In a speech on 28 May 2010, the Chief Justice of Queensland Paul de Jersey said “It is fanciful at the moment to think this reform drive will not proceed in some form or other.” 

This statement could be interpreted as showing a lack of will to pursue a “fight to the death” with the reformers.

The Federal Liberal Party opposition has aired and amplified the Chief Justices’ concerns but that is as far as they have gone.

These developments coincide with conciliatory statements from the Federal Attorney General who was reported in The Australian as saying that there is “room to move” on the make-up of and selection process for the national board. He further indicated that he would be willing to withdraw from the board selection process altogether.

The Australian quotes him as saying that he would press ahead with the reforms even if Western Australia did not come on board. “I hope it doesn’t come to that, but it could,” Mr McClelland said.

Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls has written a public article arguing in favour of the reforms and rebutting the Chief Justices’ concerns about issues of independence.

A show of weakness by the Chief Justices might be just what it takes to keep the reform process moving on its planned course.

Reporting in The Australian: Queensland Chief Justice SpeechFederal Attorney-General to give ground; Victorian Attorney-General’s Article