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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 7867


Senator ROBERT RAY (12:38 PM) —There is a motion before us to refer this to a committee and I want to take this opportunity, as I did not have time to come down earlier, to make a point to the minister about his very last statement in this debate. I want him to go back and reflect on that statement, and he might reflect on it before it comes to the third reading. As I watched it on the monitor, Senator Ellison made the statement that the original legislation never intended to have Federal Court judges or magistrates act as a prescribed authority. He can correct me if I have misinterpreted what he said, but as I understand it the original legislation certainly did that and did it in spades. It was one of the reasons why the joint intelligence committee challenged the constitutionality of that bill when we looked at this particular piece of legislation. It is why we recommended that Federal Court judges and magistrates be allowed only to issue the warrants and not act in an administrative role. We have had the minister come in here today blatantly saying, `The original legislation never allowed for that.' Well, it did, in my view, and I want him to reflect on that. On the third reading, either he can correct the record or I will come in and withdraw my comments, having been proven wrong. But I would like that clarified when it comes to the third reading.