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Wednesday, 9 November 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- It is clear from sub-clause 2 that evidence will be taken by the Board of Inquiry or Appeal Board. It has been suggested by the Public Service organization that some provision should be made in this clause to enable an officer charged with an offence to have access to a copy of the evidence taken from, day to day. That seems to me to be a reasonable suggestion, as in some cases it may take a week or longer to determine an appeal.

Senator Russell - I understand that no such concession is made in ordinary Courts of law. It might involve heavy expense' for shorthand writers, and so on.

Senator PAYNE - I do not know what system would be adopted for the taking down of evidence by the Board of Appeal, but it appears to me that a, second copy of the evidence might be taken without extra expense, and the appellant should have access to it.

Senator Russell - I am informed that the evidence taken one day would not be available next day, as that would involve the shorthand writers working all night. There is no provision for supplying the parties with copies of evidence in ordinary Courts of law. That is done in Arbitration Courts, but the parties have to pay for the copies of evidence supplied to them.

Senator PAYNE - I think it would be only fair to give the person charged wit1 an offence, access to all the evidence taken during the hearing of his appeal. Some development might take place which he might require to call further evidence to meet. If the Board has all the evidence taken before it the advantage will be on one side.

Senator Russell - The members of the Board will not have the evidence before them, but they may take notes.

Senator PAYNE - If they rely on notes there is no reason why the appellant should not do the same.

Senator RUSSELL(Victoria. - VicePresident of the Executive Council^ T5.361. - I understand from inquiries I have made that the procedure suggested by the honorable senator is not followed in any Court other than the Arbitration Courts, and I see no reason at present why it should be introduced in connexion with Public Service appeals. I take it that the appellant, or his representative, would take notes freely of the evidence given. I see no great objection to the appellant having access to the evidence; but I would not undertake to supply it from day to day. It is not done in ordinary Courts of law, and I should require some' stronger reasons than I have so far heard for departing from the present procedure of tie ordinary Courts, in connexion with these Public Service appeals.

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