27 June 2022

ANU appoints former Liberal Attorney-General to security college

| Ian Bushnell
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George Brandis

George Brandis will join the ANU from 1 July. Photo: AUSPIC/DPS.

The Australian National University (ANU) has recruited former Liberal Attorney-General and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom George Brandis to help drive its work on national security and the law.

Appointed a Professor in the Practice of National Security, Professor Brandis will be primarily based at the National Security College in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

He will also lend his considerable expertise to the ANU College of Law, where he will teach.

Prof. Brandis will join ANU from 1 July following his four-year appointment as High Commissioner, which concluded in May 2022.

The ANU said the position of Professor in the Practice of National Security gave students the opportunity to engage directly with former senior officials with practical experience at the highest levels of national security policymaking and law reform.

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Prof. Brandis was a minister in three governments, serving as a senator for Queensland from 2000-2018. He served as Attorney-General from 2013-2017.

As Attorney-General he was a member of the National Security Committee of Cabinet, had ministerial responsibility for domestic national security law and policy, and ministerial oversight of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Prof. Brandis also served as a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and as Leader of the Government in the Senate.

He joins former ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis as Professor in the Practice of National Security as well as former Secretary of Industry, Innovation and Science, Professor Heather Smith who joined the ANU National Security College in 2021.

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Prof. Brandis is a Queen’s Council, holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and a Bachelor of Civil Law from Magdalen College, Oxford.

Chancellor Julie Bishop, a former colleague of Prof. Brandis in government, said she was delighted to welcome him to ANU.

“With his significant experience in law, politics, national security and diplomacy, he will make an important contribution to the National Security College,” she Tweeted.

But his appointment does not come without controversy with some Twitter comments lamenting another ANU position going to a former politician. They also raise his record as a minister, including his clashes with former solicitor-general Justin Gleeson, his inability to explain metadata and the raid on lawyer Bernard Collaery’s office over his work for East Timor.

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This bloke is king of the “what’s in it for me” politicians. Another self-serving, greedy elite who’s always looking for his next sinecure. And clearly he’s found one at the ANU.

Professor Brandis, ANU has wonderful libraries. This should save them the expense of building you a bespoke bookshelf for your renowned book collection.

I wonder if he understands IP addresses yet?

Clever Interrobang11:30 am 28 Jun 22

The fact that he only has bachelors degrees and no higher academic qualifications puts him at odds with ANU’s usual minimum standard for professors

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