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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2758


Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) -I refer to the oath or affirmation of office. I understand there are 2 significant changes in regard to the oath or affirmation which a judge of the Family Court has to take. My belief is that a judge of a Federal court, of a Territory court, or of a State court is required to take 2 oaths or 2 affirmations. One is the oath or affirmation of allegiance and the other is the oath or affirmation that he will well and faithfully serve as a judge of the court. That is the position with regard to the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court and though I can be corrected by someone who has closer knowledge of the matter, my belief is that it is the pattern forjudges of other courts- and so it should be. The judges are Her Majesty's judges. They owe allegiance to the Crown as do members of Parliament and all other officers who are charged with responsibilities which are part of our constitutional frame.

I do not know why the oath of allegiance has been left out here. I believe the oath of allegiance should be restored. I do not know whether the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) can explain the omission or state whether it is an oversight or whether he has some purpose in mind. Likewise, I feel that there ought to be in the form of the oath or the affirmation an adherence to the language of the other oaths or affirmations which are taken. It will be noted that in clause 17g the oath or affirmation is in the following form:

I, , do swear that I will well and truly serve in the office of the (Chief Judge, Senior Judge or Judge, as the case may be) of the Family Court of Australia and that I will do right to ail manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, So help me God.'

Normally the oath or affirmation, as I understand it, is in the following form:

I, . , do swear thatI will well and truly serve Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors according to law.

Those words are being left out and I do not know why. It is a pattern which I feel ought to have an explanation as to why the omission is taking place. The oath of allegiance is to a person. It always has been as a part of the -


Senator Murphy - It is a tradition of the office.


Senator GREENWOOD -As I understand it, the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court Act has the requirement that the oath of office is to 'well and truly serve' a person. I looked at it the other day. This is the pattern in this case. I am not sure where the oath of allegiance comes in. I imagine that could be inserted. 1 desire to move an amendment. I move:

In proposed new clause 1 7g. delete all words after ' form ' and insert the following:

I , do swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty the Queen of Australia, her heirs and successors according to law, in the office of (Chief Judge, Senior Judge or Judge, as the case may be) of the Family Court of Australia and that I will do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. '

I , do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty, the Queen of Australia, Her heirs and successors according to law, in the office of (Chief Judge. Senior Judge or Judge, as the case may be) of the Family Court of Australia and that I will do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. '

I also ask why has the oath of allegiance been left out? I would seek also to have that included. It may be an omission which can be easily rectified.







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