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Tuesday, 12 June 1984
Page: 2875


Senator TATE(10.31) —I rise on a matter of privilege and wish to indicate to the Senate a proposed course of action. In the National Times of 8- 14 June 1984 there is an article which purports to report evidence given before the Senate Select Committee on the Conduct of a Judge. The Committee has taken evidence in camera and has not published any of its evidence nor authorised any other person to do so. The publication of evidence taken in camera by a committee, or of documents submitted to a committee, without the authorisation of that committee is one of the well known categories of contempt. If the article accurately reports the evidence given before a committee, it would clearly be a contempt. If, on the other hand, the article is inaccurate in its report of evidence given to the committee it is also one of the established categories of contempt to publish false accounts of proceedings before either House or their committees. Therefore, whatever the accuracy of the article, there is a prima facie case of contempt in the publication of this report. I therefore wish to indicate to the Senate that tomorrow I propose to give notice of a motion to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee.