Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 27 July 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - I move -

That in sub-clause (2) all the words after " penalty " be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words : - " not exceeding Five hundred pounds or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months, or both."

I submit the amendment because the penalty provided in the clause would entirely defeat the* object which we have in view. In other Commonwealth Statutes there are frequent illustrations of exceedingly heavy penalties, which, instead of proving an assistance in the enforcement of the law, have completely defeated the ends of justice. Frequently, when a technical breach comes before the Court, there is a refusal to convict, because the lowest penalty which could be inflicted is held to be altogether excessive.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Why does the honorable senator provide for imprisonment as well as a fine?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The clause originally provided for fine and imprisonment, whereas I now propose that it shall provide for a fine " or " imprisonment, or both. If the amendment be agreed to the Court, instead of being compelled on conviction to impose a penalty of not less than £500 and ordering imprisonment up to any term not exceeding three months may impose any fine it pleases up to £500, or imprisonment or both. I think it is very desirable to provide for imprisonment. Very often a short term of imprisonmentwould be more appropriate than the imposition of a large fine, which many people could not pay, and because of their inability to pay could be imprisoned. Under the amendment the Court will have power to take into consideration all the facts, and to inflict imprisonment if imprisonment be appropriate, or a fine should it think that an appropriate punishment, or both a fine and imprisonment where both areappropriate.

Suggest corrections