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Thursday, 14 April 1904

Mr GLYNN (Angas) - From a hurried* examination of this .clause I find that it. practically limits the powers of a Court of summary jurisdiction to deal with an offencewhich is punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months. All. other cases must go by. indictment before a jury. I believe that the Constitution provides that' all indictable offences must be tried by jury.

Mr Deakin - There is some such pro-., vision.

Mr GLYNN - It is thus proposed tosend many cases to a jury, and thus to harass litigants. This clause . practically means that all offences punishable under . any Act by two years' imprisonment must be tried before a jury. I venture to express the opinion that in 90 per cent, of the cases the period of imprisonment will not be limited to six months.

Mr Deakin - I think it will be so limited under our laws. Our position is different from that of a State, with its large range of offences.

Mr GLYNN - In order to overcome difficulties of this kind, the States' laws provide that in certain circumstances an accused person may submit himself to the jurisdiction of a Court of summary jurisdiction. In some States power is given to such Courts to impose penalties up to two years' imprisonment, and thus avoid the expense and delay of sending a person to trial before a jury. I would suggest that in certain circumstances we should allow a person to consent to- be finally tried by a Court of summary jurisdiction.

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