Dreyfus to re-appeal access to George Brandis’ diary in court

By @pathakmishra on
A glass gavel is seen in the office of judge Joaquim Barbosa during an interview with Reuters at the Supreme Court building in Brasilia November 19, 2012. REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino
A glass gavel is seen in the office of judge Joaquim Barbosa during an interview with Reuters at the Supreme Court building in Brasilia November 19, 2012. Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

Australia’s former Attorney General Mark Dreyfus will re-appeal to the court on Friday to be allowed to access his successor George Brandis’ electronic ministerial diary.

Dreyfus already made an appeal in March 2014 when he asked for access to Brandis’ diary contained in his email inbox under the Freedom of Information rights. He requested the court to be allowed to take a printout of all the diary entries from Sep. 18, 2013 to mid-2014. But Brandis’ chief of staff, Paul O’Sullivan, refuted the application and denied allowing access to the diary due to a “practical refusal reason.”

Dreyfus will be challenging the decision on Friday in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Sydney. “Senator Brandis has taken an unnecessarily obstinate approach to what should be a routine request. He refuses to release any part of his calendar,” the ABC quoted Dreyfus as saying

Dreyfus claimed that several policy decisions were made during that time by Brandis, including defunding environmental defenders’ offices without consultation with the shareholders, who said that they could not discuss the matter with Senator Brandis. “I think it’s very important that the attorney-general or any minister personally meet with people who are affected by the decisions taken in his or her portfolio,” Dreyfus said. “That’s the practice I adopted when I was attorney-general and it’s a practice I expect of all Commonwealth ministers.”

Dreyfus advocated that Australians have the right to be aware of senior government authorities’ decision on policies and their activities. This was why he said he wanted Brandis’s diary contents to come into limelight. The former attorney-general added that the senator believed that he was above all rules and regulations and was not accountable to anyone.

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