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CONDUCT OF A JUDGE-SELECT COMMITTEE-APPOINTMENT

Senator Durack, pursuant to notice, moved- (1) That a Select Committee, to be known as the Select Committee on the Conduct of a Judge, be appointed to inquire into and report upon: (a) whether any or all of the tapes and transcripts delivered by The Age newspaper to the Attorney-General on 1 February 1984 are authentic and genuine; and

(b) whether the conduct of the judge as revealed in the tapes and transcripts referred to in sub-paragraph (a) constituted misbehaviour or incapacity which could amount to sufficient grounds for an address to the Governor-General in Council from both Houses of the Parliament praying for his removal from office pursuant to section 72 (ii) of the Constitution.

(2) That the Committee consist of 6 Senators, as follows: (a) 3 to be nominated by the Leader of the Government;

(b) 2 to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate; and

(c) 1 to be nominated by the Leader of the Australian Democrats.

(3) That the Committee proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(4) That the Committee elect as Chairman 1 of the members nominated by the Leader of the Government.

(5) That the Chairman of the Committee may, from time to time, appoint another member of the Committee to be the Deputy-Chairman of the Committee, and that the member so appointed act as Chairman of the Committee at any time when there is no Chairman or the Chairman is not present at a meeting of the Committee.

(6) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the Chairman, or the Deputy-Chairman when acting as Chairman, have a casting vote.

(7) That the quorum of the Committee be 3.

(8) That the Committee have power to send for and examine persons, papers and records, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations it may deem fit.

(9) That the Committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources.

(10) That the Committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

(11) That the Committee report to the Senate on or before 31 May 1984.

(12) That the foregoing provisions of this Resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the Standing Orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders.

Debate ensued.

The Attorney-General (Senator Gareth Evans), by leave, moved the following amendments together: Sub-paragraph (1) (a), after ''1 February 1984'', insert ''and relating to the conduct of a Federal judge''.

Sub-paragraph (1) (b), at beginning of paragraph, insert ''if the Committee is satisfied that the tapes and transcripts referred to in sub-paragraph (a) are authentic and genuine in whole or part,''.

After paragraph 8, insert the following new paragraph:

''8A. That the Committee act in accordance with the following principles: (a) that it at all times take care to protect, so far as it is possible to do so, the privacy, confidentiality, rights and reputations of individuals, whether appearing as witnesses before the Committee or otherwise;

(b) that it summon witnesses to appear personally only when satisfied that the circumstances demand it, that, so far as is possible, witnesses be given notice of the matters proposed to be dealt with, and that witnesses be given an opportunity to reply in writing before appearing to give evidence, and be entitled to be assisted by counsel;

(c) that it give specific consideration in the case of each proposed witness to the desirability of hearing evidence in private session, and that each witness be given an opportunity to apply for any or all of his or her evidence to be given in private; and

(d) that it ensure that the operational methods and results of investigations of law enforcement agencies, so far as possible, be protected from disclosure where that would be against the public interest.''.

Debate continued.

Question-That the amendments be agreed to-put and passed.

Question-That the motion, as amended, be agreed to-put.

The Senate divided

AYES, 28

Senators- Archer Baume Bjelke-Petersen Boswell Carrick, Sir John Chipp Collard Crichton-Browne Durack Evans, Jack Guilfoyle, Dame Margaret Haines Hamer Hill Kilgariff Lajovic Lewis MacGibbon Macklin Mason Messner Missen Reid (Teller) Scott Teague Townley Watson Withers

NOES, 25

Senators- Bolkus Childs Coates Coleman Colston Cook Crowley Elstob Evans, Gareth Foreman Gietzelt Jones McClelland McIntosh (Teller) Maguire Primmer Ray, Robert Reynolds Richardson Robertson Ryan Sibraa Tate Walsh Zakharov

Main Question, as amended, agreed to accordingly.