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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mark Dreyfus

Mark Dreyfus 2015.jpg
Dreyfus in 2015
Attorney-General of Australia
In office
4 February 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime MinisterJulia Gillard
Kevin Rudd
Preceded byNicola Roxon
Succeeded byGeorge Brandis
Minister for Emergency Management
In office
4 February 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime MinisterJulia Gillard
Kevin Rudd
Preceded byNicola Roxon
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Minister for the Public Service and Integrity
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Preceded byGary Gray
Succeeded byEric Abetz
Special Minister of State
In office
1 July 2013 – 18 September 2013
Prime MinisterKevin Rudd
Preceded byGary Gray
Succeeded byMichael Ronaldson
Member of Parliament
for Isaacs
Assumed office
24 November 2007
Preceded byAnn Corcoran
Personal details
Mark Alfred Dreyfus

(1956-10-03) 3 October 1956 (age 64)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
ResidenceMalvern, Victoria, Australia
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne

Mark Alfred Dreyfus (born 3 October 1956) is an Australian politician who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2007, representing the Division of Isaacs for the Labor Party. He was Attorney-General of Australia between February and September 2013, in the Gillard and Rudd Governments.

Early life and education

Dreyfus was born in Perth, Western Australia, the son of George Dreyfus, a noted composer who came to Australia from Nazi Germany. He is of Jewish ancestry.[1][2] Dreyfus was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne and the University of Melbourne, where he resided at Ormond College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws.[3]

Before entering parliament, Dreyfus worked as a barrister for some twenty years, with an extensive practice in commercial, defamation, constitutional and environmental law. In 1999 he was appointed Queen's Counsel.

Dreyfus also served as a director of the Law Council of Australia and on the Victorian Bar Council and Victorian Bar Ethics Committee.

Since his first professional role as a Field Officer for the Northern Land Council, Dreyfus has worked closely with Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, including representing a number of the claimants in the landmark Stolen Generations litigation.[4]

Parliamentary career

Dreyfus at the Edithvale CFA Fun Run in 2016
Dreyfus at the Edithvale CFA Fun Run in 2016

In March 2006, Dreyfus successfully challenged the sitting Labor member for the Division of Isaacs, Ann Corcoran, for the right to contest the 2007 election. At the 2007 election, he defeated the Liberal candidate, Ross Fox, gaining a 5.9-point swing to Labor.[5]

Following Labor's victory at the 2007 Australian federal election, Dreyfus was appointed the chairman of the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. At the 2010 Australian federal election, Dreyfus was re-elected, gaining a further 3.33-point swing to Labor.

In September 2010, Dreyfus was appointed as Cabinet Secretary as well as Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in the Second Gillard Ministry.[6] Dreyfus took on additional responsibilities in December 2011 when he was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation.

At the 2013 Australian federal election, Dreyfus was re-elected with a reduced margin of 3.9%, which was extended to 5.9% at the 2016 Australian federal election.[7]

Dreyfus had an easier run at the 2019 Australian federal election after his Liberal Party of Australia opponent was disendorsed for an earlier 'anti-Muslim rant'[8] - Dreyfus was re-elected with a 3.45 percent swing in his favour.[9]

Dreyfus is a member of Labor's right faction.[10] He is a strong advocate for action on climate change[11] and for the establishment a federal anti-corruption agency.[12] Dreyfus was a vocal supporter of the ‘yes’ campaign during the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey[13] and a vocal opponent against funding reductions to climate science research at the CSIRO.[14]

MP expenses scandal

In October 2013, Dreyfus was drawn into the federal MP expenses scandal[15][16] after he mistakenly claimed entitlements for staying in Canberra while he was in Perisher.[17][18]

Comments on political opponents

In March 2011, he described the campaign by Tony Abbott against the carbon price as 'Goebellian cynicism'.[19]


