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High court: cost of copies of judgements



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S E N A T E NO. 12

17 A u g u s t 1 9 7 8

P a g e 2 1 6

H I G H C O U R T : C O S T O F C O P I E S O F J U D G M E N T S

S E N A T O R 0 1 B Y R N E a s k e d t h e M i n i s t e r f o r A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

S e r v i c e s , a s M i n i s t e r r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e

A t t o r n e y - G e n e r a l , t h e f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n , w i t h o u t

n o t i c e , o n 13 A p r i l 1 9 7 8 :

I n v i e w o f t h e i n t e r e s t i n g o v e r n m e n t a n d

p o l i t i c s g e n e r a t e d t h r o u g h s e m i n a r s , s y m p o s i u m s , et

c e t e r a , w i l l h e c o n t a c t t h e A t t o r n e y - G e n e r a l to h a v e a

r e v i e w m a d e o f t h e p r i c e s c h a r g e d f o r c o p i e s o f H i g h

C o u r t j u d g m e n t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e r e c e n t f i n d i n g s o n

t h e P r i v y C o u n c i l d e c i s i o n ? I w a s a s t o n i s h e d t o l e a r n

t h a t t h e p r i c e o f a c o p y o f t h a t j u d g m e n t w a s a s h i g h

a s $1 1 . A s t h e s e p u b l i c a t i o n s a r e a b o u t t h e e q u i v a l e n t

o f t h e D a i l y H a n s a r d i n s i z e , w h y is t h e c o s t f o r a

c o p y o f a j u d g m e n t s o m u c h g r e a t e r t h a n t h a t f o r a

D a i l y H a n s a r d , e s p e c i a l l y a s l a w s t u d e n t s a n d o t h e r

i n t e r e s t e d p e o p l e s h o u l d b e e n t i t l e d a n d e n c o u r a g e d to

r e a d t h e s e d o c u m e n t s b y h a v i n g t h e m a v a i l a b l e a t a m u c h

m o r e r e a s o n a b l e p r i c e ?

S E N A T O R D U R A C K - T h e a n s w e r t o t h e h o n o u r a b l e s e n a t o r ' s

q u e s t i o n i s a s f o l l o w s :

T h e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s w h i c h g o v e r n t h e p r i c e o f

a D a i l y H a n s a r d w e r e r e f e r r e d t o b y t h e M i n i s t e r f o r

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s o n 13 A p r i l 1 9 7 8 a n d a r e n o t

h e r e r e p e a t e d . .

T h e p r i c e o f a c o p y o f t h e R e a s o n s f o r

J u d g m e n t d e l i v e r e d b y a J u s t i c e o f t h e H i g h C o u r t is

f i x e d b y R u l e s o f C o u r t m a d e b y t h e J u d g e s . T h e c u r r e n t

130

rule (Statutory Rule No. 10 of 1978) provides for a

minimum fee of $2 for up to 13 pages, and for Judgments

exceeding 13 pages, a fee of 15 cents per page up to a

maximum of $15.

At about the time the current fees were fixed

the Court introduced a new system of preparation of

copies of Reasons for Judgment which reduced

considerably the number of pages to be purchased.

The cost of a copy of the Reasons for

Judgment in Viro v. The Queen (wherein the Court dealt

with the effect of Privy Council decisions) under the

charges and arrangements which applied until recently

would have been $75 against the current cost of $11.25.

Copies of Reasons for Judgment are

distributed without charge to, inter alia, law school

libraries, Supreme Courts, the National Library and the

Parliamentary Libraries.

It is not intended that the service provided

by the High Court should supplant the normal law

reporting services commercially available. . .

As I have indicated, the fee payable for a

copy of Reasons for Judgment is fixed by the Rules of

the High Court, which are a matter for the Justices

themselves.

* * * * #

SENATE NO. 14 .

12 September 1978

Page 497

AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING TRIBUNAL: CHAIRMAN

(Question No. 343)

SENATOR MISSEN asked the Attorney-General, upon notice,

on 4 April 1978: