Robert Cornall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Robert Cornall

11th Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department
In office
24 January 2000 – 31 August 2008
Preceded byTony Blunn
Succeeded byRoger Wilkins
Personal details
Born
Robert John Cornall

Melbourne
NationalityAustralia Australian
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
OccupationPublic servant

Robert John Cornall AO is a retired Australian senior public servant, he was head of the Attorney-General's Department between 2000 and 2008.

Early life[edit]

Robert Cornall was born in Melbourne.[1] He attended Wesley College, then studied for a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1968.[2]

Public service career[edit]

In January 1968, Cornall took up a position in the lawfirm Oswald Burt & Co (later Middeltons Oswald Burt, Solicitors).[2] He was promoted to Partner of the firm in July 1972.[2]

Cornall left Middeltons Oswald Burt, Solicitors in 1987 and moved to a position as Executive Director and Secretary of the not-for-profit member-based Law Institute of Victoria.[2][3]

Between December 1995 and December 1999, Cornall was the Managing Director of Victoria Legal Aid.[4]

Cornall was appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department in 2000.[5] In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the Attorney-General's Department was responsible for implementing the Howard Government's national security agenda.[6] The department grew rapidly in numbers under Cornall's leadership, from 550 staff to over 1500.[6]

Cornall retired from the Attorney-General's Department in July 2008.[7]

On 30 July 2017 he became Acting President of the Australian Law Reform Commission.[8]

Public profile and enquiries[edit]

  • As Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department he commented on the alleged torture of Mamdouh Habib.[9] He stated there was no substance to the allegations; however, the Australian Government later settled with Habib out of court.[10]
  • After his retirement Cornall conducted an investigation for the Australian Government into allegations of sexual abuse at Manus Island.[11]
  • Review of conflict of interest of members of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority regarding dumping in the Park.[12][13]
  • In February 2014 he was appointed to conduct 'a review into the circumstances surrounding the Manus Island disturbances, in which an Iranian detainee (Reza Berati) was killed,[14] with the primary focus on management of security at the centre.[15][16][17]

Awards[edit]

In 2006, Cornall was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the community through contributions to the development of public policy, particularly counter-terrorism arrangements in a changing global security environment and through providing advice and governance across a diverse range of responsibilities within the civil justice system.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cornall 2012, p. 73.
  2. ^ a b c d Curriculum Vitae: Robert Cornall AO, archived from the original on 1 February 2014
  3. ^ Malone 2006, p. 110.
  4. ^ a b Biographical Details - Robert Cornall AO, Attorney-General's Department, December 2006, archived from the original on 2 November 2007
  5. ^ Howard, John (24 January 2000). "New Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department" (Press release). Archived from the original on 1 February 2014.
  6. ^ a b Berkovic, Nicola (8 August 2008). "Howard defender Cornall steps down from top post". The Australian.
  7. ^ Rudd, Kevin (31 July 2008). "Appointment of Departmental Secretary" (Press release). Archived from the original on 10 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Mr Robert Cornall AO, Acting President". Australian Law Reform Commission. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Dept backs Ruddock's denials of Habib torture claims". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 February 2005. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014.
  10. ^ Neighbour, Sally (15 January 2011). "Mamdouh Habib's story is backed by evidence". The Australian.
  11. ^ Farrell, Paul; Laughland, Oliver (1 November 2013). "Sex assaults at Manus Island centre appear likely to go unpunished". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 November 2013.
  12. ^ Hunt, Greg (24 February 2014). "Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority conflict of interest inquiry" (Press release). Archived from the original on 28 February 2014.
  13. ^ Milman, Oliver (24 February 2014). "Great Barrier Reef authority board members cleared of improper conduct". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014.
  14. ^ Farrell, Paul (21 February 2014). "Manus Island inquiry will be led by Robert Cornall, says Scott Morrison". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014.
  15. ^ "Terms of Reference Review into the events of 16-18 February 2014 at the Manus Regional Processing Centre". Canberra: Department Immigration and Border Protection. 27 February 2014. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014.
  16. ^ Farrell, Paul (27 February 2014). "Consultant investigating Manus Island unrest insists he is independent". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014.
  17. ^ Cornell, Robert (23 May 2014). "Review into the Events of 16 - 18 February 2014 at the Manus Regional Processing Centre" (PDF-6 MB). Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Retrieved 26 May 2014.

References and further reading[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Tony Blunn
Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department
2000–2008
Succeeded by
Roger Wilkins