Victorian parliament has the power to expel embattled independent MP Geoff Shaw and any legal challenge is likely to fail, according to legal advice from an eminent constitutional expert.
Advice provided to Labor by Professor George Williams says that the Victorian parliament possess the power to expel an MP.
"This power may be exercised at the discretion of the House, including to expel a member for contempt," Mr Williams says.
"If a resolution expelling a member is expressed in general terms, such as providing for expulsion for 'a serious breach of privilege', any legal challenge can be expected to fail."
Labor is set to move a motion to expel Mr Shaw when parliament resumes on Tuesday. The government has said it wants to punish the former Liberal MP appropriately and to make sure any sanction cannot be challenged.
Mr Williams says the law provides very limited grounds upon which to challenge the expulsion of a MP.
If the lower house specifies that Mr Shaw is to be expelled for being 'guilty of a serious breach of privilege' then Mr Williams says "no court challenge could succeed."
He also says the fact a challenge is unlikely to succeed doe not prevent such a challenge being made.
"Injunctive relief might be sought as part of such a challenge."
Senior Minister David Davis on Sunday morning said the government was still taking legal advice on what was a very complex matter but admitted it was a major distraction for the government trying to sell its agenda.
Shadow Attorney-General Martin Pakula said the advice removed the government's last excuse not to act.
"This advice is clear, it is unequivocal and it is from an extremely eminent constitutional lawyer," Mr Pakula said.
"They want to talk tough on Mr Shaw but they haven't shown any willingness to do anything tough."
He admitted it was a "big step" to expel a MP but said the circus had to end.
There have been some MPs privately express concern that removing Mr Shaw set a dangerous precedent for other MPs that misuse their entitlements.
"There is no question that MPs are on notice and that every action of a MP is going to be subject to scrutiny," Mr Pakula said.
Five MPs have been expelled by the Victorian lower house, the last was Edward Findley in 1901 for libel of the King.
In 1861 Patrick Costello was expelled for electoral fraud, eight years later James Butters and Charles Jones were turfed on grounds of bribery corruption.
Charles McKean was expelled in 1876 for criticising the lower house.