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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2854

Senator GUILFOYLE (Victoria) - I was interested in Senator Everett's reference to clause 26 (3) which states:

A decree of dissolution of marriage shall not be made if the court is satisfied that there is a reasonable likelihood of cohabitation being resumed.

I have been reading sub-clauses (1) and (2) of clause 26, and I should like the AttorneyGeneral to comment for me on the way in which these sub-clauses will function. I should like to know what will be the function of the judiciary in relation to petitions for dissolution of marriage that will be made under sub-clauses ( 1 ) and (2) of clause 26, and how we are to relate them to sub-clause (3) of clause 26 to which Senator Everett has referred. I should like to know whether the function of the judiciary will be to weigh the facts presented by the 2 parties involved in regard to the establishment of irretrievable breakdown, and how the judiciary will determine this when it is related to the way in which the Bill is drafted.

We have been given to understand by many speakers that there is this sole ground of irretrievable breakdown for a period of 12 months, with a further period of 3 months which is established under another clause. I should like a comment from the Attorney-General as to the function of the judiciary in these circumstances, and particularly I should like him to relate that to clause 26 (3) which, as I said, has been discussed this afternoon by Senator Everett. I find myself in some conflict as to how these provisions will be implemented in the practical sense, and I should like some clarification from the AttorneyGeneral.

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