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Tuesday, 7 December 1965

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- I have just two comments. First, in relation to the observations made by the honorable member for Cunningham (Mr. Connor), I put it to him that his remarks are not readily applicable at all. Here we are dealing with the reference of a point of law to a court of law by the Tribunal.

Mr Connor - The honorable member is referring that to the rights of a person.

Mr KILLEN - The honorable member's reference to section 75 of the Constitution is not applicable at all. I want to deal specifically, if I may, with the point made by the Attorney-General, namely, that a question of law is dealt with by the President of the Tribunal. That is perfectly true, but I suggest that an absurd situation can arise whereby the President of the Tribunal thinks it fit to refer a question of law to a court of law but the two lay members of the Tribunal outvote him. I refer him to clause 21 (1.) and (2.) which deal with the determination of a question of law by the President of the Tribunal; but in all other proceedings a determination is made on a majority vote. We could have the situation where the two lay members decide, against the opinion of a judge of the Industrial Court, that no point of law is involved or that if a question of law is involved it should not be referred. The reference - and this is the crucial thing - becomes the proceedings, and when the proceedings are to be determined the determination turns on a majority vote and not on the opinion of the presidential member. I put it to the Attorney-General that, as I cannot convince him now, he may examine the situation and perhaps have a change of mind by the time this legislation reaches another place.

Amendment negatived.

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