back to top

Police Refuse To Release Details About Attorney General's Son's Court Csase

Queensland Police cited privacy concerns.

Posted on

The Queensland Police "right to information" unit has refused to release information about the circumstances that led to the criminal case involving attorney general George Brandis's son being dropped.


BuzzFeed News reported earlier this month that Simon Brandis was charged with "wilful damage" but the case was dismissed in the Brisbane magistrate's court in January 2014.

Simon Brandis's lawyer in the case was Liberal National Party donor Theo Tavoularis, who was later appointed by George Brandis to a plum position at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

George Brandis admitted to personally appointing his son's former lawyer and LNP donor to the five-year legal role worth $370,000 a year.

Electoral disclosures show Tavoularis's law firm donated $1,200 to the LNP in the run up to the 2013 election, just weeks before Brandis became federal attorney general.

On Tuesday, Queensland Police refused to release to BuzzFeed News official communication between officers and lawyers involved in Simon Brandis's case, citing privacy concerns.

"I consider that the public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure outweigh the public interest considerations in favour of disclosure, in so far as the documents identify other persons and constitute a release of a third person’s personal information," said senior sergeant F Hayes from Queensland Police.

The Australian has reported the criminal case involved Simon Brandis and a group of friends taking bikes from outside of a student pub, but he's refused to answer questions from BuzzFeed News about the incident.

The opposition has been pursuing Brandis in parliament over the appointment of Tavoularis, calling it a "clear of conflict of interest".

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

“Either Senator Brandis was not aware of Mr Theo Tavoularis’s history when he appointed him to this prestigious role, or the decision was made in the knowledge of the personal connection with his son,” said Labor's Mark Dreyfus.

Brandis has consistently refused to say whether he flagged his personal and party connections with Tavoularis when the appointment went to cabinet.

“There is no conflict of interest whatsoever," he said.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.