President of the Human Right Commission Prof. Gillian Triggs
President of the Human Right Commission Prof. Gillian Triggs LUKAS COCH

Triggs asked to resign before Human Rights report released

HUMAN Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs was "shocked" she was asked for her resignation by a senior public servant in a meeting earlier this month.

But Senator George Brandis said he had "lost confidence" in Professor Triggs after a Senate estimates hearing late last year.

The revelations about the request for her resignation came during a fiery Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Tuesday, after the commissioner released a report critical of Labor and Liberal asylum seeker policies.

That report sparked accusations from Prime Minister Tony Abbott the report was a "blatantly partisan, politicised exercise".

Mr Abbott later said he had personally "lost confidence" in her, reiterating his previous comments.

Prof Triggs told estimates the Attorney-General's Department secretary asked for her resignation during a meeting earlier this month.

She also said secretary Chris Moraitis said she would be offered a new role due to her legal skills, if she accepted the offer.

She said she thought it was "entirely inappropriate" and accepting it would risk the future integrity of the commission.

Mr Moraitis said she asked for him to pass on Sen Brandis' concerns after a series of reports about her tenure, which he did.

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