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Wednesday, 1 December 2004
Page: 19


Senator LUDWIG (10:51 AM) —The amendments I moved promote an important public interest so that the administration of justice can proceed publicly while balancing the importance of protecting national security. Courts, as I have said earlier, should have some discretion to achieve this balance, particularly in circumstances in which an abuse of process may occur in the closed hearing. A blanket prohibition on the publication of the record would otherwise prevent this becoming known publicly and an appropriate response being taken. There is a public interest that has to be served in relation to that. It is an important public interest. There should be promotion to ensure that both of these matters are addressed and that the government accepts the amendments. It still allows the court the ability to determine these things but it also provides for two important steps: it ensures that a balance is struck between the public interest and the protection of national security, and it also ensures that the court cannot be subject to an abuse of process, because the appropriate public response can then be taken when it becomes available.