Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Mistake to consolidate Premier and Attorney-General portfolios

First published October 10

Last week’s Cabinet reshuffle in Tasmania might have passed by mainland Australians. It was one made in clearly ‘challenging circumstances‘ for the Government; with one Cabinet Minister quitting politics for family reasons and the other due to serious illness. Part of the deficit was met by elevating Elise Archer MP to the Cabinet – a well-deserved and popular decision from both sides of the House and indeed the public.

Seemingly less publicised was the Premier’s decision to appoint himself Attorney-General. Ex-Premier Lara Giddings was one of the few to voice her concern, immediately tweeting:

‘why is the Premier AG? The AG role is the second most powerful role in Cabinet. You can run Govt with just an AG and Premier’.

This is a serious question because the appointment appears to consolidate the two most powerful constitutional roles in Government in one person. These are roles that are somewhat at odds with each other: one leads and drives government policy; the other is supposed to be a check and balance on the legality and constitutionality of government action.

As will be seen, these very real conflicts have led to historical controversies – if not outright constitutional impropriety – within the state, providing salient lessons outside of it. Indeed, the last time a Tasmanian Premier was truly co-appointed Attorney General – other than acting or transitional roles – it formed a chain of events that culminated in the Franklin Dam controversy, and of course, the Tasmanian Dam Case, both of which forever altered the national political and constitutional landscape.

Historical Context …

Read the rest of this article HERE, on the Australian Public Law website, including Hyperlinks

*Brendan Gogarty is a Senior Lecturer in Law and Director of Clinical Legal Education, Faculty of Law.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Betty

    October 11, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    The joy of listening to Tim Costello “you have the dumbest politicians in Australia” while discussing the cash-cow Farrell Family gambling fiasco. Ching ching, the political donations must be flowing like rivers of gold for young Will n Co.

  2. Leonard Colquhoun

    October 11, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    “Mistake to consolidate Premier and Attorney-General portfolios” – agree, and it is an additional argument for a large House of Assembly (say, 30 – an even number), so that there are enough government MPs for the ministries plus some backbenchers to keep them up to scratch (however low it may drop) and regardless of which major party forms government.

  3. John hayward

    October 10, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Even if the conflict-of-interest issue were functionally recognised in Tas law, Will still has the defence that it’s Eric who actually runs both portfolios.

    To be recognised as having agency in Eric’s party, Will would need to raise his ranking greatly, such as by besting Trumpsky in an IQ test. From all indicators, Will’s not ready for that.

    John Hayward

  4. Chris

    October 9, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    It will be legal to do any thing, fish poo will become legalised and clear fell Barnett will have no F^&$#@( g worries he can obtain legal permission to sell wot he likes for any amount at any time.

    E Archer has been given permission to appear again in nauseating regularity on the weekend news bulletins although Mantach is otherwise engaged to supply the bullets, but Erica will second the effort and as he intimately knew and operated the fix, along with little Johnny then we can expect the Exclusive Brethren Benefits to gush forth again in the next period.
    It will all be legal and very SAFE.

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