Why we have judges

For an ex-lawyer, The Australian’s Janet Albrechtsen has an astonishingly poor understanding of judicial process if she really believes the High Court is “imposing their own preferred reading…contrary to clear words of the section” (“High Court gets on its high horse, flexing its interventionist muscle”, 7/9). The words were not clear; in fact they were not even there: the Court was asked to decide if the Malaysia “solution” breached the Migration Act precisely because that scenario is not mentioned in the Act. Laws can’t mention everything, that’s why we have judges.

Although Albrechtsen blithely approves Eisenhower’s Machiavellian advice that “in appointing judges, one needed to pay more attention to ideology”, it is simply lazy to reject their findings as “activism” because it doesn’t match her own ideology. She must show why it is bad law, and in this she has failed.

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