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Thursday, 18 June 1903

Sir JOHN QUICK -The honorable and learned member suggests that the States Courts generally should exercise this concurrent jurisdiction. There are certain matters now proposed to be vested exclusively in the High Court, which I think might fairly be left to the various Courts of the States having jurisdiction.

Mr Deakin - To what matter does .the honorable and learned member refer ?

Sir JOHN QUICK - To the suits against the Commonwealth mentioned in paragraph (e) ; cases against the Commonwealth.

Mr Deakin - Perhaps that might be done.

Sir JOHN QUICK - An action against the Commonwealth might be dealt with either in the Supreme Court or the County Court.

Mr Isaacs - Would the honorable and learned member include the suits named in paragraph (d) ?

Sir JOHN QUICK - I think that paragraph refers to suits brought by the Commonwealth against a State.

Mr Deakin - Yes ; surely the honorable and learned member would not include them in his proposal.

Sir JOHN QUICK - I think that those cases should be dealt with exclusively by the High Court, and that the matters referred to in paragraph (/) might also be exclusively vested in the High Court.

Mr L E GROOM (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) - Would the honorable and learned member allow treaty matters to be dealt with as proposed?

Sir JOHN QUICK - I do not think so. We are not under any obligation to provide that they shall be dealt with exclusively by the High Court. They do not arise under the Federal laws or under the Constitution. Hitherto, if any cases of the kind have occurred, they have been dealt with by the Supreme Courts of the States. They would not arise perhaps once in 100 years.

Mr Deakin - I do not know that there have been any, but if a case of the kind arose it would affect Federal interests and obligations.

Mr L E GROOM (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) - What about extradition treaties ?

Sir JOHN QUICK - They are expressly provided for. There is no occasion for vesting matters affecting consuls exclusively in the High Court.

Mr Deakin - Only in their representative capacity.

Sir JOHN QUICK - I find that according to Curtis, page 9, States Courts in the United States of America are now at liberty to undertake suits to which consuls are parties.

Mr L E GROOM (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) - Does that power refer to actions against them in their private, or in their representative capacity ?

Sir JOHN QUICK - It refers to any suits affecting consuls.

Mr Deakin - The power was first extended to cover all suits against consuls. In order to meet that we have limited the power to cases affecting them in their representative character.

Sir JOHN QUICK - -It was first thought, in the United States, that the power to hear any matter affecting a consul in his official capacity should be confined to a Federal Court. That provision, however, has been reversed of late years, and consuls can now be sued in the States Courts. I think that in all the matters dealt with in paragraphs (a), (6), and (e) there ought to be concurrent, and not exclusive, jurisdiction.

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