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Thursday, 3 March 1932

Mr BRUCE (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) (Assistant Treasurer) . - The clause provides that the application shall be heard by the Full Court. That is the direction which Parliament proposes to lay down, but it insists that the court shall consist of not less than three justices. The actual number of justices to sit to hear the motion will be determined by the Chief Justice. The Government attaches such importance to this matter that, in addition to providing that a Full Court of not less than three justices shall hear the application, it allows the Chief Justice to exercise his discretion as to the availability of the judges, and I should say that, in a matter of such importance, every available justice would be required by the Chief Justice to sit and hear the application.

Sir Littleton Groom - I assume that the Government considers the possibility of the constitutionality of the proceedings being challenged, and wishes to provide that the court shall be constituted in such a way that an application, under this clause, will have the same consideration as is given by the court to other important constitutional issues.

Mr BRUCE (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - I agree with the honorable member. We must be perfectly certain that, in the event of any major constitutional issues being involved, the court will be fully constituted.

Mr Gregory - What is the meaning of the term "Full Court"?

Mr BRUCE (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - It embraces justices of the court, but we are providing that, when hearing applications under this clause, it shall consist of not less than three justices.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause also verbally amended.

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