14 March 2021
The former Solicitor-General, Justin Gleeson has made the case as to why there needs to be an investigation into Katherine Thornton’s rape allegation against Attorney-General, Christian Porter.
The mechanism for this would be that Morrison should ask the Solicitor-General for advice as to the situation. This Morrison has so far declined to do.
Interestingly, Justin Gleeson was highly respected Solicitor-General who resigned in 2016 after a very public argument with the then Attorney-General George Brandis, when Brandis wanted all referrals to the Solicitor-General to go through his office. Gleeson felt that this was restricting his freedom to give advice and effectively politicising his office. Prior to Brandis’ restriction he had made a statement about the legality of refugee legislation. (Guardian 24/10/16) The Prime Minister not asking the Solicitor-General now and the Solicitor-General not making a statement does sound like the same issue. Brandis, like Porter, was also accused of making poor appointments (of political party hacks) to judicial bodies.
In terms of the reasons for having an inquiry into the rape allegation, this opinion is as good as it gets. At least as an ex-Solicitor-General, Gleeson can speak publicly.