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Secret Murphy docs released after 30 years

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016

Secret documents relating to alleged misconduct by former High Court judge Lionel Murphy have been released after 30 years under lock and key.

Parliament's presiding officers on Monday made publicly available one of two sets of records from a 1986 commission of inquiry, mostly concerning a section of the constitution that deals with the dismissal of High Court justices by parliament on the ground of proved misbehaviour.

It's still to be decided whether the other set of records, believed to relate to the 14 allegations made against Justice Murphy, should also be released.

The papers detail the commission's ruling on the meaning of "misbehaviour" as it related to section 72 of the constitution.

Justice Murphy's counsel called for the matter to be disposed of immediately, arguing none of the claims pertained to his office as a judge nor had there been a conviction.

The inquiry was wound up early after Justice Murphy was diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to his liver in July 1986.

In a letter from his doctors dated August 1, the former attorney-general had been given between three to nine months to live.

He died on October 21, aged 64.

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