Roo and Emu

Originally published as a Letter to the Editor in The Australian 16 April 1996.

Behind every judge and magistrate in most State courts hangs the British coat-of-arms featuring the Lion and the Unicorn. Yet behind the judges who sit in the High Court hangs the Australian coat-of-arms featuring the Kangaroo and the Emu.

Since the Australia Act of 1986, appeals to the Privy Council ceased and the High Court became the highest court in the land. State courts are bound by the decisions and judgments of the High Court. It is anomalous and misleading that these courts should display symbols which imply subordination to British courts. The respective attorneys general should consider replacing the British coat-of-arms with the Australian coat-of arms as soon as practicable.