Following the resignation of the judge appointed to the royal commission for the NT detention center child abuse case, the government has named two replacements for the position within hours of the event.
Brian Martin resigned after being criticized for being unsuitable to conduct the inquiry into the matter. As a replacement, the government has appointed former Queensland Supreme Court judge Margaret White and Human Rights Commission’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda. The two have now been assigned the task of seeing to the protection system of the child detention center.
The royal commission replacement was announced by Attorney General George Brandis. He said that White’s experience in handling both civil and criminal jurisdictions will be helpful in tackling the detention center’s child abuse matter. He added that she is one of the most popular judicial personalities known for her legal role throughout Australia.
Referring to Gooda, the attorney general said that he is one of the most known Indigenous leaders and is respected both in legal and political spheres.
White said that they have gone through the complete hearings in Darwin in October and in other places. Gooda said that they were aware of the incidents but never “understood the extent” until he watched the ABC’s Four Corners.
According to News.com.au, Gooda is an interesting choice, as recently, he demanded the sacking of the NT government.
Justice Martin said that it was not that he doubted his capacity to be “both independent and competent” in tackling the matter. “Nor does it imply that I accept that there is or would be a reasonable apprehension of bias,” he said. “Secondly, my decision to resign is solely my initiative only. My resignation does not imply any criticism of the Government, Prime Minister or the Attorney-General.”
The Labor party and Indigenous representatives were the ones who called for the replacement in the NT detention center matter, which prompted the government to replace Martin immediately.