On 2 February 2013, Dreyfus was promoted to Attorney-General and as Minister for Emergency Management after the resignation of Nicola Roxon.[20] Dreyfus was given additional responsibilities on 1 July 2013 as Special Minister of State and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity following the decision by Gary Gray to resign from the ministry following the June 2013 Labor leadership spill.[21]

As Attorney-General, Dreyfus appeared before the International Court of Justice in The Hague as Counsel and Advocate for Australia in the case of Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan; New Zealand intervening) in June and July 2013.[22] On 1 April 2014, the ICJ handed down its decision in favour of Australia that Japan cease whaling in the Southern Ocean.[23]

Shadow Attorney-General

Since the defeat of the Rudd-Gillard government in 2013, Dreyfus has been Labor's Shadow Attorney-General, where he has championed from opposition the establishment of a federal Integrity Commission[24] and greater funding for community legal centres.[25]

Personal life

Dreyfus lives in Malvern with his Chilean-born wife Deborah (née Chemke). The couple have three children, Joe, Tom and Laura.[26][27][28][29]

Dreyfus is a keen swimmer and runner and is a frequent participant in open water swims and fun runs within his electorate.[30] [31]

Dreyfus speaks fluent Spanish[29] and has stated that, had he not become a lawyer, he would have liked to become a park ranger in the Alpine National Park.[32]

See also


  1. ^ Swan, Jonathan (30 January 2013). "Jewish MP to put religion before politics". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  2. ^ "Record number of Jews elected". The Australian Jewish News. 6 July 2016.
  3. ^ Green, Shane (13 October 2011). "The man in the hot seat". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  4. ^ "New Attorney-General to be sworn in tomorrow". J-Wire. Archived from the original on 6 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Special Gazette No. S162" (PDF). Commonwealth of Australia. 16 September 2010.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Harris, Rob. "'The idiot for Hunter': Labor colleagues trade insults in energy split". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Expenses scandal: the rules leading MPs into temptation". Crikey. 17 October 2013.
  16. ^ "Parliamentary expenses scandal puts all MPs on notice". News Corp Australia Network. 11 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Expenses critic Mark Dreyfus embarrassed over taxpayer ski trip to Perisher". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  18. ^,and%20is%20repaying%20the%20%24466%2C%22%20the%20statement%20concludes.
  19. ^ "Abbott's tax strategy likened to Nazi propaganda like that of Joseph Goebbels". ABC News. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  20. ^ Maher, Sid (2 February 2013). "Dreyfus, Bowen promoted in Gillard cabinet reshuffle". The Australian. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  21. ^ "Second Rudd Ministry" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ ICJ Hears Case of Whaling in Antarctic: Australia vs. Japan United Nations Information Centre Canberra
  23. ^ Meoli, Dominic. "Australia's Whaling Victory". The Diplomat.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Striking a different role" – Young Lawyers Journal Archived 20 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ ParlInfo – GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S SPEECH : Address-in-Reply
  28. ^ J-Wire Staff (3 February 2013). "New Attorney-General to be sworn in tomorrow". JWire. Archived from the original on 6 February 2013.
  29. ^ a b Schubert, Misha (7 February 2006). "QC stands out among Labor candidates for Canberra". The Age. Melbourne.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Mark Dreyfus – Featurettes – Justinian". Justinian. 17 March 2013.

External links

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Ann Corcoran
Member for Isaacs
Political offices
Preceded by
Greg Combet
as Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
Succeeded by
Yvette D'Ath
Preceded by
Kate Lundy
as Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry and Innovation
Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation
Succeeded by
Kate Lundy
as Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry and Innovation
Preceded by
Nicola Roxon
Attorney-General of Australia
Succeeded by
George Brandis
Minister for Emergency Management
Position abolished
Preceded by
Gary Gray
Minister for the Public Service and Integrity
Succeeded by
Eric Abetz
as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service
Special Minister of State
Succeeded by
Michael Ronaldson
This page was last edited on 3 September 2021, at 07:01
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