August 31, 2007
This is another facet of a systematic attack on the judiciary from a government which is terrified of having its policies and actions scrutinised. From immigration to copyright to industrial relations to prisoners’ right to vote, the Howard Government has complained about the power of the courts to regulate and limit their power.
The real threat to democracy is not judicial intervention. To claim that a judge who takes a literal and conservative approach to the text of the law is not acting politically is mere legal fetishism.
The real threat to democracy here is the sustained attack on judicial independence that we have witnessed from a government which refuses to have its policies reviewed, either by the legislature before they become law, or by the judiciary afterwards.
In short, Ruddock is continuing to espouse the Howard Government's "Waaah! Woe is us! The Law (our own laws even) are getting used 'against' us! Waaah!" line. Time and again we are told that they are obstructed in their 'duty' to 'protect' us.
But we can see under the curtain ...