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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2757

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - This is an historic occasion, on which I find myself in agreement with Senator Greenwood against the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy). I appreciate that there was an innocent intention in framing sub-section (4) of proposed new section 17C in this precise form, but lawyers are familiar with the damage that can be done when intentions that are held at the time of framing legislation are not adverted to by future Attorneys-General or by people in charge of the administration or implementation of an Act. I fear that a sort of dilution of functions which is against the spirit of an exclusive, separate Family Court could occur in the future no matter what was the intention of the draftsman in framing this sub-section. I feel strongly that the judges of the Family Court should be exclusively judges of the Family Court, with no other functions at all. For that reason I support the deletion of the words which would confer functions on judges of the Family Court other than those of the Family Court.

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