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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2858

Senator MISSEN (Victoria) - I oppose this amendment both in principle and in practice. I take up what I said last night about the dangers of importing into legislation the idea of consent, with all its blackmailing possibilities which would enable the parties to agree in terms of money before they give their consent. It is a matter of consent. This is why in practice it should also be rejected. The amendment says that there may be a decree if the separation is for 12 months provided that neither party opposes the dissolution of the marriage. In practice this would be extremely difficult. Until one reached court one would not necessarily know whether the matter was opposed. If the other party came along and wanted to oppose the divorce the court no doubt would be obliged to re-open the matter- no doubt the rules would permit it to do so- and the case would then be lost. The case might have been going for many months. Therefore in practice I think it is inoperable. In theory and in principle I think it is inoperable. I admire Senator Baume 's attitude of trying to obtain a compromise which might be acceptable but I find it objectionable in principle to introduce this idea of consent into the legislation.

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