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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2849


Senator BAUME (New South Wales) - I intervene at this stage to seek some clarification from the Attorney-General or from some member of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs. The amendment before this Committee concerns the period of separation required as proof of irretrievable breakdown.


Senator Murphy - Yes.


Senator BAUME - In the transcript of evidence which I referred to last night there were several references to the difficulty of establishing separation for some people. I seem to remember Senator Everett at one stage in the evidence asking questions of a Mr Barblett who was giving evidence to the Committee. Senator Everett was proposing that it would be or could be sometimes impossible to prove separation. I am very concerned that we might be introducing a Bill under which it would be impossible for a few people, only a small percentage, to establish grounds for dissolution of marriage. I remember that during the second reading debate it was pointed out that separation did not always have to be physical but I also remember that Senator Everett expressed the view that it might be impossible sometimes for separation to be proved. I ask for the advice of the Attorney-General. Can we be certain that everyone will be able to prove separation where a marriage has broken down?







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