‘Parliament, Government and Reform in Queensland, 2001-2013’


Parliament, Government and Reform in Queensland, 2001-2013

Public Forum -Parliament House, Brisbane 10 February 2014 10:00 am – 12:00 noon The Premiers Room

The Accountability Round Table is a non-partisan group of citizens with diverse backgrounds (academics, lawyers, politicians, journalists, authors) who are gravely concerned by the current erosion of honesty and integrity in our democracy.

The Accountability Round Table is dedicated to improving standards of accountability, probity, transparency and democratic practice in all governments and parliaments in Australia.

This Forum is the first of a series of public events to discuss the Constitutional obligation on the Parliaments and Governments of Queensland ‘to foster peace, welfare and good government of Queensland’, in the context of the many reforms and reviews instigated by various governments since 2001. There is no charge for admission.


An overview of Queensland’s developing ‘Integrity System’ and the key institutions of public governance, from 2001 to 2013.

Assessing the Parliament’s capacity to ensure accountability on the part of the Executive


The functions of Parliamentary Committees and processes of the Parliament.

An analysis of the Crime and Misconduct Commission’s status, powers, and role, and the process

of reform.

Chair: David Muir KSJ Speakers: The Hon Stephen Charles QC -The Hon John Mickel -Mr Howard Whitton

... more/

Notes on the Speakers

The Hon Stephen Charles QC is a former Judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria. He lectures at the Melbourne University Law School on the Law of Royal Commissions and other Public Inquiries.

The Hon John Mickel was the 36th Speaker of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, and a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1998. He has represented Australia on the Executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and is currently a member of a number of Advisory Boards for private organisations, and university lecturer.

Mr Howard Whitton is a member of the National Institute for Governance in the University of Canberra. He has worked as a senior adviser on ethics and integrity matters for the OECD’s Public Governance Directorate and various UN agencies and international organisations, and for Queensland’s Electoral and !dministrative Review Commission (EARC).

Mr David Muir KSJ is a partner in the national law firm HWL Ebsworth. He is currently the Chair of Real Republic Limited and former chair of Crime Stoppers Queensland Limited and Amnesty International Queensland Inc.

The Accountability Roundtable (ART) sponsors the Parliamentary Integrity Awards for federal parliamentarians –The Button Award for Ministers and Shadow Ministers, and The Missen Award for all other MPs.

ART also sponsors The Integrity Lecture. The 2012 Integrity Lecturer was The Hon Lindsay Tanner. In 2011 the Lecture was delivered by The Hon Fred Chaney AO.

The Chair of the Accountability Roundtable is The Hon Tim Smith QC.


Disclaimer: The views expressed by the speakers in this Forum do not necessarily reflect the views of The Accountability Roundtable.

For Reference:




Further Information about the Forum:

Media and other enquiries: Howard Whitton ( 0424 766 622 ) or Beryce Nelson ( 0412 121 158 )


One thought on “‘Parliament, Government and Reform in Queensland, 2001-2013’

  1. Back To The Future – Queensland 25 Years Later – What’s Really Changed? says:

    from a post by camjoh

    The doctrine of the separation of powers divides the institutions of government into three branches: legislative, executive and judicial: the legislature makes the laws; the executive put the laws into operation; and the judiciary interprets the laws. The powers and functions of each are separate and carried out by separate personnel. No single agency is able to exercise complete authority, each being interdependent on the other.

    Power thus divided should prevent absolutism (as in monarchies or dictatorships where all branches are concentrated in a single authority) or corruption arising from the opportunities that unchecked power offers.

    The doctrine can be extended to enable the three branches to act as checks and balances on each other. Each branch’s independence helps keep the others from exceeding their power, thus ensuring the rule of law and protecting individual rights.

    NSW Parliament


    Campbell Newman, February 2014:

    (Describing defence lawyers)

    “These people are hired guns. They take money from people who sell drugs to our teenagers and young people,”

    “Yes, everybody’s got a right to be defended under the law but you’ve got to see it for what it is: they (the accused’s lawyers) are part of the machine, part of the criminal gang machine, and they will see, say and do anything to defend their clients, and try and get them off and indeed progress … their dishonest case.”

    They are people “paid by criminal gangs”


    Joh Bjelke-Petersen, December 1988:

    (Describing his understanding of the legal system)

    Michael Forde (Counsel examining Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen): What do you understand by the doctrine of the separation of powers under the Westminster system?

    Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen: The Westminster system? The stock?

    Forde: The doctrine of the separation of powers under the Westminster system?

    Bjelke-Petersen: No, I don’t quite know what you’re driving at. The document?

    Forde: No, I’ll say it again. What do you understand by the doctrine of the separation of powers under the Westminster system?

    Bjelke-Petersen: I don’t know which doctrine you refer to.

    Forde: There is only one doctrine of the separation of powers.

    Bjelke-Petersen: I believe in it very strongly, and despite what you may say, I believe that we do have a great responsibility to the people who elect us to government. And that’s to maintain their freedom and their rights, and I did that—sought to do it—always.

    Forde: I’m sure you’re trying to be responsive to the question, but the question related to the doctrine of the separation of powers or the principles …

    Bjelke Petersen: Between the Government and the—Is it?

    Forde: No, you tell me what you understand.

    Bjelke-Petersen: Well, the separation of the doctrine that you refer to, in relation to where the Government stands, and the rest of the community stands, or where the rest of the instruments of Government stand. Is that what—?

    Forde: No.

    Bjelke-Petersen: Well you tell me. And I’ll tell you whether you’re right or not. Don’t you know?

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