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au Bryce has no conflict: solicitor-general
14:08 AEST Fri Aug 27 2010 1 hour ago VIEWS: 0 | FLOCKS: 0 | 0 comments so far

Governor-General Quentin Bryce has been advised that her relationship to parliamentary secretary Bill Shorten does not give rise to any constitutional or other legal impediment when deciding who should form a minority federal government.

The advice was given by the Commonwealth Solicitor-General. Mr Shorten married the governor-general's daughter Chloe in November 2009. The couple have a daughter, Clementine. He was one of the key factional powerbrokers instrumental in the dumping of former prime minister Kevin Rudd in favour of Julia Gillard earlier this year. But solicitor-general Stephen Gageler SC said the marriage of the governor-general's daughter to Mr Shorten gave rise to no constitutional or other legal impediment. "To imply such a constitutional inhibition, in my opinion, would not enhance the performance of the high constitutional functions of the governor general," he said in a letter to Ms Bryce. "To the contrary, it would have the potential to undermine them." Mr Gageler said the notion that the governor-general might be "constitutionally inhibited" by perceptions of bias or conflict of interest had no foothold in the text or structure of the constitution. Ms Bryce sought legal opinion earlier this week about whether her status as mother-in-law to Mr Shorten would create a conflict of interest in the event she had to chose which side formed government. The official secretary to the governor-general, Stephen Brady, said Ms Bryce had decided to make her letter and the solicitor-general's advice public in the interests of transparency. Hot Searches: Paul Hogan | Carl Williams

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