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Thursday, 7 November 1935

Senator BRENNAN (Victoria) . - That is not so. Both under the existing law and under the proposed amendment a court of summary jurisdiction has te decide whether or not the goods are forfeited. If they are forfeited then they are the property of the Government, and under the existing act any constable may, without warrant, seize articles which are forfeited or which he has reasonable grounds to believe are forfeited under any law of the Commonwealth, and. take them before a court of summary jurisdiction. That court may, according to section 9, sub-section 2, order that any articles so brought before it be condemned or be returned to the person from whom they were taken.

Senator Collings - Without any reference to anybody else?

Senator BRENNAN - That is so. Then, finally, in sub-section 4 of section 9, there is a direction as to what is to happen to such condemned goods. Those provisions are not abrogated by subsection 2 of the proposed new section 9a.

Senator Collings - The existing law says that the court may direct goods to be returned there and then to the individual from whom they had been seized.

Senator BRENNAN - In that case the goods would not have been condemned so they would be returned. Two things may happen, first, the court may say that the property revests in the person from whom it was seized, and, secondly, it may say that the property is condemned. Only when the property is condemned is the Attorney-General empowered to say what shall be done with it. The honorable senator does not appear to realize that those powers are only exercised after the court has condemned the property.

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