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Robert McClelland Edit Profile

politician , Vice-President of the Executive Council , Attorney-General of Australia

Robert Bruce McClelland is a current judge on the Family Court of Australia, and a former Australian politician.


McClelland is the son of Doug McClelland, a former Senator for New South Wales between 1962 and 1987, and a minister in the Whitlam government and President of the Senate, serving between 1983 and 1987.


McClelland was educated at Blakehurst High School before studying at the University of New South Wales, where he gained bachelor's degrees in arts and law, and the University of Sydney where he gained a master's degree in law.


He was an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1996 until September 2013 representing the Division of Barton. Between 2007 and 2011, McClelland was the Attorney-General of Australia. Early careerHe was Shadow Attorney-General 1998–2003, Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations 2001–03, Shadow Minister for Homeland Security 2003–05, Shadow Minister for Defence 2004–06 and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs 2006–07.

In November 2007, Robert McClelland was appointed as the Attorney-General. As part of a cabinet reshuffle in December 2011 he was moved to oversee the portfolio of emergency management and housing. In a further cabinet reshuffle in February 2012 following Kevin Rudd's leadership challenge, McClelland returned to the backbench.

This fact was reflected by Rudd refusing to endorse him for the position in the lead-up to the 2007 election campaign. In the 2007 Federal election, McClelland was re-elected to the seat of Barton with a 4.53% swing toward the Labor Party. In the 2010 Federal election, McClelland was re-elected to the seat of Barton, but suffered an 8.08% swing against the Labor Party.

In February 2008, McClelland stated that it was unacceptable that the ACT government, which is proposing to allow same-sex couples to enter into unions, would give the right to hold public ceremonies to celebrate their unions. On 29 January 2013, McClelland announced he would not be contesting the 2013 election. Judicial careerOn 28 May 2015, McClelland was appointed to the Family Court of Australia by Attorney-General George Brandis QC. He is based in the Court's Sydney registry and his appointment commenced on 16 June 2015.


  • McClelland apologized, but critics called the positions inconsistent and prevented Rudd from appointing McClelland as Foreign Minister when the ALP won the 2007 election.


Political career After McClelland indicated on 8 October 2007 his party's disapproval of death sentences for all south Asian countries, his leader Kevin Rudd criticized the speech as "insensitive" because it was made on the eve of the anniversary of the Bali bombings. McClelland was criticised by Greens Senator Bob Brown, who said it was displaying the ugly face of Labor conservatism.


Two years after his election to parliament, McClelland became a member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry.


  • Other Interests



Married; 4 children.

Phillip Evatt