Melican, Peter

Senior Executive Lawyer

In-house Counsel

Peter is the Team Leader of AGS’s In-House Counsel team – a dedicated Commonwealth counsel team with deep and broad expertise in core areas of Commonwealth public law and who are briefed to appear in courts and tribunals nationally.

Peter has a broad counsel practice encompassing law enforcement and national security, civil penalties and regulation, administrative law, statutory construction and information protection. He has appeared, led by senior counsel, in the High Court, Full Federal Court and Victorian Court of Appeal and regularly appears unled in the Federal Court and State Supreme Courts. Peter has significant experience and expertise in advising and representing Commonwealth agencies involved in coronial inquests, commissions of inquiry and Parliamentary inquiries.

In addition to his appearance work, Peter regularly advises on difficult and significant legal issues, often involving complex questions of statutory construction concerning the exercise of coercive powers and the handling, use and disclosure of confidential information, which are among his key areas of interest. He has presented seminars and training on public interest immunity, parliamentary privilege, legal professional privilege, statutory and equitable obligations of confidence and the Harman obligation. Peter is presently a senior legal advisor to the Office of the Special Investigator, who is tasked with investigating alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

Peter takes a practical and hands-on approach to dispute resolution and he works collaboratively with his clients, instructors and other counsel.


Relevant experience

Peter appeared in the following matters:

  • Carne v Crime and Corruption Commission (HCA – parliamentary privilege, led)
  • viagogo AG v ACCC (FCAFC – civil penalties, led)
  • McCartney v EB; Booth v Namoa; Booth v Biber; Read v Namoa (FCA – control orders, unled)
  • DPP (Cth) v Galloway; R v Kinghorn (No 4) (VCA and NSWSC – legal professional privilege and lawfulness of disclosures, led)
  • MYVC v Director-General of Security; TNFD v Director-General of Security; VYMF v Director-General of Security (FCA and AAT – review of adverse security assessments, variously led and unled)
  • Coronial inquest into deaths of Raghe Abdi, Maurice Antill and Zoe Antill (Qld Coroner’s Court, unled)
  • R v Azari; R v Musleh; R v Taleb (No 3); R v WE & HG; R v Alqudsi; R v Cranston & Ors (NSWSC – information protection, unled)
  • Commonwealth v King; Commonwealth v Harrison (FCA – civil penalty, unled).



Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Arts, Australian National University, 2008