Senator George Brandis.

Senator George Brandis. Photo: Andrew Meares

I can't be the only one with formative childhood scars from Walt Disney's Fantasia - a series of animated creatures buzzing around to the sounds of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It was designed to be a comeback for Mickey Mouse, whose popularity needed restoring.

In fact, Mickey was redesigned for this project, with pupils added to his eyes to achieve a greater variety of expressions.

Aspects of the election campaign seem associated with Fantasia. I have in mind what passes for some of the law and justice policies.

For starters, the legal aspects of the asylum seeker agenda have travelled into a space filled with strange goblins. In a scene-stealing moment, the opposition's George Brandis, QC, says he is not at all dismayed by his party's promise to abolish asylum seekers' right of administrative review. He is confident the High Court's ''shoals'' can be avoided, because he will bring forward legislation that takes account of the court's decisions.

In 2003, the High Court reminded everyone that such a feat of magic was beyond the most ingenious conjurer, so it will be awe-inspiring to see what hitherto unknown wriggle room Brandis has discovered. In this context, Tony Abbott would have to be the redesigned Mickey, with swivelling pupils and exciting expressions.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus too is second guessing the High Court, confident of the legal position of the PNG and Manus solutions. He is clear about that, yet it's a worry that on successive occasions the High Court has not been able to see things with the same clarity.

One of Brandis' promises is an ''audit'' of Commonwealth legislation to debug any laws that constrain ''procedural rights''. Scholars have been puzzling how this fits in with the abolition of the right to review refugee decisions made by public servants, forgetting that in Fantasia anything and everything is possible.

This also readily accommodates the Coalition's recently reactivated ''freedom of expression'' gene with the pledge to cut off funding for community legal centres that ''advocate policies''.

In our pedestrian way, we've all been searching for consistency, which is such a yesterday concept when we're on the cusp of Tomorrowland. One of the new ones that will tickle your fancy is a report that the Coalition will give couples who register their intention to marry a $200 gift voucher.

This applies to same-sex couples, even though the Coalition's policy on the Marriage Act is rock solid against the gay marriage ticket.

Roll up for your vouchers, which will be issued by the protector of the Marriage Act, G. Brandis.

Access to justice is one of the big issues that always gets a fresh drum roll at election time. It's invariably couched in terms of a problem that can be fixed by more money on legal aid. Brandis added some ornamentation the other day when he said: ''Legal aid is not properly to be seen as welfare; it should be seen as part of the rule of law.''

But no promise about how to get it there. The other part of the access equation, lawyers costs and delays, are quarantined from elaboration.

Lets keep our eyes on the predictable fantasies: legal aid, border protection, a national legal profession, terrorism law.

The other stuff that could enliven the nation can stay in the cupboard: a national charter of rights, a new approach to a republic, a humane and workable refugee policy (there is one) and a reformed, low-cost legal profession.

Brandis is the new/old broom. He's Ruddock redux.

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