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Mark Dreyfus

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The Honourable

Mark Dreyfus

QC MP



Member of the Australian Parliament

for Isaacs

Incumbent

Assumed office

24 November 2007

Preceded by

Ann Corcoran

Attorney-General for Australia

In office

4 February 2013 – 18 September 2013

Prime Minister

Julia Gillard

Kevin Rudd

Preceded by

Nicola Roxon

Succeeded by

George Brandis

Minster for Emergency Management

In office

4 February 2013 – 18 September 2013

Prime Minister

Julia Gillard

Kevin Rudd

Preceded by

Nicola Roxon

Succeeded by

Position abolished

Minister for the Public Service and Integrity

In office

1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013

Prime Minister

Kevin Rudd

Preceded by

Gary Gray

Succeeded by

Eric Abetz (Public Service)

Special Minister of State

In office

1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013

Prime Minister

Kevin Rudd

Preceded by

Gary Gray

Succeeded by

Michael Ronaldson

Personal details

Born

3 October 1956 (age 58)

Perth, Australia

Political party

Labor Party

Alma mater

University of Melbourne

Profession

Lawyer

Mark Alfred Dreyfus QC MP (born 3 October 1956 in Perth, Western Australia), an Australian lawyer and politician, is a former Attorney-General, Minister for the Public Service and Integrity, Minister for Emergency Management, and Special Minister of State in the Second Rudd Ministry. He has been a Labor member of the Australian House of Representatives for the seat of Isaacs, Victoria since the 2007 federal election.


Contents

  1. 11 Early life and education

  2. 22 Parliamentary career

    1. 12.1 MP expenses scandal

    2. 22.2 Comments on political opponents

    3. 32.3 Attorney-General

  3. 33 Personal life

  4. 44 See also

  5. 55 References

  6. 66 External links


Early life and education

Dreyfus was born in Perth, the son of George Dreyfus, a noted composer who came to Australia as a refugee from Nazi Germany. Dreyfus was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne[1] and the University of Melbourne where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws.

Prior to entering Parliament, Dreyfus worked as a barrister for some twenty years, with an extensive practice in commercial, defamation, constitutional and environmental law. In 1999 he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

Dreyfus also served as a director of the Law Council of Australia, and on the Victorian Bar Council and Victorian Bar Ethics Committee.

Throughout both his legal and political careers, Mark has been an advocate for social justice, and for creating a sustainable environment for future generations.

Since his first professional role as a Field Officer for the Northern Land Council, Dreyfus has worked closely with Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, including representing a number of the claimants in the landmark Stolen Generations litigation.[2]


Parliamentary career

In March 2006, Dreyfus successfully challenged the sitting Labor member for Isaacs, Ann Corcoran, for the right to contest the 2007 election. Although Corcoran won a majority of votes in the local ballot, Dreyfus, a member of the Labor Unity faction, had a large majority of supporters on the party's Public Office Selection Committee, and thus won the overall vote. Ironically, in his 1998 report, Dreyfus stated: 'Membership makes a party, not the other way around. Labor is, or should be, people—not vehicle, not structure, not hierarchy.' At the 2007 election, he defeated the Liberal candidate, Ross Fox, gaining a 5.9 per cent swing to Labor.

Following Labor's victory at the 2007 federal election, Dreyfus was appointed chairman of the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. At the 2010 election, Dreyfus was re-elected, gaining a further 3.33 per cent swing to Labor.

In September 2010, Dreyfus was appointed as Cabinet Secretary as well as Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in the Second Gillard Ministry.[3] Dreyfus took on additional responsibilities in December 2011 when he was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation.

