Captured Courts and Tribunals: A Threat to Democracy

The independence of the Fair Work Commission has suffered multiple assaults and been grossly compromised, former FWC Vice President Graeme Watson said.

In his first speech since retiring after 10 years as Vice President of the Commission, Mr Watson outlined how the the operation of the Workplace Relations system was undermining the aims of the Fair Work Act — the goals of promoting national economic prosperity and social inclusion.

He said such operation undermines a key element of democracy, the rule of law, and that this was even more damaging when it is covert, hiding behind an air of legitimacy and independence.

Scrutiny and holding our institutions to account based on the fundamental principles of democracy are obligations we all share, Mr Watson said.