28 Sep 2010

Investigation of Supreme Court judge quashed

5:00 pm on 28 September 2010

The High Court has quashed the acting Attorney-General's decision to establish a judicial conduct panel to further investigate Supreme Court judge Bill Wilson.

The case has been referred back to the Judicial Conduct Commissioner for further consideration.

The commissioner had recommended that a panel be established after he investigated statements Justice Wilson made to the Supreme Court about his business dealings with a lawyer who appeared before him in the Court of Appeal.

Justice Wilson then sought a High Court judicial review of that recommendation.

In Tuesday's decision the High Court says the commissioner applied an appropriate standard to the conduct that might, if established, warrant consideration of the judge's removal.

The court goes on to say, however, that the commissioner did not evaluate or form an opinion about aspects of the complaints relating to Justice Wilson's conduct between two Supreme Court hearings regarding his actions.