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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2673

Senator EVERETT (Tasmania) - It seems to me that the lawyers are getting themselves enmeshed in a web of legalism. I thought this Bill, despite its title which came in for some criticism earlier in the day, was directed to buttressing marriage and, in this particular aspect of it, to effecting reconciliations. The effect of Senator Missen's amendment is to construct a boxing ring in the middle of it. After all, the procedure that he contemplates, that there should be contempt of court proceedings, commences with a fairly strong blow to the kidneys in the making of an order or the granting of an injunction under clause 90. That is not the sort of thing that is accepted with equanimity by most persons. Then the court, as if to add a little salt to the wounds, decides to give a direction or a piece of advice to go before a marriage counsellor. To a lot of persons that would not be the most acceptable piece of advice or direction to receive after an order against one. Then to make it worse there is the threat at the end of it that if one does not go one will end up in those proceedings that are aimed at preserving the dignity of the court.

Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson - Only if it is a direction and not advice.

Senator EVERETT - Yes- I know. One must add to that boxing ring atmosphere the fact that the only obligation is on the person to attend, that is as I would see it, to present himself at the appropriate place at the appropriate time. He can open the door and say: 'Good morning, sir. I have been directed to attend you. Goodbye. ' The whole thing is becoming completely Gilbertian. Cannot the lawyers cut this web and leave the matter as the Attorney-General has agreed to it and get on with the business of passing this Bill? I think we are just going round in circles and getting nowhere.

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