Speculations from The Map
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Justinian in Alan Blow, City Desk, Eric Abetz, Governor of Tasmania, Leigh Sealy, Map of Tasmania, Tim Ellis

It's Erich's say so ... Flags half-mast ... Who'll be Tasmania's new governor? ... Where to for Lieutenant Governor Mr Squiggle? ... Solicitor General's job goes begging ... What now for the Ellis appeal? 

Government House: half mast

THERE'S much to report from Van Diemen's Land following the untimely departure of Governor Hollywood Pete Underwood. 

Complications following kidney surgery saw the former CJ and star of the documentary Under Peterwood, depart the mortal coil. 

One of Hollywood's last and most important achievements was to get on the wick of that poisonous loon, Andrew Bolt. 

Bolt went bananas after the governor said at his Anzac Day address that Australians should spend less time paying homage to the Gallipoli legend and more time examining the causes of war and our involvement in conflicts. 

Bolter, who wants to keep the Anzac myth alive, demanded that the governor be dismissed from office.

Sadly, Underwood has dismissed himself from office.  

Who's to be the replacement, is the question on many lips? Will it be a judge, will it be lawyer, will it be a military man, will it be a lawyer-military man?  

This will be the call of Erich Abetz, the immensely titillating Liberal power man who is in charge of Taswegia's arm twisting, pocket pissing and job preferement. 

Justice Disco Dave Porter had been acting governor while Lieutenant Gov and Chief Justice Alan (Mr Squiggle) Blow was at Conferenceville. 

Mr Squiggle: up the river?

As a result of his memo to members of Malthouse Chambers warning them to shake their willies and not drip on the bathroom floor, plus the fact that he got married in Las Vegas, it is unlikely that Disco will be asked to move into Lower Domain Road. 

Now that Mr Squiggle is back, is he in contention? 

He's only been in the CJ's chair a relatively short time and some of his judgments would be too pinkish for Erich's taste. 

Then again the Libs might be keen to punt Blowers up river so he's not on the bench making awkward decisions on planning appeals. 

Then there's Major General Aziz Gregory Melick AO SC, from Greg Chambers, ex-Crime Authority, ex-NSW Casino Control Authority, etc, etc. 

Maybe he's the man to slip into Leigh (The Brewer) Sealy's old job as solicitor general. Leigh has been gone over a month and is quietly motoring through New South Wales, and still no announcement has been made as to his replacement. 

Many SCs threw their rosettes into the ring for that gig, but so far none called. 

The one who didn't apply, but would be a strong contender, is Michael O'Farrell SC, currently preparing the appeal for his client, Timsy Ellis SC. 

That foreshadowed appeal poses another problem for Erich. 

Ellis, the stood aside DPP, has told just about all the Tasmanian judges what he thinks of them, so which mainland judge, from which jurisdiction, should Erich like attorney general Dr Venessa Goodwin to recruit to hear it? 

Being an appeal from a magistrate it is heard in Tasmania by a single judge. If the appeal is upheld on an error of law that is likely to be the end of the matter. It is rare in those circumstances to send it back to a magistrate with instructions to do a better job. 

Let's hope Ellis survives the next round so that he can continue to keep Duncan Kerr quivering on the footpath. 

Article originally appeared on Justinian: Australian legal magazine. News on lawyers and the law (http://justinian.com.au/).
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