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Thursday, 22 October 1914


Senator NEWLANDS (South Australia) . - I would like very much to be able to agree with Senator Keating, who has put his case before the Committee very clearly; but we must not overlook the fact that legislation is the function of the Parliament, and administration is the function of the Government. In accepting his amendment, we would relegate the function of the Executive to a body who might afterwards be called upon to adjudicate in connexion with their own work. If the rules are framed as expeditiously as we would like, a time might come when the Justices would have to deal with a case under rules which they themselves had framed.


Senator Stewart - But they draw up the rules of procedure now in other matters.


Senator NEWLANDS - I am not acquainted with any measure where the Parliament has deliberately handed over to the Justices of the High Court the function of Parliament, or the function of the Executive.


Senator Keating - In all the States it has been done.


Senator NEWLANDS - That is the point with which I am concerned.


Senator Stewart - The rules of procedure in all the Courts are drawn up by the Judges.


Senator NEWLANDS - Just so; and the amendment of Senator Keating, if adopted, would hand over to the Justices the right to take part in framing legisla- tion. It was never intended, I take it, that the Justices should have the right to frame rules under which they would subsequently be called upon to deliver verdicts.


Senator Keating - That is what we did in the case of the Judiciary Act and the High Court Procedure Act.


Senator NEWLANDS - My objection to the amendment is that the honorable senator asks us to hand over the powers of the Executive and of Parliament to the Judges of the High Court. Senator Keating has given notice of some amendments which I think should receive support, but I regard the amendment now before the Committee as a dangerous one, and trust that the Minister will not accept it.







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