Bran­dis de­fends le­gal costs

The West Australian - - NEWS -

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Ge­orge Bran­dis has de­fended the big le­gal bills that tax­pay­ers will be made to pay for the dual cit­i­zen­ship le­gal process.

Tax­pay­ers will re­port­edly fork out more than $130,000 a day on bar­ris­ters for each day of the High Court case, with over­all costs likely to ex­ceed $2 mil­lion.

“I think most peo­ple would ac­cept there is a very im­por­tant pub­lic in­ter­est here in get­ting this sec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion right,” Se­na­tor Bran­dis said yes­ter­day. “It is the prac­tice — and it’s been a long­stand­ing prac­tice — that when there is a very im­por­tant mat­ter of con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ple at is­sue then the Com­mon­wealth pays the costs.”

The High Court, sit­ting as the Court of Dis­puted Re­turns, heard fi­nal le­gal ar­gu­ments on Thurs­day af­ter­noon af­ter three days of hear­ings.

The full bench will re­turn on Tues­day, with the seven cur­rent and for­mer Fed­eral politi­cians fac­ing an anx­ious wait for a rul­ing on whether their dual cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus should dis­qual­ify them from sit­ting in Par­lia­ment.

Se­na­tor Bran­dis re­fused to spec­u­late about the out­come.

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