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Friday, 19 July 1912

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - Since this suggestion was mentioned by Senator McDougall, I. have had an opportunity to bring it under the notice of the Secretary to the Attorney-General's Department, who is familiar with the constitution of Children's Courts in the various States. He assured me that he can see no objection to the amendment from a legal or departmental point of view. On the question of principle, I think it is far better that these cases should continue to be heard, as they are at present, in the Children's Courts. I do not think it is necessary to embody this in the law because it is the practice now being followed, but if honorable senators think that it should be laid down by law, I have no objection to the amendment.

Senator McColl - What are the powers of the Children's Court?

Senator PEARCE - They have all the powers of an ordinary State Court of limited jurisdiction, and I am informed that they are in the same category as the ordinary Courts in regard to their power to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth. They are covered by our constitutional provision conferring Commonwealth jurisdiction on State Courts.

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