Two months ago the Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls snuck in immediately before Christmas a major change in Victoria’s legal system - without any public discussion. From 1st January 2010, criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the Director of Public Prosecutions, rather than The Queen. Even a republican lawyer raised concerns about the changes.
But what is the Victorian Parliament saying? Labor MP Ann Barker, who represents the constituency where the RadicalRoyalist lives and works, echoes Rob Hulls’ claims:
“This change more accurately reflects the way in which criminal proceedings are currently conducted in Victoria, as the Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for instituting, preparing and conducting indictable criminal proceedings on behalf of the Crown.
“Removing the reference to “The Queen” is consistent with the spirit and purpose of the Act and the Government’s commitment to modernising the criminal justice system.”
Ted Baillieu, the Leader of the Opposition in the Victorian Parliament, answered the RadicalRoyalist’s letter, but only to inform him, that he has no opinion of his own on this matter.
“I appreciate your concerns about this decision and its potential effects on the legal process in Victoria.
“I have passed a copy of your letter to Robert Clark MLA, Shadow Attorney-General, for his information and consideration of your comment.”
A very different response came from Peter Ryan MLA, Leader of The Nationals:
“The Attorney-General Rob Hulls is to be condemned for his proposal to replace reference to The Queen with that of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Robert Clark, our Shadow Attorney-General, has already made comment to that effect.
“I practised law for about 17 years before coming to politics. The proposition by Mr Hulls is an affront in itself. The more so, since he should busy himself about the multitude of issue which face Victorians in matters of law and order and the operations of the justice system at large.”
Shadow Attorney-General Robert Clark may have made comments about Rob Hulls’ dictated changes, but he has – so far – not made them known to the RadicalRoyalist. Two months after the announcement, the major political opposition party's point of view on this matter is still not known. There is nothing on his website either.
May be the Liberal Party in Victoria should adopt a perception of the federal Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott, that an opposition should oppose the government. Especially when the government's measure work against the judicial traditions of this country.