Citation for The Hon. Mark Dreyfus QC


On 4.2.2013 the Hon Mark Dreyfus was appointed Attorney- General and on 2 March 2013 he was appointed Special Minister of State.  In the remaining months months of government that followed he discharged his role as a Minister in a manner that  demonstrated an outstanding commitment to serve the public interest in all four Award Criteria areas.

•    He successfully negotiated and secured the passage through the Parliament of the extensive and substantial amendments required to change an unworkable Whistleblower Protection Bill into a very effective one – a reform that will greatly strengthen our government integrity system. This was achieved notwithstanding significant long standing and continuing resistance within sections of the executive government and the Parliament for nearly 20 years.

•     He also successfully negotiated and secured the passage of amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Law Enforcement Integrity, Vulnerable Witness Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2013 thereby significantly improving people’s rights and helping to strengthen the ability of our sole anti-corruption body, ACLEI, to discharge its role

•    He took up and considered a long neglected invitation from the government of the United States of America and that of the United Kingdom to join the new international body, the Open Government Partnership.  He recommended acceptance and secured the Government decision to do so.  In doing so, he thereby committed the Australian Government to securing transparent and accountable government in Australia in partnership with civil society and to encouraging and assisting governments around the world to achieve transparent and accountable government.

•    Notwithstanding significant budgetary constraints, he secured an increase in funding in a number of areas of legal aid, so aiding the justice system and people’s rights.

•    He secured a commitment from the government to pursue uniform laws to protect journalists’ sources and placed the matter on the agenda for the next Standing Council on Law and Justice meeting thereby creating the opportunity to enhance the fourth estate’s ability to hold governments and parliaments to account.

His commitment to the public interest in the Criteria’s areas has been of long-standing and had been demonstrated, for example, in his work as chair of the Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee, in particular, its enquiry into and unanimous 2009 Report on Whistleblower Protection in the previous Parliament.

Throughout his parliamentary career, he has demonstrated independence, honesty, civility, and courage and reflected the best traditions of service by a Member of Parliament to the Parliament and the people it is intended to serve.


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