Australian Government Solicitor No. 3


Michael Kingston

Welcome to the third issue of Australian Government Solicitor magazine.

This time we profile 2 of our professional leaders, our Chief General Counsel Guy Aitken QC and Chief Counsel Dispute Resolution Tom Howe PSM QC. As Commonwealth Queen's Counsel, their work has been recognised for its influence and excellence over many years, many cases and many matters.

We also asked former Chief General Counsel Robert Orr PSM QC if we could publish his excellent speech on the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision that was so influential in recognising the native title rights of Indigenous Australians.

There was another anniversary this year and we are delighted that Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE GBS agreed that we could publish his reflections on the founding of the Federal Court of Australia 40 years ago.

In the legal core of the magazine, our lawyers have written useful articles on class actions, unconditional bank securities and technology-assisted discovery, as well as some very interesting case studies from each of our practices, showing a wide variety of work across the Commonwealth.

We think there is something of interest for every government lawyer in this issue.

Please send your comments or feedback by email to

Michael Kingston
The Australian Government Solicitor


In this issue


Robert Orr PSM QC

On the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision


A filming licence agreement with the ABC


Guy Aitken QC


New parliamentary resources framework


Tom Howe PSM QC


An inquest into the death of Ahmed Numan Haider

Recent trends in litigation – the rise of the class action against the Commonwealth


Increasing your chance of successfully calling on an unconditional bank security


Technology assisted review


Disqualified senators



Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE GBS

Creation of the Federal Court: A reflection



PFAS contamination on Commonwealth land

AGS Pro Bono Services


Issue 3: 2017

© Commonwealth of Australia, represented by AGS 2017. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 or unless otherwise expressly indicated all other rights are reserved. Requests for further authorisation should be sent to

The material in this magazine is provided to AGS clients for general information only and should not be relied upon for the purpose of a particular matter. Please contact AGS before any action or decision is taken on the basis of any of the material in this magazine.

ISSN 2206-7388 (Print)

ISSN 2206-737X (Online)

This biannual magazine is published by AGS Client Services. If you would like to subscribe to the print version, please email or call Tiff Brown on 02 6253 7246.

Editor and art director
David Whitbread

Guest writers
Robert Orr PSM QC
Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE GBS

Sam Miley
Diana Icasate
David Whitbread

Mandy Orr

Tiff Brown

Web publisher
James Gergely

Andrew Sikorski
Paul Chapman


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