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Tuesday, 18 April 1961

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (Parramatta) (Attorney-General) . - in reply - I am sure the honorable member for the Northern Territory (Mr. Nelson) will realize that the question of providing the physical facilities to enable trial by jury at least of criminal cases rests primarily with the Administration of the Northern Territory. 1 think he will also remember that recently the Legislative Council of the Northern Territory passed an ordinance to bring in trial by jury as from a future date, not far distant. That date, I understand, is in process of being extended, because the physical facilities to enable trial by jury to take place do not exist. It is hoped that they will exist, at any rate if not by the extended date then by some date very soon after that extended date.

In answer to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) I say, on the question of having rules of court which are universally usable in the courts of the Commonwealth, that this bill does bring the Northern Territory Supreme Court within the judicial system of the Commonwealth, not leaving it in the judicial system of the Northern Territory alone. This has not been out of mind. It is not a simple task. It would not be possible to have all the rules the same in respect of all places, but there may be a broad structure in which the rules could be made uniform. To do this now is truly beyond the physical resources of my department. In due time, no doubt, when the resources are adequate the desires of the honorable member for Bruce (Mr. Snedden) and of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition will be borne in mind, but I regret to say it is not a practical matter at this time.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and committed pro forma; progress reported.

Message recommending appropriation reported.

In committee (Consideration of Administrator's message):

Motion (by Sir Garfield Barwick) agreed to -

That it is expedient that an appropriation of revenue be made for the purposes of a bill for an act to create a Supreme Court of the Northern Territory of Australia, in place of the Supreme Court previously established.

Resolution reported and adopted.

In committee: Consideration resumed.

Clauses 1 to 8 - by leave - taken together, and agreed to.

Clause 9 (Salaries and travelling expenses).

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