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Qld AG rejects Dutton's judiciary comments

AAP logoAAP 8/09/2016 Darren Cartwright

Queensland's attorney-general has defended Labor's protocols for appointing magistrates and judges after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton linked her party's appointees to "soft" sentencing.

Yvette D'Ath says the Labor state government has brought in a judicial protocol for appointments to ensure more transparency and tougher sentences for certain crimes.

"We’ve already increased sentences for domestic and family violence offences and announced a raft of changes to strengthen laws around all forms of organised crime, including child exploitation, drug trafficking and financial crimes," she said.

Mr Dutton had said it was "no wonder" there were lenient sentences dished out in Queensland - including those delivered to terror suspects this week - "when you look at who appointed the judges and magistrates".

“Have a look at the background of some of these appointments, some of their friendships, their affiliations,” he said on the Macquarie Radio Network on Thursday morning .

“Look at the appointment of (Queensland) magistrates by Attorneys-General (Rod) Welford, (Linda) Lavarch, and Yvette D’Ath.

“Have a look back at the appointments and the backgrounds of these people and then ask yourself why are we getting some of the decisions we’re getting at the moment.”

But Ms D'Ath returned fire when she dismissed Mr Dutton's comments.

"We know the LNP have trouble with understanding the separation of powers- Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Ian Walker and now Peter Dutton," she said.

The Queensland Law Society has also dismissed Mr Dutton's criticism.

Law Society president Bill Potts said the federal minister was doing himself and the Coalition government no favours with his negative comments.

"No amount of populist can-kicking can take the place of a proper appeals process and an independent third judiciary," Mr Potts told AAP.

He also said Mr Dutton should be prepared to name names when he's talking about magistrates handing down lenient sentences.

"Mr Dutton is prepared to wound, but not to kill, as he does not name names."

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