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Executive privilege



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79

SENATE NO. 21

14 November 1978

Page 1934

EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE

SENATOR LAJOVIC - Is the Attorney-General aware of

reports in some newspapers that the Government intends

to introduce legislation to overcome rulings made by

the High Court of Australia in the Sankey case last

week in relation to Executive privilege? Can the

Attorney-General say what legislation the Government is

contemplating?

SENATOR DURACK - I have seen some reports in newspapers

along the lines that Senator Lajovic mentions, but the

fact is that the Government is not considering any

legislation which would have the effect of reversing or

modifying the decision of the High Court in relation to

the Sankey case. The Government, of course, accepts and

will abide by the decision of the High Court in that

case. The High Court decision is of great importance to

both the Government and the Parliament and it is one

which my Department and I are considering carefully.

The implications of it are quite considerable. But any

consideration being given to it would be only in

relation to any future matters which would arise under

various Acts of the Parliament, and no such

consideration would be referring i-n any way to

retrospective legislation concerning the rights of

people which are being litigated in the courts.

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