Read Letter to The Honourable Philip Ruddock MP re Stephen Keim SC text version

QUEENSLAND COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES

19 July 2007

The Honourable Philip Ruddock MP Attorney-General PO Box 6022 Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600 Dear Attorney General

Stephen Keim SC

We write this letter in support of Stephen Keim SC. Stephen Keim is a highly respected lawyer. He is a person of great integrity. His commitment to justice under the rule of law is well recognized. He has shown great courage and commitment in his representation of Dr Haneef. It is no less than every person in this country should expect from their lawyer. Mr Keim did not act illegally when he released to the media the transcript of his client's interview. The suggestion that Mr Keim's action was a contempt, or somehow prejudiced or delayed the fair trial of his client is nonsense. If anything, it assisted to mitigate the prejudice caused by selective leaks of parts of the transcript and prejudicial statements about Dr Haneef, including those by Minister Andrews. The transcript undoubtedly will be an exhibit in any committal proceedings. As first law officer you must have known these things when you unfairly branded Mr Keim's actions unethical, and suggested that the transcript's release may delay Dr Haneef's trial. Mr Keim should be commended. The tradition of fearless representation which Mr Keim has upheld was well stated by Justice French when he said that pro bono lawyers were acting: "according to the highest ideals of the law. They have sought to give voices to those who are perforce voiceless and, on their behalf, to hold the Executive accountable for the lawfulness of its actions. In so doing, ... they have served the rule of law and so the whole community". If you are truly concerned about delay in Dr Haneef's trial, we suggest that you ask Minister Andrews to stop making prejudicial statements about Dr Haneef, and review his decision to send Dr Haneef to Villawood Detention Centre, where he will be effectively deprived of Mr Keim's capable representation.

2 Yours sincerely, Justin Harper Queensland President Australian Lawyers' Alliance Sean Reidy Chair of Criminal Law Section Queensland Law Society Peter Applegarth SC Vice-President Queensland Council for Civil Liberties

Amber Agustin Susan Anderson Margaret Arthur Andrew Boe Mordy Bromberg SC Ian Brown Peter Callaghan SC Karen Carmody Chris Callaghan Peter Carter Lauren Coman Joe Crowley Neale Dawson Cameron Dick Matt Foley Colin Forrest Ben Gardiner Simon Hamlyn-Harris

3 Kirinya Khamsone Carla Klease Ian Latham Erin Longbottom Scott McDougall Bill McMillan Paula Morreau Tim North SC Dan O'Gorman SC Jim Pierce David Quinn Robert Reed Mark Steele Russell Thirgood Sugath Wijedaru

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Letter to The Honourable Philip Ruddock MP re Stephen Keim SC

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