Brian Martin (centre) resigned as royal commissioner following perceived conflicts of interest relating to his and his daughter’s former roles.
The accomplishments of successful royal commissions flow not just from strong findings and recommendations but from intelligent procedure.
Brian Martin said he was not prepared to proceed with the commission in face of the risk to its effectiveness.
Less than a week after being named royal commissioner to investigate the Northern Territory child detention and protection systems, Brian Martin has quit, citing criticisms of his appointment.
Attorney-General George Brandis, speaking on Q&A to host Tony Jones and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek.
When Attorney-General George Brandis was asked on Q&A about a parliamentary vote on the decision to go to war, he said that was not part of the Westminster tradition. Is that right?
Australia’s two major political parties are highly dependent on contributions from business by the standards of other rich democracies.
Australia’s political finance system is corrupt – but not because of bribery, or indeed any substantial quid pro quo.
Do the divisions within the Liberal Party reflect differences of personality and tactical emphasis? Or do they come down to differing worldviews?
The decline in Malcolm Turnbull’s popularity and the increasingly explicit critiques of his leadership have raised the question of whether the Liberal Party has a unifying ideology.
The West Australian Ballet (pictured) is one of the beneficiaries of the Catalyst fund.
Decisions made by the federal government's Catalyst arts fund are shrouded in secrecy and mystery. How are they reached and where is the transparency in deciding who receives money?
It is for George Brandis to decide whether and how to audit Commonwealth laws for justifiable encroachments on common law rights.
The Australian Law Reform Commission has given George Brandis a report that does all that it reasonably could, while falling well short of what it was asked to do.
Scott Morrison said the same-sex marriage plebiscite vote would be compulsory.
Treasurer Scott Morrison has flagged the prospect of ministers campaigning on both sides in the same-sex marriage plebiscite – as happened in the republic referendum.
Malcolm Turnbull’s office was forced to clarify Attorney-General George Brandis’ remarks on the timing of a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
In the latest example of the government’s cack-handedness, Attorney-General George Brandis on Sunday promised a plebiscite on same-sex marriage this year, only to have the Prime Minister’s Office hang…
Attorney-General George Brandis predicts the prospective plebiscite on legalising same-sex marriage would be carried.
The government's fast timetable for a same-sex marriage plebiscite seems to strengthen the prospect of an election being held sooner rather than later.
An inquiry into elder abuse will look at legislative measures to protect elderly Australians while protecting their rights and freedoms.
With incidence of elder abuse, mostly within families, on the rise, the government is looking for much-needed legislative measures to combat it.
Tim Wilson has announced he is stepping down as human rights commissioner to contest the Liberal preselection for Goldstein.
The next human rights commissioner needs to be appointed at arm's length from government and with the ability to criticise government where required.
Attorney General George Brandis did not have a clean slate for copyright reform.
Fixing copyright is essential for Malcolm Turnbull's 'ideas boom' to succeed, but you wouldn't know it given the slow and repetitive approach to copyright reform.
In many quarters, the arts receiving any government support is still a contested space.
With a change in prime minister and a new arts minister there has been an acknowledgement perhaps that the arts matter. But have the needs and concerns of the arts sector have been understood?
The government’s new national security bill proposes to expand the secrecy provisions available to courts in control order proceedings.
The bill does not adequately balance the right of someone subjected to a control order to a fair trial and to know the case against them.
The government is set to extend control orders to children as young as 14.
A control order is only useful where the police have sufficient intelligence about a person’s activity to apply for an order.
Attorney-General George Brandis said Australia co-operates with the UN on its human rights obligations. Is that right?
Attorney-General George Brandis told the ABC that Australia co-operates with the United Nations in relation to its human rights obligations. Is that right?
The ills that afflict any society can be dealt with much more effectively when the arts are integrated into the national conversation.
What if Malcolm Turbull’s conception of "21st-century government" imagines a healthy civil society and a responsive economy that values debate, imagination, difference and surprise - all provided by the arts.
Art is all around us, all the time. Where does it come from? It’s just ‘there’ …
Adelaide's Follow the White Rabbit, an Alice in Wonderland inspired exhibition in January. AAP Image/NEWZULU/Sam Talbot
The Senate Inquiry into the 2015-16 arts budget cuts continued in Adelaide last week. If nothing else, it provided a timely reminder that art - and the lives of artists - matter.
‘Not the best person to liaise with us’: senator David Leyonhjelm on new government Senate leader George Brandis.
An important element in the success of Malcolm Turnbull’s government will be how effectively it handles the Senate. Some crossbench senators have greeted the arrival of Turnbull enthusiastically, contrasting…