Premier Jay Weatherill and ministers Jennifer Rankine and Grace Portolesi under pressure to face parliamentary investigation into handling of school sex abuse cases (ABC) - ( 4U5TR4L14 )

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and two of his ministers have been officially called to give evidence to a Legislative Council inquiry into handling of school sex abuse cases.

But Mr Weatherill, current Education Minister Jennifer Rankine and the former education minister Grace Portolesi are set to ignore the request.

House of Assembly Speaker Michael Atkinson says it would be a fundamental breach of constitutional principle to call the Premier and other ministers to appear before a parliamentary committee.

Mr Atkinson has questioned whether the Opposition would welcome its ministers going before such parliamentary inquiries if it were in government.

“The Liberal Party on the eve of forming a government, as it may do after March the 15th next year, wants to establish the constitutional principle that the upper house can compel members of the government in the lower house to appear to be judged by the upper house. This is like a turkey praying for Christmas,” he said.

“It would be a fundamental breach of constitutional principle for the upper house to pretend or purport to summon members of the lower house, whether they be ministers or not, to appear before an upper house committee to be judged.”

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