In a comment on Facebook my old friend Paul Barratt commented "The only honourable course in the circumstances but it's a catastrophe" while Legal Eagle said "what a mess". I don't think that it's a catastrophe, nor while it is a mess nor do I think that it's "what a mess".
When I wrote Brandis, Gleeson and the question of independent advice, I was trying to understand the issues. I had actually never thought on the role of the Solicitor-General. Now I have. That is why, to my mind, it's not a catastrophe nor a total mess. The AG's legally binding directive will be blocked in the Senate, while we are far more aware of the issues raised.
Listed below is some of the press reaction to the continuing saga. I'm not sure that you will learn much new. Leaving aside the in-principle issues, the political problem is that it's become another major distraction for the Government with people pointing to apparent patterns.
- Laura Tingle, Australian Financial Review, 25 October 2016, SG Gleeson faces onslaught of questions challenging his evidence, This is actually quite an extraordinary story
- Matthew Doran, ABC 25 October, Former solicitors-general weigh in on George Brandis, Justin Gleeson row following resignation
- Michaela Whitbourn, Fergus Hunter, Newcastle Herald, 25 October, George Brandis should not 'compromise' selection of next Solicitor-General: Labor. From the Sydney Morning Herald and repeated.
- Jamila Rizvi, 25 October, news.com.au, The disturbing pattern we should all be worried about
- Stephanie Anderson, ABC, 25 October, Malcolm Turnbull says Government values 'frank advice' from public service; says solicitor-general spat 'regrettable'
- Mark Kenny, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 October, Pressure mounts on George Brandis to salvage some honour in legal bunfight
- Tim Blair's blog, Sydney Daily Telegraph, 24 October, Gleeson gone. The comments provide a particular view on the matter