Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Opening of Law Term Service at The Great Synagogue, Sydney

Ron Hoenig MP & Justice Stephen Rothman AM
I was delighted to recently join the legal community for the 2014 Law Term Service and Dinner at the Great Synagogue in Sydney.

Keynote speaker, The Honourable James Allsop, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia and The Honourable Tom Bathurst, Chief Justice of New South Wales were joined by other senior members of the judiciary, barristers and solicitors in formally marking the beginning of 2014 sittings.

Such occasions are a helpful and poignant start to the year.

Chief Justice Allsop spoke passionately of the need for civility and reason both within the law and in how community and government interact with it. The Chief Justice reminded the service that civility is at the heart of the law:

“ [whilst] judges should be open to criticism. It should not, however, be too much to ask for that criticism to be reasoned and civil, and not take the form of personal attack.”

Whilst never political, His Honour rightly borrowed the facts of current concerns to express a genuine concern for the judiciary collectively.

Comments directed, often personally at our judicial officers these past months have not only lacked the ‘civility’ and dignity' we should expect but constituted an unprecedented ill-informed attack on the judicial arm of government.

It is with regret that  this would be his last Law Term Service with Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence as Senior Rabbi at The Great Synagogue.

I want to offer my congratulations to Rabbi Laurence upon his appointment at Senior Rabbi at London’s Finchley (Kinloss) Synagogue. Rabbi Lawrence's warmth will be missed – not only at the Great Synagogue, but across the wider community. I wish him every success across the seas.

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