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Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 919


Mr SPENDER(5.05) —We support the amendment. The very fact that the Attorney-General has had to move the amendment illustrates beautifully the need for a fully integrated system. More than that it illustrates the need for a common approach in Australia to matters such as rules of procedure, rules of evidence and the substantial law of this country. I know that it is a joy to all those who practice in the different State jurisdictions to uphold the laws of their jurisdictions and to rejoice in the differences that may exist between their jurisdictions and others. As a former practitioner of the New South Wales Bar I suppose that I was, no doubt, always convinced that our laws were better than the laws of the other States when there were differences between our laws and the laws of other States. But it is odd, is it not, that in 1987, on matters which are of common importance regardless of where one lives, there should be laws which may differ, sometimes slightly, sometimes considerably, in defining what are the rights and obligations that those law give rise to.

I know that uniformity of law throughout the country is an ideal which we will never achieve but I think the greater the degree of uniformity of laws throughout the country that can be achieved between the various jurisdictions and particularly between the States, the better it will be for all Australians and especially for those who find themselves litigants in the courts. We therefore support what the Attorney-General proposes and we wish the courts well in applying this provision.