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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2758

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - This seems to be an appropriate oath or affirmation of office. If one looks at the Constitution it indicates that the judicial power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in courts such as these. The notion that somehow they are royal judges is one which belongs to the 19th century. I know some judges who have left the bench used to talk about being royal judges. But they are not royal judges, they are judges of the Commonwealth. If Senator Greenwood wishes to put in an oath of allegiance in its usual form, he can move ah amendment. Let us put it in. The statement is clear enough, lt is relevant to modern times when taking an oath or affirmation for the person to use the words well and truly serve in the office of the Chief Judge, Senior Judge or Judge of the Family Court of Australia and do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, So help me God'. The honourable senator is keen to have an oath of allegiance included. All the people who have been in this kind of office have already taken an oath of allegiance, perhaps when they were barristers. I do not know how many times one has to take oaths of allegiance. Apparently it is every time you move. It hardly seems appropriate.

I do not want this Bill held up at this stage. There is a form of oath of allegiance that is appropriate now. I know we have changed it from Her Majesty Queen Victoria, her heirs and successors according to law'. I know that some honourable senators probably think we ought to still be referring to 'Queen Victoria, her heirs and successors according to law'. If Senator Greenwood wishes I will undertake to insert the oath of allegiance in an appropriate form and we will come back to this matter. Senator Greenwood can then move to include an oath of allegiance of some kind. I would suggest that this is quite an appropriate provision for an oath or affirmation here. If necessary I will draft an oath or affirmation and bring it into the Committee later. In an endeavour to save time I will not then oppose it. I would like to be able to get on with the Bill.

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