MP expenses scandal

In October 2013, Dreyfus was drawn into the federal MP expenses scandal[4][5] after admitting that he had claimed entitlements for staying in Canberra while he was in Perisher.[6]

Comments on political opponents[edit]

In March 2011, he described the campaign by Tony Abbott against the carbon price as Goebellian cynicism.[7][8][9]

In August 2011 he was accused of calling Sophie Mirabella a "bitch" in parliament. He denied the accusation although he did withdraw for an unparliamentary remark at the time.[10]

Attorney-General

On 2 February 2013, Dreyfus was promoted to Attorney-General and as Minister for Emergency Management after the resignation of Nicola Roxon.[11] Dreyfus was given additional responsibilities on 1 July 2013 as Special Minister of State and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity following the decision by Gary Gray to resign from the ministry following the June 2013 Labor leadership spill.[12]

As Attorney-General, Dreyfus appeared before the International Court of Justice in The Hague as Counsel and Advocate for Australia in the case of Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan; New Zealand intervening) in June and July 2013.[13] On 1 April 2014, the International Court of Justice handed down its decision in favour of Australia that Japan cease whaling in the Southern Ocean.[14]


Personal life

Dreyfus lives with his wife Chilean-born Deborah (née Chemke) — with whom he has three children, Joe, Tom and Laura[15][16] — in Malvern.[17][18]

Dreyfus speaks fluent Spanish[18] and has stated that, had he not become a lawyer, he would have liked to become a park ranger in the Alpine National Park.[19]


See also

  1. First Gillard Ministry

  2. Second Gillard Ministry

  3. Second Rudd Ministry


References

  1. 1Jump up
    ^
    "The man in the hot seat". The Age (Melbourne).

  2. 2Jump up
    ^
    http://www.jwire.com.au/news/new-attorney-general-to-be-sworn-in-tomorrow/32083

  3. 3Jump up
    ^
    "Special Gazette No. S162" (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia. 16 September 2010.

  4. 4Jump up
    ^
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/10/17/expenses-scandal-the-rules-leading-mps-into-temptation/

  5. 5Jump up
    ^
    "Parliamentary expenses scandal puts all MPs on notice". News Corp Australia Network. 11 October 2013.

  6. 6Jump up
    ^
    "Expenses critic Mark Dreyfus embarrassed over taxpayer ski trip to Perisher". The Sydney Morning Herald.

  7. 7Jump up
    ^
    http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/full-coverage/8996858/abbotts-tax-strategy-likened-to-nazi-propaganda/[dead link]

  8. 8Jump up
    ^
    "Abbott's tax strategy likened to Nazi propaganda like that of Joseph Goebbels". ABC News. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2013.

  9. 9Jump up
    ^
    http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/politics/blogs/the-dreyfus-files/shades-of-goebbels-in-truth-campaign/20110311-1bq45.html?comments=56

  10. 10Jump up
    ^
    Packham, Ben (18 August 2011). "Liberals simmer over Sophie Mirabella sledge as PM declines to rebuke Mark Dreyfus". The Australia (News Ltd). Retrieved 20 August 2011.

  11. 11Jump up
    ^
    Maher, Sid (2 February 2013). "Dreyfus, Bowen promoted in Gillard cabinet reshuffle". The Australian. Retrieved 2 February 2013.

  12. 12Jump up
    ^
    "Second Rudd Ministry" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.

  13. 13Jump up
    ^
    ICJ Hears Case of Whaling in Antarctic: Australia vs. Japan United Nations Information Centre Canberra

  14. 14Jump up
    ^
    http://thediplomat.com/2014/04/australias-whaling-victory/

  15. 15Jump up
    ^
    "Striking a different role" - Young Lawyers Journal

  16. 16Jump up
    ^
    ParlInfo - GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S SPEECH : Address-in-Reply

  17. 17Jump up
    ^
    J-Wire Staff (3 February 2013). "New Attorney-General to be sworn in tomorrow". JWire.

  18. 18^ Jump up to:
    a b Schubert, Misha (7 February 2006). "QC stands out among Labor candidates for Canberra". Melbourne: The Age.

  19. 19Jump up
    ^
    "Mark Dreyfus - Featurettes - Justinian". Justinian. 17 March 2013.


External links

  1. Search or browse Hansard for Mark Dreyfus at OpenAustralia.org

  2. Mark Dreyfus website

  3. The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC, MP at the Parliament of Australia website


  1. 1Categories: 1956 birthsAustralian Labor Party politiciansAustralian people of German-Jewish descentAustralian Queen's CounselAttorneys General of AustraliaLiving peopleMelbourne Law School alumniMembers of the Australian House of Representatives for IsaacsMembers of the Cabinet of AustraliaPeople educated at Melbourne High SchoolQueen's Counsel 2001–2100