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Wednesday, 1 December 1965


Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- Mr. Chairman,I move -

Omit sub-clause (4.).

My argument is blunt and, I hope, to the point. Sub-clause (4.) is completely inconsistent with the rule of law. I submit that it is of no avail for the Attorney-General or any other honorable member to point to the existence of a comparable provision in any statute and to say: "There it is. We defend the presence of this provision in this Bill on the ground that similar provision exists elsewhere ". The fact that some of us may have been asleep or indifferent or that we simply did not notice a similar provision sneaking through in any other measure passed by this Parliament does not defend the presence of this provision in the Bill now before us. I put it to the Attorney-General that a determination involving a question of law under the terms of clause 21 (1.) could be made other than by a presidential member of the Trade Practices Tribunal. This situation might arise completely by accident. It might result from the assumption that the matter on which the determination was made did not in fact involve a question of law. On the other hand, under the provisions of clause 22, two members of the Tribunal may be allowed to make a determination in the absence of the third member. They may have presumed that the President of the Tribunal would have approved their action or alternatively that he would have appointed a third member.

I put it to the Attorney-General that sub-clause (4.) of the clause now before the Committee is completely unworthy of this Parliament and completely inconsistent with the rule of law. I submit that it should be omitted. I do not believe that the Bill will lose anything by the deletion of this subclause. I put it to the Minister that the fact that the sub-clause may offer some tentative ground on which a person could seek to attack a determination made by the Tribunal is no reason for seeking to defend the presence of this provision in the Bill. T hope he can be persuaded to agree to its removal.







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