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Brandis to face Senate inquiry over WA deal

The Senate has voted to establish an inquiry that will investigate the deal between the Western Australian government and the Commonwealth regarding the Bell Act, and the involvement of Attorney-General George Brandis and former Treasurer Joe Hockey.

"This motion passed today compels Senator Brandis and Senator Mathias Cormann to appear before the inquiry to answer questions about their involvement in this deal," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"The Greens believe that former Treasurer Joe Hockey should also be called to give evidence."

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George Brandis fails to address allegations against him

Attorney-General George Brandis has repeatedly failed to answer the central allegation against him in the Bell Act affair, and should resign or at least stand down until the matter is examined at a Senate inquiry.

"By failing to tell the Parliament whether he instructed the former Solicitor-General to not run a particular argument, Senator Brandis has effectively confessed his guilt," Australian Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

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Greens to push for Senate inquiry into Brandis' deal

The Greens will tomorrow move to refer matters associated with the Bell Group Companies Act (WA) to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

"The allegation that Senator Brandis instructed the Solicitor General to effectively run dead in the High Court are the most serious he has faced in a career that is strewn with misconduct," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"We need to get Senator Brandis out of witness protection and into an inquiry where he can be questioned about these extraordinary allegations."

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George Brandis must resign or be sacked

If reports of George Brandis instructing the former Solicitor-General to act in a political way and ignore the rule of law are true, he should immediately resign or be sacked as Attorney-General.

"It appears Senator Brandis was trying to interfere with the Solicitor-General to stitch up a politically cosy deal for the Western Australian Liberal Government," Australian Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"If it looks like corruption and smells like corruption, then it probably is corruption."

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The government's vendetta against Gillian Triggs

The prime minister's confirmation that Gillian Triggs will not be reappointed as President of the Human Rights Commission is the final indignity in a sustained campaign against an eminent Australian.

"Professor Triggs has faced a series of deliberate, politically motivated attacks for nothing more than doing her job," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"Having failed to induce Professor Triggs to resign, the government has resorted to sacking her."

"She should regard the way she has been treated as a badge of honour."

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Brandis concedes defeat on Legal Services Direction

Attorney-General George Brandis has conceded defeat in his attempt to control the office of the Solicitor-General, Greens Justice Spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"By repealing his flawed Legal Services Direction today, Senator Brandis has sought to avoid the embarrassment of a disallowance motion, but only confirmed his own incompetence and unworthiness to hold his position," Senator McKim said.

"This is too little, too late. It does not change the fact that Senator Brandis misled the Senate over the direction."

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Government, ALP, One Nation vote to reduce civil liberties

The Federal government, Labor and One Nation have banded together to vote in further reductions in civil liberties in the name of 'national security'.

"It is very worrying that control orders will now apply to children as young as 14, and we have been given no evidence that this measure will make Australians any safer," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"As they have done far too often in recent years, Labor has waved this legislation through Parliament for fear of being seen as 'weak' on national security."

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Campaign Against 18C a War on Multiculturalism

The government's campaign against 18C is nothing more than the latest front in the extreme right's attack on multiculturalism, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"This is a culture war masquerading as a free speech crusade," Senator McKim said.

"Yet again, the prime minister looks like bowing to the extreme right of his party and their mates in Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party, rather than standing up for multiculturalism."

"This is not about freedom of speech, it's about freedom from consequence."

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Government needs to withdraw Legal Services Direction

The Government needs to withdraw its flawed Legal Services Direction before starting the process to appoint a new Solicitor-General, the Australian Greens say.

"No self-respecting lawyer with the capacity to become Solicitor-General would want to be a lapdog to Attorney-General George Brandis," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"If we want the best possible field of applicants and the best person to fill the role, we need to make sure that the independence of the office is paramount."

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Resignation of the Solicitor-General

Justin Gleeson SC has been run out of office by a government with no regard for proper process or the rule of law, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Mr Gleeson's resignation letter makes it clear that he is sticking to his guns," Senator McKim said.

"There was no doubt a breakdown in trust between the Solicitor-General and the Attorney-General, but this can be laid squarely at the feet of Senator Brandis."

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