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Tuesday, 12 December 1911


Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - I have no doubt that the Vice-President of the Executive Council means well, and, of course, by excluding the legal profession the costs will be diminished. But his arguments are not sound. There certainly will be no encouragement to employes to go into litigation if they cannot get their costs. But the other side will not be in the position of being deterred by the fear of having to pay costs, because their costs will not be borne by them, as in the case of private employers. lt is not a fact that the services of members of the legal profession will not be employed. In private cases considerable costs are involved in the preparation of documents. For instance, a fee of three or four guineas is charged for each copy of an award. If the Australian Workers Union had to sue in a local Court for the enforcement of an award, then, in order to prove that it was a registered association, and had obtained an award, it would have to produce, not an ordinary printed copy, but a signed copy of the award. There might be proceedings in a hundred Courts, and in every case those concerned would require to be provided with a signed copy of the award, involving an expenditure of several pounds. That is only one instance of where all sorts of formal documents in connexion with the prosecution of cases help to considerably swell the costs in private actions. Doubtless all these formalities and red tape will have to be complied with by any branch of the Public Service prosecuting a claim. Very heavy costs may be incurred in procuring necessary witnesses, framing necessary plaints, and in connexion with other matters.







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