Despite a belated apology, the attack on Victoria’s judges and the broader Australian legal system from senators Greg Hunt, Michael Sukkar and Alan Tudge is but one front of the government’s campaign against the powers of independent office. Their accusations of “hard-left activist judges” using the courts as “ideological experiments” exemplify a wider conservative attack on democratic institutions.

“What we see is very much at odds with what we expect from a conservative government,” Professor George Williams tells Mike Seccombe. “It’s actually quite a radical shift, seeking to destabilise very longstanding arrangements that underpin our system of government.”

Plus: Jane Caro on the shortcomings of Gonski 2.0, and Paul Bongiorno on the costly battle for the heart of the Liberal party.

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The Saturday Paper