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Wednesday, 29 November 1905

Mr ISAACS (Indi) (Attorney-General) . - I have obtained a special report on this subject, which supports me in the opinion that, if it were provided that all cases should be taken to the Court, the result would be that in trivial matters a man would have either to abide by a decision of the Registrar, at which he felt aggrieved, or to undertake very expensive litigation.

Mr McCay - I think that in ninety-nine cases out of 100, the decision of the Registrar will be as good as that of the Law Officer.

Mr ISAACS - It may or it may not be. I think that the case will be met if we provide, in clause 45, that if either party desires, the appeal may be direct to the Court. I do not think that both the parties should be forced to the Court.

Mr McCay - I did not suggest that. I suggested that if both parties consented, they might appeal to the Law Officer.

Mr ISAACS - I could understand that arrangement if the decision of the Law Officer were final ; but I think it would be almost a nullity to make it so.

Mr McCay - The appellant may wish to go to the Law Officer, and the other party to the Court.

Mr ISAACS - I would give either party the right to appeal to the Court direct. It must be remembered, however, that if they appeal to the Supreme Court, there is a possibility of a further appeal to the High Court. If the appeal in the first instance is to the Law Officer, the party who loses may agree to end the proceedings, as he has not lost very much ; but if the appeal is to the Court, and the decision carries heavy costs, there will be an inducement for the losing party to proceed still further. I think that we should allow applicants to avail themselves of the cheapest procedure, and that we shall go far enough if we provide that, if either desires, the appeal shall be to the Court.

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