In today's Age (28/02/05) there's an article by the Chair of the Judicial Conference of Australia making a strong case that there’s a danger that untenured judges may be influenced into siding with the Government by threats to their reappointment or promotion. If anything, it’s too strong. Judges aren’t the only groups that the Government wants to whip in to line. Looking only at the same issue of the paper you can see the same issues being raised in relation to diplomats, defence chiefs, ABC Board members, and Treasury staff. We want all these groups, and many others, to be robustly independent, but we can’t make all their offices into feudal tenures. It isn’t a judicial issue, it’s a political and societal issue, and we would be better served if the lawyers would join in to resolve it at that level rather than calling for their own individual exemptions.