew that in any case he was not long for this world. Whatever Richardson said, Murphy didn’t resign anyway, nor was he dismissed. He just announced that he was dying and remained a High Court judge until he did.

  8. Bruce of Newcastle

    The slave in the back of the chariot idea was a good one.
    Having someone tell a HC beak it’s time to lay down their mallet and retire has some merit.
    Thinking especially of RBG.

  9. HT

    The concept of the separation of powers was neutered in the years following the Whitlam dismissal. Today we don’t even have the pretext of the doctrine of separation of powers, it’s all very cosy now for those in power.

  10. John A

    HT #3581054, posted on September 11, 2020, at 5:14 pm

    The concept of the separation of powers was neutered in the years following the Whitlam dismissal. Today we don’t even have the pretext of the doctrine of separation of powers, it’s all very cosy now for those in power.

    We need to rewrite that principle so that power is separated from a lot of people currently styled as “leaders”.

  11. Richard Bender

    72 Judges’ appointment, tenure, and remuneration

    The Justices of the High Court and of the other courts created by the Parliament:

    (ii) shall not be removed except by the Governor-General in Council, on an address from both Houses of the Parliament in the same session, praying for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity;

    So yes, the executive may dismiss a judge, but only in limited circumstances that do not include a quiet word.

  12. Squirrel

    I’m reminded of a cartoon (probably Patrick Cook) from Richardson’s time as Environment Minister showing him (possibly with a violin case under the arm) telling a bunch of koalas to fall in line – or else.

    He might have some ideas for Barilaro.

  13. sabena

    And it didn’t work did it?Lionel died as a High Court judge.

  14. wozzup

    Oh come on. This is not about the constitutional power (or lack of it) of the Executive to dismiss a High Court Judge. This is about Labor Party internal politics, which is played pretty much like the mafia plays its internal politics – just with slightly less (visible) blood.

    What Richo admitted to was that he was the messenger who administered the kiss of death to the cheek of Murphy courtesy of Godfather Hawke. That would have told Murphy in no uncertain terms that his time was up, a “hit’ was in the offing and he would be better off falling on his own sword “for the sake of the Party”. Party support had been withdrawn from him and he could no longer count on his other “little mate” – i.e. Bob Hawke to to do any favors for him. He MUST have known it was coming.
    So yes it was a disgrace, but the whole bloody Labor Party is a disgrace so what’s new? This kind of behaviour is baked in the cake.
    A reasonable summary of events for those not familiar with it.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/my-little-mate-morgan-ryan-and-his-constitutional-walks-with-chief-magistrate-murray-farquhar-20170723-gxh0ix.html

  15. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “So let’s get this right. The executive has the power to dismiss members of the judiciary. Right. Yeah right from the banana republic playbook.

    If this is true, it is a disgrace.”

    Oh grow up! Billy the bluefella could tell you this is unsurprising … the naivety I read from this author, and his ignorance of how the world works, is fabulously amusing. This happened 35 years ago, he cannot have been around back then.

  16. Bronson

    Just like yourself mick all front and no back!

  17. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Bronson at 8:59 pm:

    “Just like yourself mick all front and no back!”

    Well then, I am just like you it seems – I have no idea what you are talking about.

  18. lew

    What I can’t understand is how all the hosts/commentators at Sky fawn over Richardson. I neatly spew every time they do it.. which every time he comes on.

  19. NoFixedAddress

    The Fabians have been directing Australia since their inception.

  20. mem

    wozzup
    #3581238, posted on September 11, 2020 at 7:43 pm
    Oh come on. This is not about the constitutional power (or lack of it) of the Executive to dismiss a High Court Judge. This is about Labor Party internal politics, which is played pretty much like the mafia plays its internal politics – just with slightly less (visible) blood.

    Couldn’t agree more. Also this little bit,” While there was no obvious sign of the brain cancer which would soon kill him, I will never forget the look of a man who knew it was all over.” Richo has always been a wordy coward and so besmirches one of his deceased clan members in order to seem elegant. Richo might find that the dead do indeed rise.

  21. Hay Stockard

    Superannuated Labor media whores. Wish they would all pull their heads. Shameless, the lot of them.

  22. Robbo

    Rich features large on Sky News as a commentator. They must have very short memories or they simply don’t care who gets a gig in front of their cameras. Whenever he pops up on my screen I change channels.

  23. Robbo

    Of course it should read Richo.

  24. Up The Workers!

    Precisely where did this conversation between the two Labor(sic) intellectual giants take place?

    Was it aboard the barely-floating, cocaine-stuffed brothel-boat (the “S.S. Whatever-It-Takes”?) on Obeid Harbour?

    With a gargantuan proboscis like he had, you wouldn’t want to offer Old Lionel too many lines of free coke aboard the Brothel Boat – he’d vacuum up all your inventory before you could say “Crooked Judge”.

    Is that the way things were Wran by Sydney ‘white powder’ commodities-dealers in those days?

    I bet that is where AnAl the Brothel-Hopper got all his experience as a crewman on the bilge-pump. He pumps lots of bilge-water these days. He’d have been all at sea in a floating brothel, though.

    Murphy’s Law (Lionel’s or Bernie’s – take your pick!) – Whatever can be done by the A.L.P. corruptly, criminally or incompetently, WILL be done by the A.L.P. corruptly, criminally and incompetently.

    Gee, an A.L.P.-appointed High Court Judge being sacked by a seedy Sydney cocaine-dispensing, brothel-boat owner.

    What’ll they think of next?

  25. theleftfootkick

    Yes clearly demonstrated in the now marxist State of Dansvicpolland.

  26. Fair Shake

    I recall Richo developed cancer. The doctors removed the tumours and all that was left was the anus. They were able to grow another Richo from the remaining organ but the anus rejected it . This is what you still see nightly on Sky.

  27. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Richardson is so physically hideous nowadays I simply don’t have the stomach to subject myself to his banal idiocies and constant stating of the bleeding obvious.

    His current physical appearance is an accurate reflection of his character.

    One of the most loathsome odious deadshits to have blighted public life in this stupid, stupid country’s history.

  28. Iain Russell

    Baldwin. Not Stanley, Peter. Memories indeed, Richo.

  29. egg_

    Richo never fails to confirm the worst suspected of the cynical ALP apparatchik.

  30. DaveR

    As a conservative I have come to admire Richo’s deep political skill in recent years, and look forward to his regular commentary which become increasingly unconstrained as the years march on, but vitally relevant to the national discussion today as it ever was. All I can hope for is Richo writes it all in a book before he goes, Offset, Rene, The Gap, Coombe, Mick Young and all. If there are still funds in that cantonal bank account then we will probably never see a word printed. But Australia will be much the poorer for it.

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