This appears on Justinian today – a timely reminder of how far Queensland has come (or not) since the dreadful days of the Fitzgerald Inquiry.
Michael Forde (counsel examining Bjelke-Petersen): What do you understand by the doctrine of the separation of powers under the Westminster system?
Bjelke Petersen: The Westminster system? The stock?
Forde: The doctrine of the separation of powers under the Westminster system?
Bjelke-Petersen: No, I don’t quite know what you’re driving at. The document?
Forde: No, I’ll say it again. What do you understand by the doctrine of the separation of powers under the Westminster system?
Bjelke-Petersen: I don’t know which doctrine you refer to.
Forde: There is only one doctrine of the separation of powers.Bjelke-Petersen: I believe in it very strongly, and despite what you may say, I believe that we do have a great responsibility to the people who elect us to government. And that’s to maintain their freedom and their rights, and I did that – sought to do it – always.
Forde: I’m sure you’re trying to be responsive to the question, but the question related to the doctrine of the separation of powers or the principles – – –
Bjelke-Petersen: Between the government and the – is it?
Forde: No, you tell me what you understand.
Bjelke-Petersen: Well, the separation of the doctrine that you refer to, in relation to where the government stands, and the rest of the community stands, or where the rest of the instruments of government stand. Is that what – – – ?
Bjelke-Petersen: Well you tell me. And I’ll tell you whether you’re right or not. Don’t you know?