Saturday, August 3, 2013


Public sector head 'not accountable'

Daniel Emerson, The West AustralianAugust 2, 2013, 6:12 am
WA's Chief Justice has questioned the Barnett Government's "extraordinary delegation of legislative power" to the "unaccountable" Public Sector Commissioner Mal Wauchope.
In a speech in NSW last night Wayne Martin said Mr Wauchope had been given "the power to override laws of the Parliament" and said it was "difficult to see how this framework promotes the cause of integrity".
In a spirited championing of the principle of transparency among the traditional arms of government, Mr Martin said he was "alarmed" by the strength and powers conferred on newer "integrity agencies".
Delivering the annual Whitmore Lecture to the NSW chapter of the Council of Australasian Tribunals, Justice Martin argued that moves to collectively regard integrity agencies as the fourth arm of government after courts, Parliament and the executive, should be resisted.
He said for public sector agency chiefs "both the written law and any directions of the minister are trumped by any public sector standard or code of ethics published by the commissioner, who is not subject to direction from anyone".
"The same official is now also the employing authority of each agency CEO, who therefore depends upon the favour of the commissioner for their continuation in office," he said.
Justice Martin warned a grouping of Mr Wauchope, the Corruption and Crime Commission, Information Commissioner, Auditor-General and Ombudsman may stray beyond their individual briefs.
"It is of some concern to me that these statutory agencies have banded together to promulgate definitions of conduct and standards of behaviour which are separate and distinct from the language used in the statutes creating their agencies," he said.
'Both the written law and any directions of the minister are trumped.' " Chief Justice *Wayne Martin *


  1. When the Executive Branch of Government interferes with the Judiciary, the Judiciary ceased to exhibit the three Pillars of Justice: IMPARTIALITY, INTEGRITY AND INDEPENDENCE.

  2. Public sector head 'not accountable' - The West Australian - Yahoo!
    WA's Chief Justice has questioned the Barnett Government's "extraordinary ... In a speech in NSW last night Wayne Martin said Mr Wauchope had been given ...

  3. To quote Dr. Cyrus Das: “Justice is a consumer product and must therefore meet the test of confidence, reliability and dependability like any other product if it is to survive market scrutiny. It exists for the citizenry ‘at whose service only the system of justice must work.’ Judicial responsibility, accountability and independence are in every sense inseparable. They are, and must be, embodied in the institution of the judiciary.

    (Judges and judicial accountability by Cyrus Das, Common Wealth Law Association, 2000. Quoted by T R Andhyarujina).

  4. To quote Justice Dorab Patel (Pakistan) –“In the long run, the manner in which the judges and lawyers discharge their duties can build up public opinion and public opinion is better safeguard for the independence of judges and lawyers”-(Quoted by Fali S Nariman – “Before the Memory Fades”- Hay house, 2010, Page 86)- A lesson for us to learn and a slogan to carry on.