A statement by his Honour Chief Judge Peter Kidd, following The Age's apology.
Today The Age published an unreserved apology to his Honour Judge McInerney. This appears on page 2. It is in response to an article written by Richard Baker published on 29 October 2018, entitled Justice delayed, justice denied as Opposition loses control of rape cases.
The apology acknowledges that the article may have caused some readers to wrongly conclude that Judge McInerney had breached his duties as a judge and thereby failed to accord justice to complainants in a sexual offence trial.
In response to this article I wrote a letter to the editor that sought to clarify some misconceptions. I contended that the article suggested, without foundation, that Judge McInerney had acted not in accordance with his oath to dispense justice fairly and impartially, but in a manner which was biased against the complainants. This was published on 5 November 2018.
A second article by Richard Baker published on 7 November 2018 in The Age did not seek in any way to offer an apology, or retraction from his original article.
The apology in today’s Age is welcome, but should have been issued following my letter to the editor.
This matter illustrates some of the difficulties which courts face with regard to challenging ill-informed criticism of its work.
Chief Judge of the County Court of Victoria Peter Kidd