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Dr Gabrielle Appleby: ‘Politicising advice: a cautionary tale for all governments’

Dr Appleby writes in The Conversation that after Queensland solicitor-general Walter Sofronoff QC resigned he revealed his outrage at the conduct of Queensland attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie.  Bleijie had appeared willing to breach confidences of his closest legal advisers (including judges and the solicitor-general) for short-term political gain.  Appleby writes: ‘Politicisation of the solicitor-general risks undermining the independence from government and public confidence in the role of the first and second law officers. Not to mention, as Sofronoff points out, it may reduce the quality of candidates interested in the position or, at the least, the extent to which they provide candid advice.  What we have seen in recent weeks is short-term politics at the expense of the rule of law and accountable government.’

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