Victoria’s state Labor opposition has said it will move a motion today to expel member for Frankston Geoff Shaw. The party has had advice from constitutional law professor George Williams that Victorian Parliament has the power to expel members, which it can exercise at its discretion. The advice suggested that a challenge to the expulsion would be unlikely to succeed, provided the motion was worded properly. Even so, if there is an expulsion motion there will almost certainly be legal action. It will be wall-to-wall constitutional lawyers at 20 paces duelling it out in the Victorian courts.
Speaking on ABC Radio National Breakfast this morning Labor shadow attorney-general Martin Pakula acknowledged that whether Parliament could expel a member was different to whether it should, and he avoided commenting on whether Williams had advised on this. In terms of good governance, the merits or otherwise of expulsion are broader than the legal issues.