Attorney-General George Brandis.
Attorney-General George Brandis. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

A-G may face contempt charge

ATTORNEY-General George Brandis may face contempt of court charges if he fails to hand over a section of his ministerial diary.

Labor has taken the first step towards the contempt proceedings because the Attorney-General has not yet complied with a Federal Court ruling to release the documents, Fairfax reports.

Lawyers for shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus told Fairfax they will take the matter to court unless Senator Brandis complies by Monday.

The stoush is over Mr Dreyfus's freedom of information request three years ago to access sections of Senator Brandis's diary.

The extracts covered the lead-up to a budget decision to cut funding for community legal centres in 2014.

If the court agrees to the time limit, Senator Brandis could face penalties of jail or fines for failing to comply.

Senator Brandis's office had blocked the FOI request saying it would take too long to process and could pose a security threat. The Federal court and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled the extracts should be released.