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The standing committee of Attorneys' General



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A.F.C., as a part-time non-presidential member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The appointment is for a

period of three years.

Senator Durack said appeals from decisions made under the Air Navigation Regulations in relation to various licences constituted a substantial part of the Tribunal's workload. This had made heavy demands on existing part-time members and an additional appointment was needed.

Sir Jaimes was singularly well qualified for the appointment, Senator Durack said. As well as his experience as a pilot, Sir James was a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering and had maintained his involvement in

engineering and technical matters throughout a distinguished service career.

This combination of flying and engineering experience was particularly relevant to the work of the Tribunal and Senator Durack said he expected Sir James to make a valuable contribution.

CANBERRA

10 OCTOBER, 1979 75/79

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THE STANDING COMMITTEE

OF ATTORNEYS'-GENERAL

The Standing Committee of Attorneys'-General at their meeting in Brisbane received the first report in a wide ranging study of the question of residual

Constitutional links between Australia and the ' United Kingdom.

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The Standing Committee has been asked by the

Premiers' Conference to examine constitutional matters that may need review to reflect more accurately the political and legal autonomy of Australian Parliaments and other authorities in Australian matters.

The review will focus in particular on limitations which at present apply to the Australian States.

. The Ministers stressed that the position of the

Crown under the Constitution of the Commonwealth and the Australian States and the position of Australia as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations were not involved in any way.

. Matters identified for further study included:

.· the power of State Parliaments to update and repeal old United Kingdom Acts that still apply in the States ■ . the power of the States to legislate

extra-territorially . appeals to the Privy Council from States Supreme Courts, and . the channel of communication with the Crown.

Discussion on any changes recommended by the Standing Committee and the precise method of their implementation would be a matter for the Premiers' Conference.

Religious Cults '

V -

> ' ■

The Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator Peter

Durack, Q.C., told the· Committee that concern had been expressed in the Senate about the activities of some religious cults, in particular in relation to a cult known ■ as the 'Moonies.'

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The Ministers were unanimously in the view that undesirable activites of cults should be dealt with under the ordinary laws governing the community generally.

They agreed nothing should be done that might infringe on basic religious freedoms but that any particular harmful or fraudulent practices should be identified and dealt with by the law.

The Committee notedz that - there was currently before the Senate a notice of motion for the appointment of a Senate Select Committee to investigate the activities of the Moonies. '

Defamation

The Standing Committee gave further consideration

to the Australian Law Reform Commission's Report on Defamation and Privacy. The Committee noted that the Commonwealth Attorney-General had sought submissions from the media and the public on the Report. Senator Durack agreed to circulate any submissions received to other members of the Committee if there was no element of

confidentiality in the submissions.

The Ministers noted with approval the moves taken by the Victorian Parliament towards extending qualified privilege to fair reports of proceedings in the Parliament and courts of other States and Territories.

The next meeting of the Standing Committee will be

held in Adelaide on February 7 and 8 next year.

Those attending the meeting were :

Queensland, Mr W.D. Lickiss (Chairman) Minister

for Justice and Attorney-General;

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Commonwealth, Senator Peter.Durack, Q.C., Attorney-

General;

Victoria, Mr H. Storey, Q.C., Attorney-General;

. New South Wales, Mr G.T.A. Sullivan, Q.C., Solicitor

General, representing the Attorney-General;

South Australia, Mr K.T. Griffin, Attorney-General:

Western Australia, Mr I.G. Medcalf, Q.C., Attorney- General;

Tasmania, Mr B.K. Millar, Attorney-General: . .

Northern Territory, Mr P.A. Everingham, Chief Minister.and Attorney-General;

New Zealand, Mr J.F. Robertson, Secretary for Justice.

BRISBANE 13 OCTOBER, 1979

76/79

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