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Some closed court hearings abolished for women



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26

. Mr James Carnsew, Assistant Secretary,

Special Services Branch, Attorney-General1s

Department since 1973.

The Attorney-General said the Institute was estabĀ­

lished under the Family Law Act in 197S, but additional

legislation was needed before its first Director could be

appointed.

He said that Dr Donald Edgar, a Reader in

Sociology at Latrobe University since 1972, commenced as the

first Director of the Institute earlier this year.

Senator Durack said that the Institute would be

located in Melbourne and its function was to promote by the

encouragement and co-ordination of research the identifiĀ­

cation, development and understanding of factors affecting

marital and family stability in Australia.

The members of the first Board of Management would

hold office until the end of 1982.

Canberra

20 February 1980

11/80

* * * * *

SOME CLOSED COURT. HEARINGS

ABOLISHED FOR WOMEN

The Attorney-General, Senator Peter Durack, Q.C.,

a n n o u n c e d today that women, would no longer have rights to a

clo s e d court hea r i n g for first offences in the Canberra

Court of Petty Sessions.

27

He said the change in the law as in line with New

South Wales and had been made to eliminate unnecessary

discrimination.

Senator Durack said that N.S.W. had removed this

discrimination in 1976.

Changes to the law in the Australian Capital

Territory were endorsed in the same year by the former

Legislative Assembly.

The change does not affect the general right of a

Magistrate to order a closed court hearing in certain cases

in the interests of public morality or the rights of persons

to closed Court hearings in the Children's Court.

The Attorney-General said the new Ordinance -

First Offenders (Women) (Repeal) Ordinance would become

effective from today but would not apply to proceedings

already commenced before today.

Canberra

28 February 1980

12/80

* * * * *

NEW LEGAL PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE

The Attorney-General, Senator Peter D u r a c k , Q.C.,

said today that two books of legal significance compiled by

the A t t o r n e y - G e n e r a l 1s Department were now on sale.