New Solicitor-General must not be handpicked by Brandis

This morning I have written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ask for a guarantee that the new Solicitor-General will be selected through a proper, transparent process in order to restore the integrity of the office.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

NEW SOLICITOR-GENERAL MUST NOT BE HANDPICKED BY BRANDIS

 

This morning I have written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ask for a guarantee that the new Solicitor-General will be selected through a proper, transparent process in order to restore the integrity of the office.

 

Attorney-General George Brandis has done all he can to undermine the office of Solicitor-General while the position was occupied by Mr Justin Gleeson SC. This cannot be allowed to continue into the tenure of a new Solicitor-General.

 

If Prime Minister Turnbull does not have the strength of will to sack Senator Brandis, then he must ensure the new Solicitor-General is not compromised by his interference.

 

Senator Brandis’s track record on following due process in appointments is incredibly poor.

It was confirmed in Senate estimates last week that Senator Brandis appointed 37 people – many of them with Liberal Party links – to prestigious jobs on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal without the positions being advertised or a selection panel used.

 

I have asked Mr Turnbull to guarantee that the position of a new Solicitor-General be advertised, and a selection panel overseen by the Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet be used to determine the shortlist of candidates which is put to Cabinet.

 

This is nothing more than due process. Considering Senator Brandis’s political interference with Mr Gleeson, his judgement cannot be trusted in selecting a new Solicitor-General without proper oversight.

 

Labor will not give up in its effort to restore the dignity and integrity of the vital role of Solicitor-General. It is an office too important to have permanently tarnished by Senator Brandis’s appalling maltreatment.

 

TUESDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2016