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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is nominating a veteran government lawyer to be the new Senate ethics officer.

Pierre Legault is a former associate deputy justice minister, the highest-ranked civil lawyer position in the government, and has been interim ethics officer since last June.

His job is to administer, interpret and apply the ethics and conflict of interest code for senators.

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The ethics officer is an independent officer of the Senate appointed for a seven-year term.

The prime minister nominates a candidate after consultation with the leader of every recognized party and group in the Senate and the choice must be approved by a resolution of the upper chamber.

Trudeau said Legault's background positions him well for the job.

"I trust that Mr. Legault will help maintain and increase the public trust and confidence in the Senate of Canada," he said in a statement.

Legault is a graduate of the University of Ottawa law school and a member of the Quebec bar.

His legal career with the government spanned more than 34 years with the Justice Department during which he served in a series of progressively senior positions.

Legault replaces Lyse Ricard, who resigned in June because of a family illness. She was appointed in 2012.

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